Childhood growth is a strong sign of health. In order to monitor growth and development, all children should have their height and weight plotted on a growth chart at every trip to the doctor’s office. This helps to provide a picture of the child’s growth and an opportunity for parents and the medical team to measure changes over time. All children with significant changes in their body mass index (ratio of their height to their weight) should be examined.
Sugar is a hot health topic. Many of us are aware of its health effects and links to a number of diseases, but what about the effects on kids and their eating habits?
This is a topic that comes up frequently in our Pediatric Fitness Clinic. The American Heart Association recommends middle school age children have about 5-8 teaspoons of added sugar in their diets daily. On average though, kids in this age group get about 30 teaspoons!
Ever notice how, as a parent, the more you talk, the less your kids listen? It seems like the same thing happens the older they get. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still paying attention to you. Your kids are likely watching your every move, so you can use this to your advantage. This is especially important when it comes to behaviors involving food and physical activity.
Growing a garden with kids is a great way to foster a love of nature and healthful eating, all while reaping the fruits of your labor! When kids take interest gardening, they are often more open to trying new foods. Planting a garden is more than just growing food. Together, you are planting life lessons and family memories. You do not have to be an expert to start a garden. You can learn right along with your children.
Even though we know as parents that we should limit our kids’ sugar intake, it can be easier said than done. Sugar is everywhere. In yogurt, granola bars, breakfast cereal, juice – many of the “staples” of a child’s diet. Add to that the birthday treats at school or ice cream treats following a soccer game, not to mention just about every holiday celebration, and it can seem daunting. But does sugar deserve the bad rep it has and is there such a thing as a “healthier” sugar?