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Do you know what your kids are eating for breakfast?

Apparently, some parents do not. The Bogalusa Heart Study, which has been investigating the natural history of heart disease and nutritional status of children in Bogalusa, Louisiana, for more than 19 years, has found some shockingly popular breakfast choices: cola, cookies, eclairs, and brownies ! The researchers have concluded that more education is needed to help children make healthier food choices by reaching them both at school and at home through their parents. In partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, they have developed two new brochures to make good nutrition fun for children and easy for parents.

The first, "Kids Get Going With Breakfast," is a comic-hook style publication packed with food facts and interactive games, geared to children ages six to ten. The second, "A Parents Guide to Healthy, Happy Kids," is a companion piece for parents looking for new ways to excite kids of any age about eating foods that are good for them. It offers tips and facts from the AAP about nutrition and answers many common questions that parents have about feeding their children.

Among the tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics are:

-- Offer your child a variety of food choices including grains; low-fat dairy products; lean meat, fish, and poultry; and fruits and vegetables.

-- Provide a low-fat diet for children older than age two. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and other health problems later in life.

-- When preparing school lunches, pack foods you know your child likes. Include an entree, dessert, and beverage. If your child complains that the beverage gets warm by lunchtime, try freezing it. It will thaw during the morning and keep other items in the bag cool until lunchtime.

-- Have nutritious snacks on hand. They're important for children because they provide energy and nutrients that help them grow. Remember that healthful foods your child likes for breakfast and lunch are fine for snacks, too. For instance, cereal with low-fat milk and fruit make a nutritious snack that is also easy to prepare.

-- Respect your child's likes and dislikes. It's not wise to force a child to eat foods he or she doesn't like or to eat more than he or she wants. Try to offer several choices if your child is a finicky eater.

-- Establish family meal times.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:nutrition tips for children
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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