A Blog from Your Kaiser Permanente Pediatricians in Northern California

10 Nutritional Soundbites

What’s a parent to do? The news is so full of nutritional advice it can seem impossible to know what to feed your kids to keep them healthy!

Sugar should be avoided. Fiber is fantastic for preventing constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and is linked to a reduction in colon cancer. Blueberries and walnuts have antioxidants, salmon and tuna have vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Too much tuna has too much mercury. Too much cow’s milk can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. Too much soy milk is risky as well. How does a parent put all of this advice into action?

My patients’ parents often ask questions about nutrition. Parents may worry their kids are too picky or not growing well. They’ve heard about the obesity epidemic and want to protect their family. We all want to send our kids to school with the healthiest start possible to their day, but how?

In my conversations with parents, I find myself repeating the same things about these issues. We could call these 10 tidbits of advice, nutritional sound bites, pun intended.

10 Nutritional Sound Bites for Parents

  1. Make snacks count. They’re a great way to sneak in healthy foods.
  2. You serve, they choose. Offer healthy choices then sit back and let kids control which they eat.
  3. Limit drinks that taste sweet. Make water the daily drink – juice and soda the occasional treat.
  4. Don’t worry. Ask your pediatrician if you should be concerned about your child’s weight. If not, relax and know that children are built for success!
  5. Don’t be a short-order chef. As often as possible, cook one meal for your family and don’t cater to individual requests.
  6. Go with their strong suits average nutrition over a week or month. If they like carrots and strawberries – feed a lot of carrots and strawberries. Understand that each day’s nutrition does not have to be perfect – think long run.
  7. Talk with your kids about nutrition. They’re smart and soak up what you teach and model for them.
  8. Allow treats. Being too strict can backfire!
  9. Raise cooks. Kids who like to cook are known to eat healthier diets.
  10. Eat together. Enjoy family meals as often as possible, given your family’s busy schedule!

Stay tuned. I’ll expand on all of these in separate posts over the next several months.

Enjoy our resource to help your family eat well: https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/healthyweight/#/.

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