Time Out Magazine, January 15, 2004
Eat Out: Curious Gorge.
“A cautious approach to the buffet? Dr. Sharron Dalton, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public healthy at New York University, doesn’t advise anyone to think of eating as a contest. ‘ Make an occasion of it instead of a competition—I call it competitive eating in reverse,’ she says. And eat for quality instead of quantity. If you don’t like something, don’t continue eating it.”
Child magazine, April, 2004
The New Pediatric Scare: Kids are developing chronic diseases that used to strike only adults. What will it take to turn this epidemic around?
Time Magazine, June 7, 2004
Word to Parents: Helping an overweight child can be a touchy matter. Here are some practical pointers from professionals.
“Make it fun. Try new things. Nutritionists and dietitians believe in a healthy or even playful involvement with good food. Sharron Dalton, a professor of nutrition at New York University, suggests a ‘fruit ceremony.’ Buy one unusual fruit (or vegetable) a week and do a family taste test together. Don’t give up on a new food just because it didn’t go over well the first time.”
Talking points on May 25th ABC, World News Now
Click here for a clip of show
How do we raise healthy eaters?
  • Young children know when they are full. Pushing food during early childhood (ages one to three) may over ride their appetite control system and make ir difficult for a child to recognize fullness later on (ages four to six and beyond). Try other topics at the table instead of “You have to make all of that chicken and rice disappear before leaving the table.” Try to stick with what is served and overlook what’s not eaten instead of “sugar coated cereal, anything—just eat!”
  • If parents are too pushy and then too restrictive, children get mixed messages. Restricting food around ages four and five may lead to overeating. Instead of “No more second helpings or dessert for you after all of the snacking you did this afternoon,” try “Here’s what we have for lunch (or snack); we can eat it now or save it for later.” Parents and caregivers choose what to eat; children choose whether to eat and how much to eat.
  • Children need limits and guidance. Strictly prohibiting foods usually backfires when kids later on (ages 7 and eight) have free choice of foods. Being overly permissive and serving unlimited portions of whatever children want leads to overeating too. Find a middle ground.
  • Parents/ own eating behavior often sends mixed messages. A Mom who is “always on a diet” and tells he children to “clean your plate” demonstrates food restriction while sending the message to “eat more.”
  • Should a five year old be on a diet? No, a five year old should eat like a five year old—not like an eighteen-year-old basketball player.
How do we talk to kids about eating right and healthy food?
  • Doing is better than talking: eat moderately, parents—kids will copy.
  • Plan , shop, prepare food and eat with kids—at least a few times each week. Studies show that children who eat with families at home at least three to four times a week have overall healthier food choices even when eating away from home.
  • Try one new food every two weeks—make it a fruit ceremony to guess the color, taste, texture; then cut, taste and compare.
  • Read and talk about the feelings of overweight children. The many stories about fat kids (Blubber, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Jelly Belly) whose voices portray their feelings about eating, diets and teasing give everyone in the family a chance to think about healthy eating, healthy bodies and how society responds to and makes life miserable for fat kids.
How can we make school lunches (and school eating) healthier?
  • Changing the food culture at school is challenging, but given the eating environment outside the school gate and in many homes, it is the one place to “learn [healthy eating] by doing.”
  • Overhaul the school lunch program to make it more appetizing, nutritional, and popular. How? Ask the students? Several surveys show that students are concerned about the quality of lunch—they advocate longer lunch periods (some have only 12-15 minutes for lunch) and improved nutritional value. Some schools have changed menus to foods that kids like and buy from easy-access carts: vegetable wraps, tasty grilled chicken, soyburgers, salads, and fruit cups. A “try me” cart: Yam sticks! “Edamame”—soybeans in pods!
  • Be proactive—get parents and the school board to fund the purchase and preparation of fresh foods. Big green salads in see-through containers are routinely sold-out in some schools.
  • Make school food, “cool food.” Make school lunchrooms “dining destinations”—places kids what to hang-out and eat with friends.
  • Persuade school administrators, parents and the school board to drop any ideas that the school food program should not only pay for itself, but make money for other activities. Children learn better when fed well. Good tasting nutritious food costs money; the health of our children is worth it. Instead of candy sales to raise money for the sports team, sell T-shirts or kids talents or healthy snacks.
  • Schedule recess before lunch so kids aren’t restless and are ready to eat. Provide and support strong leadership on the playground (aids are usually “safety police” and aim to keep kids from fighting). Older children learn leadership skills by guiding active play for younger kids of all sizes: freeze tag, jump rope, hop-scotch , just running around.

Copyright © 2005 OurOverweightKids