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  • Writer's pictureMs. Cynthia

What Steps Can I Take As A Parent to Help My Child Eat Healthy?

Photo by Providence Doucet on Unsplash

Dear Miss Cynthia,

What steps can I take as a parent to help my child eat healthily and stay active in order to avoid being overweight?

-Pat in Philadelphia

Dear Pat in Philadelphia,

Well, let's start with breakfast. There are cereals that are drastically not good and begin not only the day with a terrible habit but also life! They have a variety of cereals that are basically candy, like Fruit Loops, Cocoa Puffs, etc. They are way too sweet, and high in calories; they make children hyper, rot their teeth, and make them overweight! Also, it is not necessary to add sugar to a child's cereal. If the child is used to you adding sugar, cut down, or use artificial sweetener, of course in moderation. You should replace chips and other snacks with fruits or vegetables, or even good dry cereal. For lunch, whole grains are better. However, white bread is fine if you have not started them on whole wheat (try switch over). Make sandwiches with diet bread. It is only 45 calories a slice instead of 80. I do not have a problem with fast foods, again in moderation. Children should be taught to eat slowly as well as adults. Replace juice with water, juice is extremely high in calories and natural sugar which again is just as bad as Fruit Loops! Stick to water and milk (not chocolate milk)! Chocolate destroys the calcium in milk! Chicken products are better than pork. For example, chicken or turkey bacon, bologna, sausage, hot dogs, etc. Please do not fall for low fat, always check the calories. Lots of calories make you fat and unhealthy! Also, read the servings per container. Sometimes it will say 100 calories, but it is only for 10 chips. I have had healthy thin children that have become healthy thin adults. My big secret was, I did not bring junk food into the house. I never bought soda, chips, candy, etc. (If they do drink soda it MUST be diet!) I was not a health food freak either they had many frozen pizzas, mac n' cheese, etc. I am amazed when I go into someone's house and they have a pantry full of snacks and don't seem to mind that their children are overweight which will lead to health problems and emotional issues later on in life. Also, I have to add that some people eat to live, and some live to eat, the people that live to eat have a stronger sense of taste, thus enjoy food more. If this is the case with your child or even yourself, again check calories, vegetables are great, they are good for you and have limited calories. Now as far as activities to keep them active: bike riding, scooter riding, roller skating, hiking, dance, gymnastics, all sports are good, and swimming is the best! God bless you, Pat, you are a good parent!

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