Parents go to great lengths to protect their children from the dangers of the world. Children are taught how to act around traffic, and many parents install security systems from providers such as wirelessalarmsystems.com to keep their children protected. Often, however, parents fail to protect children against the dangers of a common threat to childrens’ health: food.
Here are some areas where parents sometimes come up short:
* What does a poor diet do to children?
Poor diets lead to a long list of problems for children. It is difficult to avoid the topic of childhood obesity, and many are calling the increasing number of obese children an epidemic. While many factors play a role in causing this obesity, food is clearly at the center of the problem. Obesity can cause diabetes and other health problems in children, and obesity has a tremendous effect on how children grow.
Early puberty, for example, has been linked to obesity. Further, poor diet is linked to low energy levels and poor performance in school. Children who grow up overweight often have tremendous difficulty losing this weight when they become adults.
* What foods cause obesity in children?
Most parents are aware that sugar is linked to weight gain and obesity. What many are not aware of, however, is how much sugar food and drinks contain. One can of a cola drink contains approximately nine teaspoons of sugar. While it is best for children to simply drink water, diet sodas are far healthier than regular sodas, and children often cannot taste the difference.
Ice cream also contains large amounts of sugar; switching to frozen yogurt can reduce the amount of sugar that children consume. Fruits and fruit juices are another common source of sugar, and children should be encouraged to eat fruits in moderation.
* What about carbohydrates?
Sugar is fairly simple to understand; less sugar is better. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. The first key for parents to keep in mind is the fact that there are two basic types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, found in bread, are broken down quickly into sugar and provide a quick boost of energy.
Complex carbohydrates, found in rice, take a longer time to break down and lead to a slow but consistent supply of energy. Protein is the most important nutrient that children need to grow, but carbohydrates are necessary to fuel a child through the day. Parents should try to limit the amount of simple carbohydrates that their children ingest and replace it with complex carbohydrates.
Proper nutrition is difficult to achieve, but the effort makes a tremendous difference for children. Many experts are encouraging parents to teach their children the basics of nutrition as they learn about it themselves and involve them in the decision-making process. It is also important to keep in mind the fact that good nutrition does not require bland foods. By expanding their cooking capabilities, parents can created delicious, healthy meals while setting a good example for their children.
This has been a guest post.