10 ways to keep your kids from getting fat
Pediatric obesity on the rise, but parents can help make a difference
By Joy Bauer
NEW YORK, Mar. 15, 2007 (www.msnbc.msn.com) - A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Pediatrics has found that being overweight can cause girls to hit puberty earlier than normal.
And while nobody wants to see their kids grow up too fast, there are actually serious health concerns related to starting puberty too early.
TODAY nutrionist Joy Bauer has some simple suggestions for what parents they can do to make sure their children don't become overweight or help them lose the weight if they already are.
1. Be a healthy role model
Monkey see, monkey do. As your children grow they observe and copy everything you do —eating habits included.
2. Make healthy eating fun
Play games, create sticker charts, conduct taste tests, and invite your kids into the kitchen to cook. Anything goes — just connect healthy eating/exercise with fun.
3. Use my “90/10 food strategy”
Create a positive attitude about food by emphasizing healthy choices and limiting (not eliminating) the not-so-healthy cakes, cookies, and candy. That means 90% Healthy and 10% FUN.
4. Encourage a smart breakfast
Breakfast helps serve as an appetite regulator throughout the rest of the day. Studies also show that kids who eat breakfast have better attention and focus in the morning.
5. Switch to nonfat and low-fat dairy
Kids need calcium, but not the fat and calories from whole milk dairy. After your child turns two, switch to skim milk, 1% reduced fat milk, part skim string cheese, fat free/low-fat sliced cheese and yogurt.
CLICK HERE to see the rest of the Top Ten tips.