Healthy Children - December 2012

INCCRRA in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services is providing information on childhood obesity through its website. The intent is to communicate to child care practitioners, parents and others who visit the website, the seriousness of obesity in young children and to link them to current research on the issue.

Helpful suggestions for meal planning, recipes and healthy physical activities are presented on this site not just for overweight children but the health of the entire family.

New ideas are listed every month. Each month a new column on this issue of national concern is posted. It answers questions you have regarding heavy children and healthy lifestyles -- be sure to check it out.

For more information contact the Illinois Department of Human Services at (217) 785-9336 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact your local Illinois Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.

The consumer health information on childhood obesity provided by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies on the site or by any links to other sites is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product or course of action. This web site generally links to other sites that are informational in nature and does not link to commercial sites that are primarily intended for the sale of products or services. Use of this site or any links to other sites does not replace medical consultations with a qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or a loved one. You should promptly seek professional care if you have any concern about the health of you or a loved one and you should always consult your physician before you or a loved one starts a fitness regimen.

 


 

Everyday Activities

Take advantage of your child’s natural activity level by teaching him to help you inside or outside. Helping around the house teaches children responsibility and respect. Children like being helpful! At first it will take some effort on your part, but it will pay off in the long run. Helping around the house is a good alternative to watching TV. And keeping the house and yard picked up leaves a clear space for kids to play safely!

The helping activities listed below are perfect for your 3 to 5-year-old. Start with the easiest ones and work your way up to harder jobs.

Tasks your child can help with

Indoor Helping Activities
  • Pick up toys
  • Make beds (pull up the covers, fluff the pillow)
  • Sort, fold and carry laundry
  • Help wash, dry and put away dishes, pots & pans
  • Clean floors (sweep, mop, vacuum)
  • Dust furniture
  • Carry and put away groceries
  • Help cook (wash fruit, make salad)
  • Set the table for family meals
  • Water house plants
  • Feed and care for pets

 

Outdoor Helping Activities
  • sweep the porch
  • Pick up the yard
  • Rake leaves
  • Shovel snow
  • Hang out the laundry
  • Carry out the trash and recycling
  • Wash the car or brush off the snow
  • Stack firewood or pick up kindling
  • Walk the dog
  • Plant, weed and water the garden

 

Reprinted from http://healthvermont.gov/wic/documents/FITWICbooklet.pdf

 


 

Food Safety Basics for Fruits and Vegetables

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that you eat fruit and vegetables every day to help promote good health. As you strive to meet your individual recommendation, remember that proper handling and preparation can reduce the risk of food contamination and foodborne illness. To minimize your risk, keep these in mind when selecting and preparing fruits and vegetables.

Carefully select fresh fruits and vegetables. When shopping, look for produce that is not damaged or bruised and make sure that pre-cut produce is refrigerated or surrounded by ice.

Rinse all fruits and vegetables before eating. This recommendation also applies to produce with rinds or skins that are not eaten. Rinse produce just before preparing or eating to avoid premature spoilage. Follow these simple steps:

  • Clean all surfaces and utensils with soap and hot water, including cutting boards, peelers, counter tops, and knives that will touch fresh produce. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten, under clean running water and avoid using detergents or bleach. Remove the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage before washing. Produce with firm skin, such as potatoes, may require rubbing with a vegetable brush while rinsing under clean running water to remove all soil.
  • Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean paper towel and prepare, cook, or eat.
  • Packaged produce labeled "ready to eat," "pre-washed," or "triple washed" can be used without further washing.
  • Keep produce separate from raw foods like meat, poultry, and seafood, in your shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator. Throw away any produce that will not be cooked if it has touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Do not use the same cutting board without cleaning with hot water and soap before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Refrigerate all cut, peeled, or cooked produce within 2 hours. After a certain time, harmful bacteria may grow on produce and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

 

Current Food Safety Warnings

Preventing food borne illness remains a major public health challenge. Please check back for
updates.

 

For more information on food safety, visit theses helpful Web sites:

 

*Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

Article found at: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/foodsafety.html

 


 

Healthy Hints for Eating Out with Kids

Here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association to help your child make healthy food choices when eating out.

Breakfast:

  • Order an English Muffin, toast or a bagel instead of a croissant, biscuit, muffin or other pastry.
  • Choose Canadian bacon or ham instead of sausages.
  • When ordering pancakes, make sure portion sizes are appropriate and skip the butter.

 

Lunch or Dinner:

  • Ask for low-fat dressing.
  • Avoid mayonnaise and cheese on burgers and sandwiches.
  • Use catsup, mustard or barbecue sauce instead.
  • Order low-fat milk, fruit juice, or water instead of a soft drink or milkshake.
  • Stick with baked potatoes, broiled or poached items.
  • Avoid fried items such as fish and chicken patty sandwiches.

 

Eating Out Reminders

  • Ask to substitute a baked potato for fries.
  • Watch portion sizes. If portions are too large, split one entrée between two children or ask for a take-out container.
  • Ask that bread and beverages be served with the meal and not before.
  • Avoid buttery items, and any fried foods.
  • Look beyond the children’s menu. Children’s menus are often limited to fried and other high calorie foods.
  • Ask for dressings on the side.
  • Skip the sour cream.
  • Look for broth based soups.
  • Look for low-fat frozen yogurt if you have to have dessert.

 


 

Reading Suggestions for Quiet Times

Check out these children’s books at your local library.

Foods and Eating
  • Alphabet Soup by Kate Banks
  • Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat
  • What a Good Lunch! by Shigeo Watanabe
  • How Pizza Came to Queens by Dayal Kaurkhalsa
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • One Little Spoonful by Susan Aliki
  • I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  • Oliver’s Fruit Salad by Vivian French
  • Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti by Anna Grossnickle Hines
  • Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
  • The Cake That Mack Ate by Rose Robart
  • Oh Dear! by Rod Campbell
  • The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
  • The Three Bears by Paul Galdone
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly by Nadine Bernard Wescott
  • Soup for Supper by Phyllis Root
  • Fruits and Vegetables by Gladys Rosa Mendoza
  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
  • Like Butter on Pancakes by Jonathon London
  • Anytime Mapleson and the Hungry Bears by Mordicai Gerstein
  • Dinner at the Panda Palace by Nadine Bernard Wescott
  • The Pea Patch Jig by Thacher Hurd
  • Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
  • I Eat Fruit by Hannah Tofts
  • I Eat Vegetables by Hannah Tofts
Foods and Counting
  • Making Minestrone by Stella Blackstone
  • Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg
  • The Rajahs Rice (a mathematical folklore tale from India) adapted by David Barry
  • Today is Monday by Eric Carle
  • One Potato: A Counting Book of Potato Prints by Diana Pomeroy
  • Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
  • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
  • Each Orange Had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti

 

Article found at: http://healthvermont.gov/wic/documents/FITWICbooklet.pdf

 


 

Rethink Your Drink

For NUTRITION, other beverages don’t even come close.

Fat Free Milk

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   30
Vitamin D   25
Phosphorus   20
Riboflavin   20
Protein   16
Vitamin B-12   13
Potassium   11
Vitamin A   10
Niacin   10
Vitamin C   4
Sugar 12g  
Calories 85  

serving size = 8 ounces

Fat Free Chocolate Milk

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   30
Vitamin D   25
Phosphorus   20
Riboflavin   20
Protein   16
Vitamin B-12   13
Potassium   11
Vitamin A   10
Niacin   10
Vitamin C   4
Sugar (includes 2.4 tsp added sugar) 22g  
Calories 132  

serving size = 8 ounces

Orange Juice

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   2
Vitamin D   0
Phosphorus   4
Riboflavin   6
Protein   2
Vitamin B-12   0
Potassium   12
Vitamin A   2
Niacin   4
Vitamin C   140
Sugar (includes 6.7 tsp added sugar) 21g  
Calories 120  

serving size = 8 ounces

Sweetened Iced Tea

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   0
Vitamin D   0
Phosphorus   10
Riboflavin   0
Protein   0
Vitamin B-12   0
Potassium   2
Vitamin A   0
Niacin   0
Vitamin C   0
Sugar (includes 7.6 tsp added sugar) 32g  
Calories 130  

serving size = 12 ounces

Water

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   0
Vitamin D   0
Phosphorus   0
Riboflavin   0
Protein   0
Vitamin B-12   0
Potassium   0
Vitamin A   0
Niacin   0
Vitamin C   0
Sugar 0g  
Calories 0  

serving size = 8 ounces

Sports Drink

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   0
Vitamin D   0
Phosphorus   0
Riboflavin   0
Protein   0
Vitamin B-12   80
Potassium   2
Vitamin A   0
Niacin   30
Vitamin C   0
Sugar (includes 5.3 tsp added sugar) 22g  
Calories 120  

serving size = 12 ounces

Cola

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   0
Vitamin D   0
Phosphorus   4
Riboflavin   0
Protein   0
Vitamin B-12   0
Potassium   0
Vitamin A   0
Niacin   0
Vitamin C   0
Sugar
(includes 7.9 tsp added sugar)
32g  
Calories 140  

serving size = 12 ounces

Diet Cola

SubstanceAmount% Daily Value
Calcium   2
Vitamin D   0
Phosphorus   4
Riboflavin   0
Protein   0
Vitamin B-12   0
Potassium   0
Vitamin A   0
Niacin   0
Vitamin C   0
Sugar 0g  
Calories 0  

serving size = 12 ounces

USDA National Nutritional Nutrient database for Standard Reference, Release 24. The sugar and calorie data for fat free white and chocolate milk are representative of milk available in the 2011-2012 school year- MilkPEP School Channel Survey. % Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Article found at:
http://www.milkdelivers.org/file/resourcesmilkpep_rethinkdrink_nineessential_handout_2012cr_.pdf

 


 

Tackling Childhood Obesity

Obesity is now epidemic in the Unites States. Since 1974, the number of children, aged 6-11 years, who are obese, has increase from 4% to 16%. Add to this number 30% of children in this age range who are considered overweight, and almost ½ of young children are either overweight or obese. Childhood obesity results from an interaction of such factors as: family influences, not enough exercise and heredity.

Obesity is easier to prevent than to treat. It all starts with education to promote proper nutrition in early childhood. This should include a selection of low fat snacks, good exercise and monitoring television viewing.

Health Concerns

  • Obese children have shown an alarming increase in Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes.
  • Many obese children may have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis which are risk factors for heart disease. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol, fatty deposits, and other substances on the inner lining of artery walls, which can narrow the arteries, preventing sufficient blood flow to the heart. There is evidence that this buildup begins in childhood, and studies have shown that it can slowly progress into coronary disease in adulthood.
  • Some obese children may suffer from sleep apnea, which can lead to problems with learning and memory.
  • Obese children have high incidence of orthopedic problems. In young children, excess weight can lead to bowing and overgrowth of leg bones.
  • Obese children are often teased which can result in low self-esteem and even depression.

 

What to do?

  • Be good role models. If adults make healthier food choices and choose to be active rather than sedentary, then their children will most likely do the same.
  • Set guidelines for tv and video time.
  • Plan activities that involve movement.
  • Be supportive. Children need acceptance and encouragement.
  • Eat meals together at the table, not in front of the television.
  • Don’t use food as reward or punishment.
  • Don’t place overweight children on a restrictive diet. The goal is not to lose weight but to help them grow into their diet.