Advice Column, Bonitas, Health, Parenting

Nutrition, Activity, and Exercise

  • Bonitas
  • Category Advice Column, Bonitas, Health, Parenting

Children and nutrition

When preparing meals for your family, include a variety of foods from the five major food groups found on the food pyramid.
Here’s some recommendations:

  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day (Serving size examples: 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, ¾ cup of vegetable juice or ½ cup of chopped or cooked vegetables)
  • Fruits: 2-4 servings per day (Serving size examples: ½ cup sliced fruit, ¾ cup fruit juice or medium-sized whole fruit)
  • Bread, cereal or pasta: 6-11 servings per day (Serving size examples: 1 slice of bread, ½ cup rice or pasta or 1 ounce of cereal)
  • Protein: 2-3 servings per day (Serving size examples: 50 grams or 2 ounces of cooked lean meat/poultry/fish, ½ cup cooked beans, 1 egg or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter)
  • Dairy: 2-3 servings per day (Serving size examples: 1 cup low-fat milk or yogurt, 25 grams or 1 ounces of cheese)

Children and fitness

Focus on finding fun activities rather than on exercise. Some ideas to get your children moving:

  • Find activities your child finds fun
  • Find activities that are age-appropriate
  • Limit screen time (TV, mobile phones, laptops, tablets or game consoles) to no more than 1 to 2 combined hours a day; avoid TVs in children’s bedrooms
  • Make time for play and activities; establishing a routine will make it easier to stick to
  • Aim to do fun activities with your children 30 minutes 3 times a week
  • Walk or bike wherever you can
  • Do household chores as a family and make it fun; try dancing to music, picking up toys as fast as possible or having kids run and jump into a pile of raked leaves or snow

Choosing healthy snacks

Children are active and for most, occasional snacks can help them get their daily nutritional requirements.  Here’s some important things to keep in mind with snacks:

  • Snacks should not affect regular meals; be careful not to give them too close to meals
  • Children will reach for the easiest foods to reach; put healthy choices in easy to reach areas and avoid buying junk food
  • Your food choices affect what your children eat; choose healthy snacks for yourself
  • Involve children in cooking; teach them about healthy and less healthy foods
  • What you teach your child now will last a lifetime; teach a life of healthy eating

Healthy snack options

  • Vegetables, with or without low fat dip
  • Fruit
  • Trail mix: low-sugar cereal, dried fruit, nuts and mini chocolate chips
  • Crackers and peanut butter or hummus
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Low-fat microwave popcorn
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Nuts
  • Sandwiches made with whole-grain bread
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