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Healthy Kids: The Basics

by Sima Cohen

February 14, 2012 | 1:27 pm

After being approached by dozens of parents with questions about raising healthy children, I’m excited to share my some of my secrets and tricks of the trade, and provide some insight and answers.

Over the past 20 years childhood obesity has doubled and as of 2011 is at epidemic rates! Overweight children and teens are more likely to develop serious health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

As a parent myself, I know that making small changes every day can drastically effect the health of your growing child for the rest of his or her life. There are a lot of convenient, cheap products out there, but 99% of them are loaded with added sugar, salt, sodium, saturated fat and empty calories that will do more harm than good. Giving our kids healthy foods can stabilize their energy, sharpen their minds and even help to even out their moods. It will also help them develop healthier habits as they get older.

From my experience with my picky eater daughter, foods like wraps, dips, smoothies, and popsicles, plus fruit and vegetables for color, are always fun to eat. All of my kid-friendly recipes and snack ideas, like the ones below, take no more than 15 minutes to prepare and they’re all totally healthy and delicious.

Do the right thing for their health (and your peace of mind) by taking a few minutes in the morning to prepare their food. I promise, it’s an investment you won’t regret. Just follow my nutrition principles by combining lean proteins, high fiber complex carbohydrates and healthy fats with every meal when preparing their lunches and snacks for school. This will give them the energy they need to make it through the day with a delicious, healthy lunch that they’ll look forward to… and they won’t trade away!

That’s it! fruit bars
Low fat string cheese
Grapes
Carrots and Celery
Pretzels
Pop chips
Packaged dry green beans
Edamame
Snap Pea Crisps
Apple Crushers
Veggie chips
Individually packaged organic Apple sauce (They come in a variety of flavors including plain, berry and cinnamon, and pear. Make sure they say “No Sugar Added”!)
Mini packages of hummus

Stay tuned next week when I discuss guidelines for pre-packaged snacks and how to read labels.

Peace and Healthy Kids!
Sima

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