Dietary Guidelines for kids……

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 24% of America’s children will be overweight or obese by 2015.  This is a very sad and alarming statistic. 

I asked the question yesterday How much juice do your kids drink for  a reason.  I received a Healthy Living magazine in the mail last week.  It’s a magazine provided by our health insurance carrier.  There is an article titled New diet advice from Uncle Sam that I thought was eye-opening.  A lot of the “facts” are not new to me, but I will admit I was surprised at the recommended daily juice intake for the kids.  According to the government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for all Americans, including children.  A few key points are:

Give kids less sugar.  Well, of course!  The key point I took away from this was that (1) 4 oz. serving of 100% juice a day is good enough for most kids.  My kids usually only get 1 serving of 100% juice a day.  I don’t measure it, but I know 4 oz. is 1/2 cup.  They probably get 6-8 oz. in their serving.   Amara’s juice box is 6 oz. for sure.  I still won’t measure out their juice, but I will be more aware of how much they are getting from now on.

Balance “in” with “out”.   Ensure that your kids eat a variety of nutritious foods and stay active.  I feel we are doing a good job of this so far.  Limit their screen time ( TV and playing video games) to 1-2 hours a day.  I used to be really great at this.  The kids were consistently only watching 1 hour a day.  And then summer came….oops!  School is back in session and I already noticed that the TV is either off most of the day or on the music station ( not videos, just music).

Don’t give up.  Studies show that establishing good eating habits is easier when the kids are young.  It’s harder to change habits later in life for most.

For more tips and facts log onto the health/government dietary guidelines.  I think Matt and I have done pretty well following the guidelines.  There is always room for improvement though.

How do you think you are doing?

In what area(s) can you improve?

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