The #1 Challenge with Kids Nutrition
In today’s video, you will learn the number one challenge in kids’ nutrition today and how to change it. Please stay til the end. I’d love you to get these great tips that you can apply immediately.
Hi. I’m Shani Mara Breiter, dietician. Welcome to Yummy TV, the place to be to create a healthy lifestyle that you and your family will love. Consider me like your family dietician, for you, your kids, and your teens. I have helped hundreds of families just like yours learn about nutrition in a healthy, doable, and yummy way.
Subscribe to my channel and go to my website at ShaniMara.com where you will get great tips that you won’t find anywhere else. Now, before we begin, remember that healthy nutrition starts with you rather than your kids and you can begin to make healthy lifestyle changes for your family without even talking to your kids about it yet.
The question for the day: can you guess what the number one challenge in kids’ nutrition today is? Do you have any idea? Because I see it all the time in my practice. Any ideas at all? Well, the answer is the carbohydrate load that the average kid diet has on a daily basis. What do I actually mean by that? Carbohydrates are foods that have some form of food sugar in them. Carbohydrates are very important. We must have carbohydrates. They’re important to a balanced meal. However, many times multiple carbohydrates can appear in meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. My recommendation is to begin to balance meals and snacks rather than give so many carbohydrates at one meal.
Carbohydrates are food that, again, have some form of food sugar. An example of them would be all fruits, for example. Whether it’s fresh fruit or dried fruit or frozen fruit or fruit juice. There all have some sort of fruit sugar called fructose in them. Another category would be grains. Grains include bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, chips, crackers, cookies, all those kinds of things, any sort of grain or starch. The next category is dairy, in particular milk and yogurt. Many times yogurts have added sugar into them.
Next category are sugary beverages. Those are really to just drink because they’re yummy and kids like them, but keep in mind that is a liquid form of carbohydrate. Then, you have just … you know, sweets that kids like. You also have sweeteners, whether it’s granulated sugar, evaporated cane juice, honey, molasses, maple syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, whatever the source is. They’re all carbohydrates. The key is to balance the meals and to not give so many carbohydrates at one meal.
Reason why you wanna balance meals, rather than having such carb-heavy meals and snacks, is because it can actually affect your kids’ health, and here’s how. Number one, it can cause them to crave more and more carbohydrates. I don’t know if you’ve seen that with your kids, but the more carbohydrates they have, the more they want more. It can also affect their energy. It can affect their mood, and it can also cause some sort of weight related issue if that is at all a concern for you. It does behoove you to begin to balance meals.
Now, let’s take each meal and break it down. Let’s take … let’s start with breakfast. An example of a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast could be a bagel with fruit juice and fruit and yogurt that is flavored with some granola on top. Every item in that breakfast is a carbohydrate. An example of a more balanced breakfast would be eggs with some fruits and maybe some avocado along with the eggs and a piece of toast. What you’re doing is you’re cutting back on the amount of carbohydrates that you’re serving. That’s breakfast.
Let’s move on to lunch. An example of a carbohydrate-heavy lunch could be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some fruit and, say, a cookie and some sort of chip or cracker. If you notice every single item there has a carbohydrate as opposed to doing a lunch that say is a sandwich with some sort of protein in it such as turkey or maybe sliced chicken and then you do a serving of vegetables and little bit of fruit. Maybe a couple times a week you give some sort of sweet, but you do a small amount, like maybe a Hershey’s kiss or something like that because kids do need to be kids and have something fun to eat. That gives you an example of the difference.
Now, let’s look at afternoon snack. Here’s an average example that I hear. It could be some sort of corn puff, like Pirate’s Booty, or it could be a potato chip along with some fruit. Again, it’s two carbohydrates. Or it could be leftovers, such as leftover pasta, something like that. My suggestion, instead, would be to balance it. Have one carbohydrate with, say, a protein or a fat such as fruit with some nut butter, or fruits with some nuts or some cheese, or many some guacamole dipped in some carrots. It’s a balance, so that rather than giving two carbohydrates, you’re giving one carbohydrate.
Now, let’s look at dinner. An example of a typical dinner could be a bowl of pasta maybe with a few carrot sticks on the end. That plate is not very balanced. What I might suggest you do, is rather than a whole plate of pasta, do a quarter plate of pasta with a quarter plate of some sort of protein, whether it’s chicken, fish, meat, eggs, something like that, and then fill up the other part of the plate, the other half of the plate with vegetables. It could be cooked, raw vegetables, a combination, and that way you get more of a balance and you’re not giving such a heavy carb load to your children. Those are examples of meals and snacks and how to make the changes. I hope that this is helpful for you.
This does take pre-planning on your part, but balanced nutrition for your kids is so worth it, so I recommend you take the time and begin to do it. Also remember that healthy nutrition starts with you and not with your kids.
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