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♂Best Foods for Kids
♂Child Nutrition By The Book
♂Nine Kid Foods to Avoid
♂The 20 Best Snacks for Kids
♂Nutrition Facts for Kids
♂Food Guide Pyramid Becomes a Plate
♂Go, Slow, and Whoa! A Kid's Guide to Eating Right
♂The 8 Most Common Food Allergies

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Best Foods for Kids
Child Nutrition Basics
By Vincent Iannelli, M.D

Although you don't want to get in the habit of forcing your kids to eat foods they don't like or make them "clean" their plates, there are lots of healthy foods kids like. Parents often overlook these healthy foods and go straight to what they think are more "kid-friendly foods," such as hot dogs, pizza, French fries, chicken nuggets, juice and soda.

Your kids would be much better off learning to avoid those types of high-calorie, high-fat foods with foods that are high in fiber, low in fat and have calcium, iron and other vitamins and minerals, including these healthful foods that most kids love:

Milk

It often seems like toddlers and preschoolers just can't get enough milk, but as they get older, many kids start to drink less and less milk. This probably isn't because they develop a distaste for milk, but rather because so many other drinks, including soda, fruit drinks and too much fruit juice, become available at home.

Milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and protein for kids and should be a part of every child's diet 〞 unless they have a milk allergy. In fact, depending on their age, most kids should drink between 2 to 4 glasses of milk (low-fat milk if they are at least 2 years old) each day, especially if they aren't eating or drinking any other high-calcium foods.

Apples

Like most fruits, apples are are a great snack food. They are juicy, sweet (although some varieties are tart), have vitamin C, are low in calories (about 90 calories for a medium apple) and have about 5g of fiber for an unpeeled whole apple.

Unfortunately, apples are one of those healthful foods that can get turned into a "kid-friendly food" and lose a lot of their nutritional benefits.

Instead of giving their kids an unpeeled whole apple or a cut up whole apple, parents often give kids peeled apples, applesauce or apple juice as alternatives. Peeling the apple makes it lose about half of its fiber, and applesauce is also much lower in fiber than a whole apple and has more sugar and calories.

Peanut Butter

Although it would seem like a PB&J (peanut butter and jelly) would be a staple in most homes, many parents are avoiding peanut butter because of the worry about food allergies and because it is supposedly high in fat. Peanut butter is relatively high in fat, but it is mostly mono- and- poly-unsaturated fat, so it is better than the saturated fats that are found in many other high-fat foods.

Reduced fat peanut butter is also available, or if you choose a vitamin-fortified brand, such as Peter Pan Plus, it also provides your child with vitamin A, iron, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc and copper, in addition to being a good source of protein.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthful food for kids, especially for kids who don't drink a lot of milk, as yogurt is a good source of calcium.

You make think that your kids are doing well with this one, because they already eat yogurt, but if all they eat is a kids' brand of yogurt with extra sugar and no added probiotics, then they may be missing out on some of the nutritional benefits of yogurt.

When choosing a yogurt for your kids, look for one with "live active cultures" that is low-fat and without a lot of added sugar. You may also look for one with added probiotics, although not all studies agree that they are helpful.

Tuna Fish

Fish can be a healthful food, unless your kids only eat fish sticks or fried fish sandwiches. Sometimes overlooked, tuna fish is a healthful fish that many kids like.

Parents seem to be serving tuna fish less often these days because of the concerns about mercury contamination, but it is important to keep in mind that like many things, tuna fish is OK in moderation. Even with the warnings, children are allowed up to two servings a week of canned light tuna or one serving of solid white albacore tuna.

Tuna fish is a great source of protein and provides omega-3 essential fatty acids and many vitamins and minerals. To make your child's tuna fish sandwich even healthier, use low-fat mayonnaise and whole wheat bread.

Breakfast Cereal

No, a bowl full of a sugary cereal is not a healthy breakfast, but many other breakfast cereals can be a healthy part of your child's diet.

When choosing a breakfast cereal for your kids, try to look for one you can't simply eat out of the box like candy. Good choices include whole grain cereal that is calcium fortified and has added fiber. Depending on the rest of your child's diet, you may also look for a breakfast cereal that provides extra iron and other minerals and vitamins.

In general, some healthful breakfast cereals that many kids like include Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, Wheaties and Total Raisin Bran. Add a chopped banana or strawberry to the bowl, and your kids will like it even more.

Eggs

So eggs are healthy again? For a while, eggs did get a bad wrap as causing high cholesterol, but most nutrition experts now agree that eggs can be a healthy part of your diet.

Eggs are a good source of protein and contain some iron and many other vitamins and minerals.

What about cholesterol? Eggs do contain cholesterol, but they do not contain a lot of saturated fat, which is the more important factor in raising a person's cholesterol level. Still, an egg every other day is fine for most kids.

Vegetables

Of course, vegetables are going to be on the list of the best foods for kids, but that doesn't mean tricking your kids into eating them or trying to force your kids to eat brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach.

There are plenty of vegetables that kids do like, such as cooked carrots, corn, peas and baked potatoes. Cooked carrots can be an especially healthful choice as they are high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Remember to introduce your kids to a variety of vegetables at an early age, offer lots of choices, set a good example by eating vegetables as a family and continue to offer very small servings of vegetables, even when your kids don't eat them. If you keep offering them, they eventually eat them.

Oatmeal

As much as infants enjoy oatmeal cereal, it is a little surprising that they grow up on white bread and other refined grains and don't often eat oatmeal and more whole grains.

You can combat that trend by serving your kids oatmeal, which many kids love, and more oatmeal foods and snacks (oatmeal cookies, oatmeal bars, etc.).

Oatmeal is a high fiber food that is good for your kids, just like most other whole grain foods.

Sunflower Seeds

Although eating sunflower seeds may seem like a bad habit of kids on little league baseball teams, they are actually a healthful food that all kids can enjoy 〞 as long as they don't throw the shells on the floor and are old enough so that the seeds aren't a choking hazard.

Sunflower seeds are high in fiber and are a good source of iron. They also have a lot of vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc and folate.

Although high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, those are the "good" fats. Sunflower seeds are low in saturated or "bad" fats.

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Child Nutrition By The Book
Parenting By The Book
By Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Proper nutrition is important to keep your kids healthy. Unfortunately, parents aren't always clear on what makes up a healthy diet and allow their children to make choices that are far from healthy, such as drinking a lot of juice or soda, not getting enough calcium, or getting too many calories.

In addition to contributing to the current childhood obesity epidemic, kids who don't have healthy diets as young children are likely to continue to make unhealthy choices as teens and adults.

These 'Child Nutrition By The Book' guidelines can help you to make healthy choices when planning your family's diet.

Infant Nutrition
Although feeding a baby seems easy at first, since they are usually limited to just breast milk or formula, as the choices of baby food expand, such as cereal, vegetables, fruits, meats, finger foods, and table foods, parents often get confused.

♂The AAP advises that 'breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.'
♂Infants who aren't breastfeeding should be fed an iron fortified infant formula until they are 12 months old, at which time if they are not still breastfeeding, they can usually switch to whole cow's milk.
♂Infants do not usually need supplements with water or juice before they are six months old.

You usually don't need to introduce solid foods before a baby is six months old.

Milk
Milk is an important part of a healthy diet for most kids. In fact, depending on their age, most kids should drink about 2 to 4 cups of milk each day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children who are:
♂1-3 years old drink about 2 cups of milk (or other dairy products)
♂4-8 years old drink about 3 cups of milk (or other dairy products)
♂9-18 years old drink about 4 cups of milk (or other dairy products)
♂Switch your kids to low fat milk once they turn two years old.
♂Consider an alternative to cow's milk if your child has a milk allergy, such as soy milk or rice milk, although since they are low fat, they are not recommended for toddlers under age two years of age.
♂Chocolate milk adds a lot of sugar and calories to 'white' milk, unless you offer sugar free chocolate milk.
♂While drinking milk is usually good for you, drinking too much milk can lead to your child becoming constipated, overweight, or developing iron deficiency anemia.

Juice
While many kids don't drink enough milk, most drink way too much juice. And according to the AAP, drinking too much juice can contribute to obesity, the development of cavities (dental caries), diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, such as excessive gas, bloating and abdominal pain.

♂when you give your child juice, it should be pasteurized 100% fruit juice and not fruit drinks.
♂infants under 6 months of age should not be given juice, although many Pediatricians do recommend small amounts of juice for children that are constipated
♂younger children aged 1 to 6 years should have only 4-6 ounces of juice a day.
♂older children should be limited to 8-12 ounces of juice a day
♂instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits

Iron
Parents often worry that their kids don't get enough iron in their diets because they don't eat enough red meat, but toddlers who drink too much milk and teens who don't eat a balanced diet seem to be most at risk for iron deficiency.

♂Encourage your kids to eat a variety of iron rich foods and iron fortified foods each day and pair them with foods that are good source of Vitamin C, which can help your body absorb iron.
♂Consider giving your child a vitamin with iron if you don't think he can get enough iron from his diet.

Calcium
When considering their children's nutrition, parents often think more about fat grams, carbs, and calories, and forget about calcium, a mineral that is important to help build strong and healthy bones. Fortunately, if your children are meeting their daily requirements for drinking milk, then they are getting enough calcium. There are plenty of other calcium rich foods.

♂Encourage your kids to eat calcium rich foods, including those that have hidden sources of calcium.
♂Consider giving your child a calcium supplement if you don't think he can get enough calcium from his diet.

Fiber
Many children, since they don't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and they have a relatively high fat diet, tend to have diets that are low in fiber, which can lead to their becoming constipated and future health problems. Remember that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in their Guide to Your Child's Nutrition, "a person's daily intake of fiber should equal his or her age plus 5 grams (thus, for a 7-year-old, 7 + 5 = 12 grams a day) up to a maximum of 35 grams a day."

♂Encourage your kids to eat high fiber foods, including many fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), breads, and cereals.
♂Check the nutrition label to find high fiber foods, avoid adding high fat toppings to your high fiber foods, and encourage your kids to eat their fruits, like apples, with the skin on.

Calories
Kids who are overweight, in addition to not exercising enough, typically get too many calories. Although you shouldn't usually have to count calories, it can help to learn how many calories your kids need each day. Observing if your kids are gaining too much or too little weight can be a good general guide as to whether or they are getting the right amount of calories too.

♂Avoid most high calorie foods, especially on a regular basis.
♂Don't let your kids get too many calories from drinks, like juice and soda.
♂Review the serving size of foods so that your child's portions aren't too large.

Fast Food
While the occasional visit to a fast food restaurant can be a fun treat, eating there on a regular basis is likely not going to contribute to a very healthy diet.

♂Learn to make healthy choices at fast food restaurants, including small portions, salad and fruit, milk instead of soda, etc.

Common Mistakes

♂Switching to whole milk before a baby is twelve months old.
♂Not giving their kids enough milk or other calcium rich foods.
♂Giving their kids fruit drinks instead of 100% fruit juice. Many of the more popular products that parents buy are not actually 100% fruit juice.
♂Letting their kids drink soda, tea, and other drinks with caffeine.
♂Allowing their kids too get too many calories from the things they drink, whether it is soda, fruit drinks, or 100% fruit juice and not encouraging their kids to drink water instead.
♂Making serving sizes too large, which is a common way that kids get too many calories.
♂Eating too much fast food.

References:
1AAP Policy Statement. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. PEDIATRICS Vol. 115 No. 2 February 2005, pp. 496-506.
2AAP Clinical Report. Optimizing Bone Health and Calcium Intakes of Infants, Children, and Adolescents. PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 2 February 2006, pp. 578-585.
3AAP Policy Statment. The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics. PEDIATRICS Vol. 107 No. 5 May 2001, pp. 1210-1213

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Nine Kid Foods to Avoid

Using nutritional guidelines by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, TIME.com put popular kid-friendly food products to the test. Here's a sample of packaged foods that parents may be better off avoiding, plus our suggestions for what to buy instead.

What Not to Eat
♂Kid Cuisine All Star Chicken Breast Nuggets
♂Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers
♂Kudos Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
♂Betty Crocker Fruit By The Foot
♂Campbell Soup Cars Souper Shapes Condensed Soup
♂Kraft Scooby-Doo! Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
♂Oscar Mayer Lunchables Mini Tacos
♂Sunny Delight
♂Earth's Best Organic Mini Waffles

1. Kid Cuisine All Star Chicken Breast Nuggets

This frozen dinner's colorful box claims that the chicken, corn and pasta inside are a good source of five vitamins and minerals. Look more closely at the nutrition label, however, and you'll see that the sodium content is nearly 200 mg more than the recommended maximum for a full meal.

Better choice: Kid Cuisine's Twist and Twirl Spaghetti with Meatballs. It's a source of seven vitamins and minerals and much lower in sodium.

2. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers

Always a crowd-pleasing snack, these cheddar-flavored crackers' package brags they are trans-fat free. That's certainly something parents should look for at the supermarket. But these goldfish are also swimming in salt 〞 250 mg per serving.

Better choice: Honey Maid graham crackers. Put the goldfish aside for another classic kids favorite. Graham crackers are much lower in salt.

3. Kudos Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Granola is healthy, right? Not always. These snack bars are advertised as low in calories, high in calcium and made with whole grains. They're packed with sugar too.

Better choice: Cascadian Farms' Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. With this organic alternative, kids get whole grains and zero trans fats plus much less added sugar. And they can't complain 〞 there are still chocolate chips!

4. Betty Crocker Fruit By The Foot

This fruity favorite's box says these roll-ups are an excellent source of vitamin C and low in fat. The nutrition label, however, reveals that added sugar is high 〞 48% of one roll-up by weight.

Better choice: Real fruit beats processed fruit every time. Cut up orange slices for a wholesome treat that's high in vitamin C.

5. Campbell Soup Cars Souper Shapes Condensed Soup

Food for Kids unhealthy bad Sugar Salt Sodium Kraft cambells soup chicken noodles

Kids love Pixar, and this soup's got Pixar's Cars right in the can. The pasta is made with whole grains, according to the label. But each serving also contains 580 mg of sodium 〞 100 mg more than the CSPI's recommended level for soups.

Better choice: Earth's Best Organic Elmo Vegetable Soup. It has noodles shaped like the beloved Sesame Street character, but cuts down on the salt.

6. Kraft Scooby-Doo! Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

Food for Kids unhealthy bad Sugar Salt Sodium Kraft Mac and Cheese

What child doesn't love this classic? Parents might not be such a fan of its sodium content, however 〞 nearly 100 mg more than the healthy quantity for pasta.

Better choice: Uncle Ben's Brown Whole Grain Rice. Swap mac and cheese for brown rice as a side dish. You gain fiber, magnesium, vitamins E and B-6, copper, zinc 〞 without all the extra sodium.

7. Oscar Mayer Lunchables Mini Tacos

Food for Kids unhealthy bad Sugar Salt Sodium lunchables

Lunchables have become a staple for kids' lunch bags, and parents are assured by this package that the meal inside is a great source of protein. A closer inspection shows these tortillas are also full of salt 〞 790 mg worth.

Better choice: Oscar Mayer Lunchables Chicken Dunks. Can't resist the convenience of a Lunchable? Then substitute this version for the tacos. The all-white meat main dish is lower in sodium and fat. Still, it's not the best choice. We recommend that you make your own sandwich with low-fat lunchmeats, fresh veggies and whole wheat bread.

8. Sunny Delight

Sunny D may contain a full day's supply of vitamin C, as its bottle says, but the tangy orange drink is drowning in sugar 〞 27 g per glass.

Better choice: Milk. Skip Sunny D and pour your kid a glass of skim milk. It's full of calcium and essential vitamins without the sugar.

9. Earth's Best Organic Mini Waffles

Food for Kids unhealthy bad Sugar Salt Sodium Kraft waffles

They have 12 g of whole grains per serving and they're an excellent source of iron, zinc and six B vitamins, according to the box. What's not so mini about these mini waffles is the percentage of calories from fat 〞 more than 37% per four-waffle serving.

Better choice: Quaker Oats. Swap the waffles for some good old-fashioned oatmeal. It's low in fat (less than 17% of total calories per serving), and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. To sweeten it, add fruit 〞 or sprinkle on a little cinnamon, which may also help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar.

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The 20 Best Snacks for Kids
By Jacqueline Plant, Fraya Berg, and Lori Brookhart-Schervish

Toss out the junk food and start making snack time fun again! Check out these 20 kid-friendly ingredients that make great snacks, plus an easy recipe for each one.

Cheese

The protein in this kid-friendly snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. We like to stick salt-free pretzel sticks into cubes of low-fat cheese to make "satellite snacks," but you can also make cheese more interesting to kids by cutting it into fun shapes with a cookie cutter and making kabobs with your favorite fruit.

Peanut Butter

This versatile childhood favorite has plenty of protein and fiber. For a change, try making silly PB&J sandwiches with toasted mini waffles or rice cakes instead of bread, or try it with yogurt and raspberries in a yummy frozen treat that's super fun to eat.

Healthier Baked Goods

Your child will never guess you're sneaking fruits or vegetables into her diet when you bake them into yummy muffins or breads. Banana bread, zucchini muffins, and carrot bars are a few of our favorites for kids. Our tasty Yam and Jam Muffins contain beta-carotene and potassium from the sweet potatoes, but only you will know.

Whole Grain Cereal

With vitamins, calcium, and fiber, a bowl of enriched whole grain cereal with milk and fruit is a power-packed snack or healthy start to the day. For a fun and flavorful twist, try our cute clusters with yogurt-covered cereal and dried strawberries.

Quesadillas

You can mix anything with a calcium-rich cheese quesadilla: chopped vegetables, leftover cooked chicken, or even shrimp. Try our Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, which are easy to make and fun for kids to hold. Don't forget to buy a chunky veggie salsa -- with the folate in the corn, the lycopene in the tomatoes, and the fiber in the beans, this snack packs a nutritional punch.

Yogurt

Low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, and children love it dressed up. To add taste and nutritional value, whip up a yogurt parfait with berries and granola or make a homemade fruity yogurt pop that beats sugary store-bought frozen treats any day.

Eggs

One egg provides a 4-year-old with almost one-third of her protein requirements for the day. Keep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge (they last for seven days), or scramble an egg and roll it up in a flour tortilla. Another great idea: our easy breakfast pita that can be made the night before for an on-the-go meal.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet spuds are some of the most nutritious vegetables around: They're packed with vitamin A and are good sources of B6, C, and folate. These simple, delicious chips are great alternatives to the greasy, store-bought variety.

Hummus

Made from pureed chickpeas, hummus is an excellent dip for kids. It has an appealing nutty flavor, is thick enough not to be messy, and contains folate, vitamin B6, and iron. Serve hummus with cut-up vegetables or salt-free crackers for dipping, or use it to make a pita bread sandwich.

Noodles

Pasta is a fabulous source of complex carbohydrates. Pick some in your child's favorite shape, and cook up a batch to keep in the refrigerator. At snacktime, microwave a half-cup serving tossed with veggies or cooked chicken and jarred tomato sauce. Our easy protein- and fiber-rich penne has only four ingredients and is done in 20 minutes.

Pears

Rich in fiber and available year-round, pears come in many delicious varieties. Serve up equally nutritious canned pears with a small bowl of low-fat cottage cheese or pack a juicy whole pear in your child's lunch box. For an after-school snack, our Pear Pinwheels are perfect picks with three easy ingredients.

Smoothies

Kids go crazy over these delicious sippable treats, and they're packed with nutrients. Use nonfat vanilla yogurt, 100 percent orange juice, and a banana as the smoothie's base, then experiment with a combination of cut-up fresh or frozen fruit. It's a great way to sneak two or three servings of fruit and fiber into your child's diet.

Snack Mix

Toss together a healthy combo of nuts, pretzels, whole grain cereal, banana chips, and popcorn for a handy, portable snack. Nuts contain must-have minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc. Try our kid-friendly Nutty Popcorn and Fruit Mix, or make up one of your own yummy combinations!

Low-Fat Ham

It tastes just as good as regular ham, but the low-fat version is much healthier and a great way to boost your child's protein intake. Roll up a slice on its own or with a piece of cheese, make mini crustless ham sandwiches, or try our Ham and Cheese Crepes with diced ham, melty cheese, and tomatoes baked inside.

Raisins

Raisins have a lot of good things going for them such as fiber, potassium, and vitamins. Even if your picky eaters aren't going for a handful of raisins out of the box, we have a super yummy raisin snack they won't be able to pass up. Kids will love to dip and swirl apple wedges or carrot sticks for a healthy and delicious scoop of creamy covered raisins.

Apples

Apples are the go-to healthy fruit, but if you're feeling the boring apple blues and want to switch up your applesauce routine, try this delicious Instant Apple Crisp to get the vitamin C and fiber you've come to count on from apples. For an added treat, sprinkle with fresh blueberries and a dollop of low-fat vanilla yogurt.

Whole Grain Waffles

For a fun alternative to peanut butter and jelly, try whole grain waffles for a boost of iron and vitamins B6, B12, and A. These cool, kid-approved waffle sticks topped with reduced-fat cream cheese and a fruit jelly are a refreshing change for snacktime.

Strawberries

If you feel like all your kids eat are bananas and apples, try introducing vitamin C-packed fresh strawberries to their diet. For a perfect snack when you're short on time, try this vitamin- and protein-rich snack with only three ingredients. To add an extra-healthy option, choose whole wheat crepes.

Oatmeal

What kid doesn't love cookies for snacktime? Instead of buying the high-sugar, high-fat varieties from the store, bake up a batch of our low-fat Oatmeal Cookies and feel better about serving cookies and milk. The best part is you can add in whatever you want -- try raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, or nuts to boost the nutritional value and taste.

Tomatoes

Your kids will love this fruity combination of tomatoes, cantaloupe, apples, and a hint of lime. If you want to tone down the heat, use just one seeded jalapeno or none at all. Packed with lycopene from the tomato, vitamins A and C from the melon, and fiber from the apple, this healthy and delicious snack is a big winner.

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Nutrition Facts for Kids
http://www.bigoven.com/nutrition-facts-for-kids

Nutrition is essential for kids because proper nutrition helps prevent illness and disease, and affects their growth, development and learning. Eating the right food promotes a better quality of life because when kids feel good physically, they*re able to take part in the activities they enjoy. Kids who have proper nutrition generally receive higher grades because it creates a sense of well-being and increases mental clarity.

The keys to achieving wellness through nutrition include communication, guidance and support. Communicate with kids about dietary expectations by providing them with the right nutritional choices. Allow them to become active participants in choosing the right foods by going grocery shopping and preparing healthy recipes together. Guide and support them by teaching them about the various food groups, the food pyramid, how to read food labels and the role food plays in their health and overall wellness. Kids who understand the difference between nutritious and unhealthy foods become motivated to make wise choices that follows them into adulthood and creates a lifetime of lasting wellness.

Nutrition Information for Parents
♂Healthy Eating Calculator: An online tool that calculates the appropriate dietary needs for children based on factors, such as the child*s date of birth, weight, height, gender and activity levels.
♂Feeding Your Child and Teen: A comprehensive resource for parents, which explains how to handle family mealtimes, picky eaters, snacking, soda pop and vegetarians.
♂Healthy Children.org: A site that provides a wide array of child nutrition articles written by pediatricians through the American Academy of Pediatrics.
♂Eat Smart Nutrition Education: A nutritional resource for parents that includes dietary information, as well as printable nutrition handouts and information sheets on childhood nutrition and healthy habits PowerPoint presentations.
♂Fruits & Veggies More Matters: A website that provides dietary guidelines, meal planning, cooking and getting kids involved in preparing foods, as well as how to support their healthy eating habits.
♂American Heart Association: An online nutrition center that supports educating families on healthy eating habits and making dietary goals by offering information and resources on shopping, cooking, dining out and making wise food choices.

Teaching about Nutrition
♂Breakfast & Jump to It!: A teaching tool that explores the need for the right food groups, exercise and healthy eating habits. The site offers a downloadable handout that includes breakfast ideas and tips for healthy recipes and snacks.
♂Smart-Mouth.org: An interactive site the teaches parents about proper nutrition for their children, which focuses on snacks, eating out, the food industry, a calculator that compares foods, and nutrition-based articles and healthy recipes.
♂Diet and Nutrition: An informative site that provides the basics of childhood nutrition, in addition to nutrition tips, guidelines and resources.
♂Energy Balance 101: The site teaches proper nutrition and offers tips on how to eat right. Resources include a video illustrating how to teach kids proper cooking skills, and interactive activities for learning how to read food labels.
♂National Dairy Council: The website provides downloadable PDF documents that teach guidelines related to general nutrition and health, as well as the importance of milk and calcium in the diets of kids.
♂Healthy Body Image: A PDF resource manual titled ※Healthy Body Image, Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too,§ that*s intended to promote a healthy body image by understanding the importance of nutrition, fitness and the proper weight through lesson plans and activities designed for children, grades four through six.

Nutrition Information for Kids
♂Kids World - Nutrition: The site provides a food pyramid, fruit and vegetable serving information, tips on how to understand nutrition labels, and a coloring book and nutrition quiz.
♂Kids Eat Right: A website that contains nutrition articles, videos and tips for eating out, nutrition guidelines, healthy food choices, popular recipes, meal planning and preparing food.
♂Cool Food Planet: An interactive website that teaches kids healthy eating habits through quizzes, tips and question and answer activities.
♂Healthy Fridge: A site that teaches proper nutrition and eating habits through a ※Healthy Fridge§ online quiz.
♂Let*s Move!: A site that educates kids regarding the importance of water, fruits and vegetables and how to make healthy eating decisions. It also provides steps to success for a healthy body, which supports food and nutrition, as well as exercise.
♂Food Safety & Nutrition Information for Kids and Teens: Games, educational campaigns and resources that support food safety and nutrition for kids, as well as the importance of healthy nutrition.

Kid Friendly and Healthy Recipes
♂Bam! Body and Mind: Quick treat, snack and lunch recipes that kids can make themselves.
♂Dole SuperKids: Breakfast, drink, soup, salad, pizza, dinner, snack and dessert recipes for kids. The site also includes nutrition-based games, fitness information, music, comics and videos.
♂Kidnetic.com: Kid-friendly recipes are offered, as well as an interactive learning game that describes how the body*s organs work.
♂KidsHealth Recipes: A large index of general recipes, as well as special recipes for kids with cystic fibrosis, diabetes and celiac disease and those who are vegetarian or lactose intolerant.
♂Rachael Ray*s Yum-O!: A collection of healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that kids of all ages can make themselves.
♂Healthy Recipes for Kids: Healthy recipes for snacks, salads, main and side dishes created by pediatricians for kids.

Nutrition Activities for Kids
♂Healthy Eating Games: A website that includes interactive games called ※Color Me Hungry,§ Kitchen Magician,§ ※Juggling George,§ ※Lunch-o-Matic,§ ※Supermarket Adventure§ and ※Cooking with Abuela.§ The games reinforce healthy cooking and eating habits, and making wise food choices.
♂Health & Nutrition Information: The site offers a game called ※Blast Off,§ in addition to a coloring page called ※Choose My Plate§ that shows how to eat the right amounts of food.
♂Playnormous: A site that offers health and nutrition-based games and stories for kids and parents.
♂Little D*s Nutrition Expedition Games: Games designed to teach nutrition by identifying foods into the five food groups, as well as teaching the benefits of choosing healthy foods.
♂Amazing Food Detective: Become a food detective and solve a case involving a mysterious outbreak of unhealthy eating habits. The online game teaches kids how to eat right through investigative games.
♂Food a Fact of Life: A large selection of interactive games that teach kids how to balance their plates and choose healthy foods, as well as the role foods play in having a healthy body.

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Food Guide Pyramid Becomes a Plate
Plate = New Symbol for Healthy Eating

Goodbye, pyramid. Hello, plate.

The Food Guide Pyramid was the model for healthy eating in the United States. Maybe you had to memorize its rainbow stripes in school.

But the USDA, the agency in charge of nutrition, has switched to a new symbol: a colorful plate 〞called MyPlate 〞 with some of the same messages:
♂Eat a variety of foods.
♂Eat less of some foods and more of others.

The pyramid had six vertical stripes to represent the five food groups plus oils. The plate features four sections (vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein) plus a side order of dairy in blue.

The big message is that fruits and vegetables take up half the plate, with the vegetable portion being a little bigger than the fruit section.

And just like the pyramid where stripes were different widths, the plate has been divided so that the grain section is bigger than the protein section. Why? Because nutrition experts recommend you eat more vegetables than fruit and more grains than protein foods.

The divided plate also aims to discourage super-big portions, which can cause weight gain.

What's a Grain Again?

You know what fruits and vegetables are, but here's a reminder about what's included in the three other food groups: protein, grains, and dairy:
♂Protein: Beef; poultry; fish; eggs; nuts and seeds; and beans and peas like black beans, split peas, lentils, and even tofu and veggie burgers. Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body.
♂Grains: Bread, cereal, rice, tortillas, and pasta. Whole-grain products such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice are recommended because they have more fiber and help you feel full.
♂Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy milk. With MyPlate, the dairy circle could be a cup of milk, but you also can get your dairy servings from yogurt or cheese. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy most of the time.

The plate can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That may make you wonder: Do I really have to eat vegetables with breakfast? The answer is no, but aim to eat a variety of food groups at each meal. And if your breakfast doesn't include a veggie, consider a vegetable at snack time. (Yes, healthy, portion-controlled snacks are still OK.)

The plate also shows how to balance your food groups. There's a reason the protein section is smaller: You don't need as much from that group. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you eat fewer calories overall, which helps you keep a healthy weight. Eating fruits and veggies also gives you lots of vitamins and minerals.

Expect to hear more about the MyPlate. The USDA promises new online tools to help people learn how to apply it to their everyday lives at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2011

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Go, Slow, and Whoa! A Kid's Guide to Eating Right

Lots of kids want to know which foods to eat to be healthy or lose weight. Most kids don't need to be on diets, but here's something kids can do to eat healthier: Learn the difference between Go, Slow, and Whoa foods.

You probably know that foods fit in different categories. MyPlate puts them into these categories:
♂fruit
♂vegetables
♂grains
♂protein (meat, beans, fish, and nuts)
♂milk and dairy products

But foods also can be classified in three groups: Go, Slow, and Whoa. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) suggests kids think about whether foods are Go foods, Slow foods, or Whoa foods.

Go Foods

These are foods that are good to eat almost anytime. They are the healthiest ones. Example: skim and low-fat milk.

Slow Foods

These are sometimes foods. They aren't off-limits, but they shouldn't be eaten every day. At most, eat them several times a week. Example: waffles and pancakes.

Whoa Foods

These foods should make you say exactly that 〞 Whoa! Should I eat that? Whoa foods are the least healthy and the most likely to cause weight problems, especially if a person eats them all the time. That's why Whoa foods are once-in-a-while foods. Example: French fries.

Below you'll find a chart of Go, Slow, and Whoa foods. You can print this article so you can refer to the chart and learn which foods are which.

As you use the chart, you might have questions about what some of the words mean. We've provided some definitions below the chart to explain things like "extra-lean," "trans fats," and "whole grains." Be sure to show the chart to your mom and dad, too. Then everyone in the family can learn when to say Go and when to say Whoa!

1ㄝVegetables
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求Almost all fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables without added fat (such as butter) or sauces
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求All vegetables in added fat and sauces
求求Oven-baked fries
求求Avocados
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Any vegetable fried in oil, such as French fries or hash browns

2ㄝFruits
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求All fresh and frozen fruits
求求Canned fruits packed in juice
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求100% fruit juice
求求Fruits canned in light syrup
求求Dried fruits
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Fruits canned in heavy syrup

3ㄝBreads and Cereals
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求Whole-grain breads, pitas, and tortillas
求求Whole-grain pasta, brown rice
求求Hot and cold unsweetened whole-grain breakfast cereals
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求White bread and pasta that's not whole grain
求求Taco shells
求求French toast, waffles, and pancakes
求求Biscuits
求求Granola
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Doughnuts, muffins, croissants, and sweet rolls
求求Sweetened breakfast cereals
求求Crackers that have hydrogenated oils (trans fats)

4ㄝMilk and Milk Products
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求Skim and 1% milk
求求Fat-free and low-fat yogurt
求求Part-skim, reduced-fat, and fat-free cheese
求求Low-fat and fat-free cottage cheese
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求2% milk
求求Processed cheese spreads
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Whole milk
求求Full-fat cheese
求求Cream cheese
求求Yogurt made from whole milk

5ㄝMeats and Other Sources of Protein
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求Beef and pork that has been trimmed of its fat
求求Extra-lean ground beef
求求Chicken and turkey without skin
求求Tuna canned in water
求求Fish and shellfish that's been baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled
求求Beans, split peas, and lentils
求求Tofu
求求Egg whites and substitutes
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求Lean ground beef
求求Broiled hamburgers
求求Chicken and turkey with the skin
求求Tuna canned in oil
求求Ham
求求Low-fat hot dogs
求求Canadian bacon
求求Peanut butter
求求Nuts
求求Whole eggs cooked without added fat
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Beef and pork that hasn't been trimmed of its fat
求求Fried hamburgers
求求Fried chicken
求求Bacon
求求Fried fish and shellfish
求求Chicken nuggets
求求Hot dogs
求求Lunch meats
求求Pepperoni
求求Sausage
求求Ribs
求求Whole eggs cooked with added fat

6ㄝSweets and Snacks*
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求Ice milk bars
求求Frozen fruit-juice bars
求求Low-fat frozen yogurt
求求Low-fat ice cream
求求Fig bars
求求Ginger snaps
求求Baked chips
求求Low-fat microwave popcorn
求求Pretzels
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Cookies, cakes, and pies
求求Cheesecake
求求Ice cream
求求Chocolate candy
求求Chips
求求Buttered microwave popcorn

7ㄝButter, Ketchup, and Other Stuff That Goes on Food
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求Ketchup
求求Mustard
求求Fat-free creamy salad dressing
求求Fat-free mayonnaise
求求Fat-free sour cream
求求Vinegar
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求Vegetable oil**
求求Olive oil**
求求Oil-based salad dressing**
求求Low-fat creamy salad dressing
求求Low-fat mayonnaise
求求Low-fat sour cream
求求Soft margarine
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Butter
求求Stick margarine
求求Lard
求求Salt pork
求求Gravy
求求Regular creamy salad dressing
求求Mayonnaise
求求Tartar sauce
求求Sour cream
求求Cheese sauce
求求Cream sauce
求求Cream cheese dips

8ㄝDrinks
♂GO(Almost Anytime)
求求Water
求求Fat-free and 1% milk
求求Diet soda
求求Diet and unsweetened iced teas and lemonade
♂SLOW(Sometimes)
求求2% milk
求求100% fruit juice
求求Sports drinks
♂WHOA(Once in a While)
求求Whole milk
求求Regular soda
求求Sweetened iced teas and lemonade
求求Fruit drinks with less than 100% fruit juice

*Though some of the foods in this row are lower in fat and calories, all sweets and snacks need to be limited in order to not exceed one's daily calorie requirements.

**Vegetable and olive oils contain no saturated or trans fats and can be consumed daily, but in limited portions to meet daily calorie needs.
Definitions to Know

Added fats or sauces: You'll see that vegetables are on the Go list, but only when they're prepared without added fats or sauces. That means they are steamed, boiled, baked, or grilled without adding butter, other oils, or sauce.

Light syrup and heavy syrup: Fresh and frozen fruits are on the Go list because they don't contain added sugar. But sometimes canned or packaged fruits are packed in syrup. Light syrup is OK, putting those fruits on the Slow list. But heavy syrup is really sugary, so those kinds of fruits are on the Whoa list.

Whole grains: Whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients than white flour, which is used to make white bread, pasta, and lots of other stuff. Instead, look for foods that contain these ingredients:
♂whole wheat
♂whole-grain corn
♂oatmeal
♂whole oats
♂graham flour
♂brown rice

Trans fats: Hydrogenated oils fall into this category. This kind of oil is used in crackers and snack foods, but it's been found to be very unhealthy for your heart. Some products are now advertising that they have 0 trans fats.

Types of milk: Milk comes in more varieties than just white and chocolate! Skim milk and 1% milk have the least fat, so they're on the Go list, while 2% milk has a little more fat, so it's on the Slow list. Whole milk has the most fat, so it's on the Whoa list.

Extra-lean and lean beef: Your mom or dad probably decides which kind of ground beef to get at the store. Ground beef is used to make hamburgers, meatballs, taco filling, and other foods kids like. But there's more than one kind of ground beef. Stores sell it with different amounts of fat in it. The healthiest kind 〞 extra-lean 〞 has the least amount of fat, so it's on the Go list. Lean ground beef has a little more fat, so it's on the Slow list. Regular ground beef has the highest percentage of fat, so it's on the Whoa list.

Now that you know the difference between Go, Slow, and Whoa foods, you can smart choices for healthy eating!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2011

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The 8 Most Common Food Allergies
By Jeanette Bradley
http://foodallergies.about.com/od/foodallergybasics/a/big_eight_fa.htm

Between 50% and 90% of all severe allergic reactions to foods are caused by only eight foods. The most common food allergies are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Each of these "big eight" food allergies has its own unique challenges.

The most common food allergies for adults differs from the most common food allergies for children. Many children outgrow their allergies to milk, eggs, or wheat in early childhood. Adults may develop new allergies later in life.

The good news is that these ingredients should be clearly labeled with an allergy warning on all packaged foods made in the United States. For example, a food that contained hydrolyzed vegetable protein derived from soy would be required to have a statement that said "Allergy warning: contains soy" on the ingredient label.

The bad news is that not all foods are manufactured in the United States, and products such as shampoo or lotion may contain these foods but are not required to list them separately as allergens. You still need to be a label detective.

The most common food allergies, in order of frequency, are:

Milk
♂Frequency: Cow's milk is the most common food allergy in American children. 2.5 percent of children have a cow's milk allergy. It is not a major allergen for adults.
♂Outlook: Up to 80 percent of children will outgrow their allergy to dairy products by the age of six.
♂Where allergens hide: Deli meats, "non-dairy" creamer, skin and hair care products, canned tuna, and some craft paints.
♂Other sensitivities: A milk allergy is an immune response to milk proteins, which is different from lactose intolerance, in which your body lacks the enzyme needed to digest milk sugars. Children with milk allergy must avoid all dairy products, including those that are lactose-free.
♂Dairy Allergy Basics
♂Foods to Avoid on a Dairy-Free Diet

Peanuts
♂Frequency: 1.4 percent of children and 0.6 percent of adults are allergic to peanuts. There is some evidence that the rate of peanut allergies is increasing among children in the United States.
♂Outlook: Peanut allergies are often very severe, with higher rates of anaphylactic reactions than milk, eggs, or wheat. They also tend to be lifelong allergies. Only 20 percent of children will outgrow their peanut allergy by the age of six.
♂Where allergens hide: Peanut butter is sometimes used as a thickener for chili or "glue" for egg rolls. Peanut oil may be found in some skin care products. A common source for accidental exposure in children is bird seed.
♂Other sensitivities: People with peanut allergies have a higher rate of tree nut allergies than the general population, even though peanuts are legumes (beans), not nuts.
♂Peanut Allergy Basics
♂Foods to Avoid on a Peanut-Free Diet
♂Surprising Non-Food Peanut Products
♂Raising a Peanut-Free Kid

Shellfish
♂Frequency: Shellfish allergy is the most common food allergy for adults. Two percent of American adults have a shellfish allergy. 0.1 percent of children have a shellfish allergy.
♂Outlook: Shellfish and fish are allergies that often develop later in life, unlike many other allergies. They tend to be severe, life long allergies.
♂Where allergens hide: Vitamins, pet food, fertilizer, fish food. People with shellfish allergies may react if they breathe in airborne particles from sizzling or boiling food.
♂Other sensitivities: People may be allergic to crustaceans (lobsters, shrimp, crawfish) or mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels) or both.
♂Shellfish Allergy Basics
♂Foods to Avoid on a Shellfish-Free Diet

Tree Nuts
♂Frequency: 1.1 percent of children and 0.5 percent of adults have a tree nut allergy. There is some evidence that the rate of tree nut allergies is increasing in the United States.
♂Outlook: Tree nuts tend to be life long allergies, and have higher rates of anaphylactic reactions than milk, eggs, or wheat. Only 9 percent of children will outgrow their tree nut allergy by age six.
♂Where allergens hide: There are so many names for tree nuts that it can be difficult to determine if a product contains nuts. Nut shells are sometimes used to stuff beanbag kick toys, such as hacky sacks.
♂Other sensitivities: Tree nuts are actually very different from each other, and it is possible to be allergic to one nut, for example almonds, but not others. It is also possible to be allergic to multiple nuts as well as peanuts.
♂Tree Nut Allergy Basics
♂Nut Ingredients - List of Tree Nuts and Nut Ingredients

Eggs
♂Frequency: Eggs are the second most common food allergy for children. 1.5 percent of children are allergic to hen's eggs. Eggs are not a major allergens for adults.
♂Outlook: Up to 80 percent of children will outgrow their allergy to eggs by the age of six.
♂Where allergens hide: Many immunizations are created by growing viruses in hen's eggs. Ask your child's doctor about which immunizations are safe for him. Other medications, such as anesthetics, may also contain eggs. "Egg substitutes" such as Egg Beaters contain eggs.
♂Other sensitivities: It is possible to be allergic to just egg white, just egg yolk, or both. It is probably not possible to completely separate a white and a yolk from an egg at home.
♂Egg Allergy Basics
♂Foods to Avoid on an Egg-Free Diet

Fish
♂Frequency: 0.4 percent of adults and 0.1 percent of children have a fish allergy. It is possible to be allergic to just one species of fish and not others.
♂Outlook: Fish allergies often develop in adulthood. They tend to be severe, life long allergies.
♂Where allergens hide: Restaurants may fry fish in the same oil as other foods. Kosher gelatin (found in kosher pudding or marshmallows) is made from fish bones.
♂Other sensitivities: Fish that is less than fresh can develop high levels of natural histamine. When eaten, it can produce symptoms similar to food allergies, but called scromboid poisoning. If you have symptoms such as swelling of your mouth or throat, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting after eating fish, call 911. Taking a piece of the fish with you to the hospital will help doctors determine the cause of your symptoms.
♂Fish Allergy Basics
♂Foods to Avoid on a Fish-Free Diet

Soy
♂Frequency: 0.4 percent of American children are allergic to soy. It is not a major allergen for adults.
♂Outlook: About 50 percent of children will outgrow their soy allergy by the age of seven.
♂Where allergens hide: Soy is a very common ingredient in packaged foods, hair and skin products, and even gasoline. Beanbag toss toys are often stuffed with soybeans. Some organic stuffed animals are made from soy fibers. Vitamin E is usually derived from soy, and there may not be a soy allergy warning on the ingredient label.
♂Other sensitivities: Because of the risk of developing a soy allergy, babies with milk allergy or milk protein intolerance should not be fed soy-based formula.
♂Soy Allergy Overview
♂Foods to Avoid on a Soy-Free Diet
♂Surprising Non-Food Soybean Products

Wheat
♂Frequency: 0.4 percent of American children are allergic to wheat.
♂Outlook: About 80 percent of them will outgrow their wheat allergy by age six.
♂Where allergens hide: Soy sauce, beer, deli meats, imitation crab meat. Spelt and kamut contain the same proteins as wheat, and should not be eaten by people with wheat allergies. Non-food items such as glue, Play-Doh, lotions, and shampoos.
♂Other sensitivities: Wheat allergy is different from Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder in which you can not digest wheat or other gluten-containing grains, such as barley or rye. Wheat allergies can be difficult to figure out, since sometimes allergy symptoms only appear in combination with exercise (exercise-induced anaphylaxis).
♂Wheat Allergy Basics
♂Foods to Avoid on a Wheat-Free Diet
♂Foods to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

Sources:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Health Statistics. Accessed June 20, 2010. http://www.aaaai.org/media/statistics/allergy-statistics.asp#foodallergy

Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;117:S470-5.

Branum AM, Lukacs SL. Food allergy among children in the United States. Pediatrics 2009;124:1549-55.

Chafen JJ, et al. Diagnosing and managing common food allergies: a systematic review. JAMA. 2010 May 12;303(18):1848-56.

Scott H. Sicherer, MD, et al. US prevalence of self-reported peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergy: 11-year follow-up. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Volume 125, Issue 6, Pages 1322-1326 (June 2010)

Sicherer SH, Mun-oz-Furlong A, Sampson HA. Prevalence of seafood allergy in the United States determined by a random telephone survey. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;114:159-65.

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