A new report advises parents and care givers to follow food guidelines and portion-control when it comes to feeding their young children.
The Institute of Medicine reports that children aged two to five are getting fatter faster, and it has a lot to do with the amount — or lack there of — of physical activity. Contrary to popular belief, kids do not “outgrow” their baby fat and parents need to step up and start making healthier and smarter choices when it comes to their children’s diet and exercise.
Parents or guardians need to pay attention to the change between the amount of baby food their child was consuming to the amount of “big kid” food their stomachs are transitioning to.
The Institute of Medicine says that children don’t need to go on diets, but their parents should recognize that early pounds can have a lasting effect on their health. “It’s a huge opportunity to instill good habits at a time when you don’t have to change old ones,” panel chair Leann Birch says.
And the director of Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Childhood Obesity Research adds, “If you give them larger portions, they eat more.”
Think about it. A baby stops drinking milk when they’re full — that’s what kids should be doing while they’re eating meals.
The nation’s dietary guidelines include a special section for pre-schoolers, and include information that a portion size for a child is about one tablespoon of each food type per year of age.
Also, children aged between two and five need to get at least 15 minutes of physical activity for every hour they spend in childcare, the report suggests. It’s time to fight America’s newest problem — obesity.
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