More and more Americans are gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. Children who gain too much weight are more likely to have health problems when they get older and are also more likely to be overweight adults. Simple changes can make a big difference for the whole family. For overweight children the goal is simple – slow down the rate of weight gain in order to give their bodies a chance to catch up with their weight as they grow taller.
A recent scientific study showed that families can slow the rate of weight gain in overweight children just by making 2 simple changes:
Cut 100 calories from the daily diet
Add 2,000 extra steps a day
How can I cut 100 calories per day?
Using SPLENDA® Sweetener Products instead of sugar is an easy way to reduce the added sugar and extra calories in your family’s diet.
How can I encourage my family to make healthier choices all day long?
For younger children:
Give little ones healthy options and let them choose what they want
Try making vegetables different ways (raw, steamed, sautéed) until you find one your child likes
Finely chop vegetables and add them to things like spaghetti sauce, pizza, burgers, or macaroni and cheese
Make fruit fun: cut it into shapes, dip it in yogurt, sprinkle it with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
Take teens grocery shopping and allow them to choose healthy snacks to keep at home
Stress the short-term benefits of eating healthy foods—more energy, healthy skin, healthier weight with less effort spent “dieting”
Add fruits into low-fat pancakes, muffins, smoothies, and puddings
Trimming empty calories from lunches is a snap. Try introducing these healthy foods into your child’s lunchtime routine:
water, a can of vegetable juice, or 1% milk
whole wheat bread, bagels, pita pockets, or tortilla wraps
individual servings of fresh fruit, unsweetened applesauce, or canned fruit in a light syrup or its own juice
low-fat yogurt, calcium-fortified orange juice, or low-fat cheese
baked chips, pretzels, breadsticks, popcorn, rice crackers, or other low-fat crackers
low-fat or fat-free turkey breast, bologna, chicken breast, ham, or roast beef
graham crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, fig bars
hummus, mustard, or bean dip
a high-fiber breakfast bar
Some simple ways to cut 100 calories
A pitcher of KOOL-AID® sweetened with a cup of sugar
A pitcher of KOOL-AID® sweetened with a cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
Cereal with 2 teaspoons sugar sprinkled on top
Cereal with one packet of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener sprinkled on top
Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt (6 oz.)
Yogurt made with a no calorie sweetener such as SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener
8 fluid ounces fresh-squeezed lemonade sweetened with sugar
8 fluid ounces fresh-squeezed lemonade sweetened with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
12 fluid ounces regular cola
12 fluid ounces no-calorie cola sweetened with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
1 chocolate chip cookie
1 chocolate chip cookie baked with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener
Adding 2,000 Extra Steps A Day Is Easier Than You Think
Two thousand steps equals about 1 mile, or about 15-20 minutes of walking. But nobody is saying you have to take those extra 2,000 steps all at once. They can be easily spread out throughout the day. And secondly, if you have kids, you KNOW how active they can be; there are a lot of ways to include these extra “steps” that have nothing to do with walking. Here are some fun ways you can encourage your children to get their 2,000 extra steps—and you can join in too!
Instead of having children...
Try having them...
Sit while watching TV
Move during every commercial. Do jumping jacks, use a hula hoop, or make up a dance
Play computer games after school
Shoot hoops or ride bikes or scooters with other kids in the neighborhood; help out around the house
Watch a regular video
Do a jazzercise or hip-hop video or DVD with friends or family
Ask to be driven everywhere
When possible, walk, bike, rollerblade or skateboard to where they want to go
Spend time with friends just "sitting around"
Go hiking. Play active games you can find at the dollar store; try big bubble wands, jump ropes, hopscotch or Frisbee disc**
** The third-party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.
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