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Raise Healthy Kids With Good Eating Habits

By Sandy Schroeder

Parents usually focus on serving fruits and vegetables to their kids, but we all know sugary sodas and fat-loaded fast foods show up too. 

The trick is to minimize the bad stuff according to Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz. If a diet of excess sugar and fat is allowed to take over early on, kids may pay the price the rest of their lives. 

New studies show what can happen with serious health problems.  

Stroke and heart risk climbs - A study of adolescents published in JAMA, ages 12 to 18, who have elevated bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, are at risk for coronary artery calcification leading to early heart attacks or strokes in their 30s or 40s. 

Long-term digestion dangers - Too much sugar and fat in a child's diet can change the gut biome throughout life impacting the immune system and glucose processing. Probiotics may be needed long term to repair the damage. 

Feed Them Right 

Fill kids' plates with whole high-fiber unprocessed foods, whole grains, and lean proteins. Go light on the sugar, salt, fats and processed meats.  

Build their taste for vegetables - Try spicy black bean burritos, fresh leafy green salads, corn on the cob, broccoli and cheese soup, sweet potatoes and carrots, celery and sweet red peppers. 

Find their favorite fruits - Start with bananas, grapes and oranges and move on to strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Serve some fruit with each meal and pack them along as snacks.  

Add some protein too - Stick with low fat ground turkey, breast of chicken, fresh fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel and lean red meats.  

Hold the line on sugary sodas, franchise foods, chips, cookies, pastries and takeout foods. Make them the exception rather than the rule. 

While you are at it, consider growing a small garden in the window, on the patio in containers or in a corner of the back yard. Kids tend to get more interested in vegetables and fruits when they help grow them. Let them help cook and bake too.  

When dinnertime comes, turn off the electronics and sit down to home-cooked meals with their favorite recipes. 

The more you do to help them eat right early, the better off they will be. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chicago, Ill.

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