And research shows that the taste wonít turn them off
Youíve seen the studies.† More kids are overweight than ever before.† What can mom and dad do about it?† Simple substitutions at meals and easy changes to recipes can dramatically cut the number of calories children consume.
Kids tend to eat the same weight of food from day to day.† So, if you reduce the calories rather than the weight in the meals and snacks you provide for your kids,†† You reduce calories but avoiding food with little nutrition, meaning lots of empty calories.
A study done at the U of Pennsylvania reduced calories in breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks for a group of 26 children.† And kids didnít compensate for the lower-calorie foods by eating more later in the day, according to a study presented at the 2008 meeting of the Obesity Society, an organization of weight-loss professionals.
Some changes: serving 1%, not whole milk; fruit in juice instead of in syrup; pasta with lower-fat dairy products and adding pureed vegetables; adding five times more strawberries to a yogurt parfait; making blueberry muffins with more fruit and less oil.† Researchers measured how much the children ate, and found that when they were served the lower-calorie foods, they consumed about 400 fewer calories over two days.
For parents with overweight children, this study shows that making substitutions can have a huge impact on calorie intake, says Penn State researcher Kathleen Leahy. The research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A previous study by these researchers found that preschool children who were served two different types of macaroni and cheese ate about 70 fewer calories with the lower-fat recipe. And they said they liked both dishes equally well.
Help for overweight kids:
(Links to USA Today articles)
- Why are parents in denial?
- Unhealthy kids face widespread stigma
- Diabetes keeps rising among youth
- More children adopt vegetarianism
- Dietitian stresses vegetables, portions
- Shaq helps 6 kids with obesity
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