Kate’s Corner
Jan 07 2015

  Even the Dog’s on a Diet!

I was talking with a family yesterday that was laughing about their dog being put on a diet for the New Year. Apparently, like her owners, the dog had gained a few pounds over the holidays and her vet recommended watching the extra goodies and paying attention to portion control of her food.

They were laughing because they had just talked about the fact that they were feeling like it was going to be a good idea in the New Year to watch extra goodies and pay attention to portion control at their meals too.
Everybody in the family has wellness in mind. Great idea.

Childhood obesity is an alarming epidemic in the United States.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has published extensive articles to inform families, medical professionals and children of the seriousness of multiple physical and mental health risks associate with childhood obesity.

In the New Year, families work in earnest to shed those holiday pounds and get back to – or start – good eating practices for all. The older your children get, the more they count on you to provide them with nutritious food, solid eating practices & schedules and the model of wellness. Healthy eating habits start very early!
MD-Health has excellent information for children (search height/weight chart for kids). Work with your pediatrician to learn and practice good strategies to keep kids eating healthy and maintaining excellent growth in height and weight. This will impact all areas of wellness.

Some wellness habits for children and mealtime:

1. Routines count. To create healthy eating habits, set routines that children can count on. Our bodies learn to expect food at intervals during the day; this becomes an internal clock. When children eat the recommended three solid meals a day at morning, mid-day, and evening their bodies learn to adjust and enjoy food.

2. Eat together as a family. This is much easier than you think. Take the time to put placemats, plate and utensil settings, and shared food on the table for meals. If a baby/toddler is in a highchair, bring it to the table so they have a spot at the table with their family. Share food, beverages, and conversation; be patient with young children, I promise this is worth the effort.Health.com has terrific articles exalting the many benefits of eating together as a family.

3. Choose healthy foods. Create weekly meal menus and plans. Stock the fridge and cupboards with fruits, vegetables, and nutritious options for snacks. Ask your pediatrician for suggested cereals, proteins, fats, and beverages that are geared to the nutritional needs of your children. Stay away from drive through windows, fast foods, sweets, and empty calories. Children learn very early what foods to eat. They learn to eat what you give them. Choose healthy. Parenting.com is a good source for food and family recipe ideas!

4. Exercise. Play with your children. Enjoy walking, skating, sledding, running, and shoveling in the winter. Don’t be afraid to take little ones outside to play! Bundle children up and keep an eye on the temperature. Older children are involved in many indoor exercise and play activities – join them! Be a model of active wellness.

5. Say no to begging; both the dog’s and your child’s!

“A child’s body needs nutrition, not just food.”

Julie Webb Kelley