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Family Tips for Slimming Down

By Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian

Early in June of this year, New York City Major Bloomberg proposed that softs should not be sold in cups larger than16 ounces. This is an attempt to help fight the American obesity crisis.  I agree that liquid calories can sure creep up on you before you know it!  How many of our kids are drinking multiple sodas a day?  Not that this one change alone is going to stop the obesity crisis, but it's a step in the right direction.  In 1980, 5 – 7% of kids were obese.  About 32% of children and teens ages 2 to 19 — about 23 million — were either overweight or obese in 2003-2006.  Experts agree, this is not acceptable.

Here are a few ideas to help you break some cycles and start your family slim down.

  • Plan ahead for Meals and Snacks as Much as Possible.  Most children eat every few hours so try and plan ahead to avoid fast food and vending machines.
  • Don't Skip Meals.  Skipping meals is more than likely going to cause you to overeat at the next meal.  Not to mention that kids are still growing and need adequate nutrients.
  • Eat a Healthy Breakfast.  Fuel up and get your day started right.   Even if your child does not feel hungry, breakfast provides energy and other nutrients to get your day going.
  • Take Your Lunch with You.  When you pack a lunch you have more control over the healthy options that your child can eat.  School lunches provide healthy foods, however, children will often choose higher-fat and less nutrient dense foods.
  • Share a meal.  If your child is ordering off the adult menu, do they really need all that food?  Seriously, some of the portions are large enough to feed 3 people!
  • Eat Proper Portion Sizes.  This may be hard to get used to as portion sizes have grown so much over the years that people often don't know what is a correct portion size.  You can go to www.choosemyplate.gov to see what is recommended. 
  • Eat Slowly and at the Table.  Eating in front of the TV often causes people to not pay attention to how much they are eating and they eat very fast.  It takes your brain about 20 minutes to tell your stomach it is full. Out of Sight.  Food sitting out often makes you want to eat even if you are not hungry.
  • Don't Overly Restrict Food.  This causes children to sneak food and overeat.  Eating should be pleasurable.  The best approach is moderation of all types of foods.
  • Increase Activity, Decrease "Downtime".  Your body is designed for movement.  Have some fun family activities.

Taken from: The Family Guide to Fighting Fat from Texas Children's Hospital

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By Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian
Categories:  Kid's Health & Safety

About the Author

Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian

Tiffany Glenn, M.S., R.D.,L.D. Registered Dietitian

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