The Importance of Choosing the Best Foods

The importance of knowing what the best foods for growing kids is growing, as the health risks associated with obesity are rising to epidemic levels. According to the American Obesity Association, about 15% of all children and adolescents (up to age 19) are obese, and the percentage of overweight children in Great Britain is also growing in epidemic proportions. The serious health risk for them now and as they grow into adulthood are well documented, and proper diet and exercise are the only answers.

Children entering school and those already attending face choices about what they will eat, and without the knowledge of what the best foods for growing kids are, those choices will be influenced by peer-pressure and whatever happens to be easily available. Education about what is best for kids to eat, emphasizing their importance, and having those foods available to them will help reverse the trend. Gone are the days when prepackaged processed foods would be thrown into the child’s lunchbox and be construed as part of a solid diet. A few ideas for upgrading lunchbox foods are:

• Surf the web for lunchbox ideas.

• Allow your child to choose which fruits and vegetables he or she will prefer.

• Come up with different food themes for a week so the choices don’t become predictable and mundane.

• Ask others for recommendations.

Here is just a short list of foods to choose that are the best foods for growing kids, and adults as well:

1. Fish should be served at least twice per week. Versatile to prepare and low in saturated fat, plus low in calories, fish is one of the perfect healthy foods. Oily fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce total blood cholesterol, and medical studies have shown that it plays an important role in aiding the development of our brain.

2. Sweet potatoes are another super food, as they contain 30mg of beta-carotene per cup., with a healthy 3 grams of fiber per serving. Beta-carotene, among other things protects against cancer and heart disease.

3. Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for anyone, but especially growing kids because of its calcium content and other nutrients. If the taste seems a bit boring to children, some melted cheese will help, or you may make a game of broccoli by convincing them they are devouring miniature trees.

4. Nuts are great for kids, as they are high in the good fat that they need, and also high in protein. Nuts are easy to store and carry, and one of the perfect snack foods.

5. Yogurt is a step above milk, as it is easier to digest and very beneficial to good colon health. The best and most healthy option for kids is to buy plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fresh fruit.

These are just a few ideas for choosing the best foods for growing kids. The last item, but certainly not the least, is water. A child should consume at least six glasses per day, more if he or she is athletic and active. This list obviously is not different from anyone of any age; the differences will come in the quantities consumed. But after quite a few years in being lax on what we serve our kids, it’s time we turn that trend around.