Helping Kids Eat Right

(NAPSI)—Here’s something many Americans may be surprised to learn: “While a shocking 17 percent of our nation’s children are obese, most children are also lacking critical nutrients in their diets, leaving them in a state of malnourishment. On top of that, they are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity their bodies need to grow and thrive,” reports registered dietitian Dr. Katie Brown.

Dr. Brown, who is national education director for the American Dietetic Association Foundation, added, “While, in some ways, this paints a startling picture, it also serves as a ‘call to action’ for registered dietitians to engage families and communities on the grassroots level.

“We must ensure that kids begin to eat the foods they are not consuming in sufficient amounts-whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats and beans, and low-fat and fat-free dairy, and spend time getting at least an hour of physical activity daily.”

To help promote healthy eating and prevent childhood obesity, ADA released The State of Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Report, a comprehensive analysis of research from the nation’s top food, nutrition and health organizations, including ADA’s new Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. The full report can be found at www.eatright.org/foundation/fnpa.

ADA also launched the Kids Eat Right campaign, which provides tips for families to help ensure they are receiving quality nutrition, including:

• Give kids whole-grain cereals for breakfast, kid-friendly “white” whole-wheat bread for sandwiches, crunchy whole-grain crackers for snacks and whole-grain pastas for dinner.

• Eat more fruits and vegetables at every meal. At breakfast, enjoy fresh or frozen berries on cereal, slices of melon or a glass of 100 percent orange juice; at lunch, serve baby carrots or sliced apples; for dinner, put brightly colored vegetables at the center of every plate.

• Most young people in America are not getting enough calcium or potassium. Fortunately, it’s easy to consume the three daily dairy servings that children and teens need. Try an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk with breakfast, lunch and dinner; yogurt parfaits for breakfast or an after-school snack; or string cheese for an on-the-go energy snack.

• Getting enough protein at every meal and snack helps kids feel satisfied after eating. Start their day with eggs or bean burritos. For snacks, provide nuts, peanut butter or sliced deli meat.

The program provides more practical information—tips, articles, recipes and videos—on its website, www.KidsEatRight.org.