Statistics show that 16% of children under the age of 18 are overweight and 30% are obese. In a class of 30, 12 of those students would be considered overweight or obese. Mistakenly, many people believe that childhood obesity is a genetic problem. While children of overweight parents/grandparents are much more likely to become overweight, it is not genetics. A child’s eating habits are directly related to what the rest of the family is eating and they are therefore succumbed to poor food choices.
Foods such as chips, cookies, soda, donuts, processed meats – chicken nuggets, French fries, and most breads, are lacking in nutrients. Yet these are foods that typical kids consume. These foods, high in fat and carbohydrates, create abdominal obesity or belly fat. High amounts of fat around the middle are associated with higher risks of diabetes and heart disease. Changing a child’s diet can drastically alter this so-called “genetic problem.”
ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Kristina Sargent DC provides the following example of what a typical day of healthy food consumption should look like:
- Breakfast: Kashi makes some chewy nut bars, one of those offers a little protein; add a glass of milk; or add an egg – hard boiled can be made ahead – to the appropriate serving size of cereal (see the side of the box and measure it)
- Lunch: Roll up lunch meat around a pickle or cheese stick, baked chips and an apple.
- Dinner: protein, vegetable and 1/2 cup of potatoes, rice or pasta
- Snacks: 1/4 c nuts (almonds, cashews etc.), cheese stick and fruit, and Greek yogurt and fruit, baby carrots and hummus (1/3 C)
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