Kids’ snacks CAN be healthy and inexpensive

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
It's well-documented that healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables tend to cost more than "junk" foods such as chips and cookies, a phenomenon that's often cited as a contributing factor to the U.S. obesity epidemic. But a new study conducted in YMCAs found that healthy snacks aren't always more expensive, and in some cases are even more economical. (more…)
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First Lady, Wal-Mart to fight childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Here's a shout out to Mrs. Obama. News reports say that the First Lady and Wal-Mart have forged an agreement geared at preventing childhood obesity. Media sources generally characterized the move as a victory for Mrs. Obama's signature campaign and I would agree. ABC World News reported, First Lady Michelle Obama "announced that Wal-Mart, which sells more groceries than any market in America, is going to change what's on its shelves." On the CBS Evening News the First Lady was shown saying, "I am thrilled about Wal-Mart's new nutrition charter." NBC Nightly News said that Mrs. Obama "has announced she's working with the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, which promised today to cut prices on fresh fruits and vegetables and to reduce fats, sugars, salt, eliminate transfats in some of its…
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Kids Not So Stuck on Sugary Breakfast Cereals, Study Finds

Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
It turns out that when kids are given a choice of cereals, and there is fruit on hand, most will be happy with low-sugar fare. In other words, getting your kids to happily eat nutritious, low-sugar breakfast cereals may be child's play, researchers report. This was exactly what I predicted in my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, currently on sale here. The recent study finds that children will gladly chow down on low-sugar cereals if they're given a selection of choices at breakfast, and many compensate for any missing sweetness by opting for fruit instead. Here are the details from HealthDay News: The 5-to-12-year-olds in the study still ate about the same amount of calories regardless of whether they were allowed to choose from…
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Keep Health in Mind When Planning School Day Menus For Your Kids

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
As a parent preparing for your child's school day, it may be helpful to remember that healthy meals and snacks are essential for learning. Here are some helpful tips from the experts at HealthDay News: "Parents can make the school day easier for their children by providing nutritious and yummy breakfasts, lunches and snacks that promote optimal learning. Everyone is in a rush in the morning, but it only takes a few minutes on Sunday to plan healthy meals to fuel your child's week," Karin Richards, director of the Exercise Science and Wellness Management program, and director of Health Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. Richards offered the following advice for parents as they plan breakfast, lunch and snacks for their…
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Parents Beware: Cartoon Characters Sell Kids on Unhealthy Foods

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Using the likes of Shrek and Dora to market treats should be banned, researcher says. Why? Because popular cartoon characters are negatively influencing the taste preferences of very young children, and not in a positive way, a new study suggests.Here are the details from HealthDay News: -- Researchers found that the branding of American food product packaging with characters such as Dora the Explorer drives preschoolers to choose higher-calorie, less healthful foods over more nutritious options. "The bottom line is that when kids are presented with a choice of graham crackers, fruit snacks or carrots, and the only difference is that one package has a licensed character on it, they actually think that the food with the character tastes better," said study author Christina Roberto, a doctoral student working at the…
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Kids Like Cartoon-Branded Snacks Better

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
A new study is showing that children find foods taste better if the packages feature popular cartoon characters. Once simply the world's best-known cartoon, canine detective Scooby-Doo is now also a popular pitchman for pasta, cookies, "fruit" snacks, and other foods marketed to young children. And, SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek, Dora the Explorer, and many other cartoon characters also do double duty selling junk food and sometimes healthy foods to kids, and this new research clearly shows why manufacturers use them. The study found that foods packaged with popular cartoon characters really do taste better – or at least they do to 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds. The effect was not as great with carrots as with less healthy fruit-flavored gummies and graham crackers, but more children said they preferred the taste of all three…
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Kids follow parents’ lead on fruits and vegetables

Children's Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Reuters Health has a story about a new study showing that parents who want their preschoolers to eat their fruits and vegetables should probably practice what they preach. In a study of more than 1,300 families, researchers found that when parents boosted their own consumption of fruits and vegetables, so did their young children. My Take? (more…)
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Healthy Eating Help Kids’ Concentration in School – How can you help your kids?

Children's Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
HealthDay News is reporting that healthy foods should be included on the list of back-to-school supplies for your children. Dietitian Catherine Kraus explained that a healthy, balanced diet enables neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) to function more efficiently, resulting in improved concentration and memory. My Take? (more…)
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