Child Obesity in America Keeps Rising as the New School Year Begins
It's that time of year again—Summer is coming to a close, color is creeping back into the trees (for some of us) and our children are starting to reluctantly accept the reality of going back to school.
However, the University of Michigan recently released a study that associated school lunches with child obesity in America.
One issue with studies concerning school lunches is that it's often very difficult to take socioeconomic status into account. There is already a link between obesity in America and socioeconomic status, therefore, children from lower income families that are eligible for free or reduced lunch may already be overweight. We just don't know.
Have you ever wondered what's in your child's school lunch?
"Although we were not able to examine the specific nutritional content of school lunches, previous research suggests school lunches include nutrient-poor and calorie-rich foods," cardiologist and senior study author Elizabeth Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School said.
But there is another way.
Create an affordable healthy food list and adopt these healthy eating tips to practice with your child and both of you will be on the way to better health. First, it's important to understand why you and your child should eat healthy.
According to Fitday, there are 3 reasons why you should be eating healthy
1. You just feel better when you eat right. Face it, your body knows what it wants and it gets upset when you don't listen to it. Literally. Ever heard of an upset stomach? You'll feel lighter and experience more noticeable amounts of energy throughout the day when you eat your fruits and veggies. It's also always a good idea to throw in some lean protein and STAY AWAY from the high-calorie, processed foods.
2. You'll be consistently more healthy! With the demands of work, home life and family time, most of us feel like we need to function at a high-level. Think of your body like your car. Your car works when you feed it—oil, gas, fluids—and it gets sick and doesn't work if you neglect its needs. Your body can't function at the highest level if it doesn't get the vitamins and nutrients it wants and craves. Your body will literally start to break down if you neglect it so make sure you eat your fruits and veggies.
3. There's no excuse when creating healthy meals is so easy. Making a healthy meal is about knowing your components. Start with a lean protein, add some fruits or veggies, a complex carbohydrate and end with a low-calorie drink like water. Try adding one balanced meal a day into your routine and build your way up from there.
To prevent child obesity in America, it's very important that children learn healthy eating habits at a young age
Obesity is at an all time high and it's vital that we begin to change our eating habits. According to McKinney, by the age of 2, children are forming habits that can make them more or less likely to be overweight. Besides, lifestyle habits developed during childhood can easily become lifelong habits as an adult. Studies also show that overweight toddlers and preschoolers also tend to be overweight as older children. Healthy eating habits must be introduced while children are still young.
Some healthy school lunch ideas and a new healthy food list for you and your child
This food list is a really great and printable healthy food grocery shopping list that you can keep on your fridge.
It includes high energy foods, foods rich in fiber, foods with the most antioxidants, what you should eat for your omega-3s and the best foods to buy organic.
Combine your new healthy food list with these healthy school lunch ideas to make sure your child gets the proper vitamins and nutrients they need to refresh themselves during the middle of the day when school is in full swing.
Here are some delicious Back to School lunch options from Eating Well. Some options take longer to make than others, but they have a nice variety with a lot of healthy options. Personally, the Broccoli-Cheese pie looks amazing. There are sweet snacks and even spicy snacks. But beware, some options have more sodium than others. Omit the recipes with uncomfortably high levels of sodium, like the BBQ Chicken Sandwich.
Our children love to binge on high-calorie junk food when they get home from school because they're either tired or want an instant pick-me-up from sitting in that dreaded desk all day. Here are some healthy after school snack options to keep the healthy vibes flowing all night long.
Snack Girl has printable recipes with a huge list of simple yet delicious healthy after school snacks. She has everything from yogurt recipes to dips to smoothies.
Always keep convenience in mind
We all live a stressful life. Some of us will find that these recipes are easy to work into our daily routines and some fill find them almost impossible. It's important to be honest with yourself and know what you can work into your schedule so you don't run into unnecessary stress later on.
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