by Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN
Fast food restaurants on almost every corner, vending machines in every school, junk food that lines store shelves and is stacked by registers... what chance do our kids have to be healthier and make better food choices? This has led to an "overfed, undernourished generation."
When I had my daughter Lily 11 years ago, as a dietitian I knew I was going to be strict about her food choices. At a young age, she knew what was the “healthier acceptable food choice or treat” versus one that had what I called “icky” things in it that were not optimal for her body. As parents, it's important we try to do the best we can for our children at home. We can positively influence their food choices, so they choose wisely when venturing out in the world.
I was pleased to see that one of the houses we stopped at for Halloween this year offered two bowls to select from. One was traditional unhealthy candy, and the other had healthier options. To my wonderful surprise, my daughter came to me beaming with delight that she chose from the healthy bowl. I was super proud of her! What we teach them at home is of utmost importance.
Some things we can do at home include:
Additional things we can do for our children’s health include picking foods that:
There are many healthier “junk food” options out there. Organic choices have become more mainstream, and many healthier options are available in conventional stores nowadays. Some of my daughter’s favorite alternatives to junk foods include:
Although these are healthier "junk food" options, these items can still have a good deal of natural sugars in them, so they should be eaten in moderation. They also shouldn't replace our important fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.
We must take the lead and show our children the way… to healthier options.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.
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