Average Weight For A 5 4 12 Year Old Boy 5 Ways to Add Easy Vegetable and Fruits to Your Child’s Diet

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5 Ways to Add Easy Vegetable and Fruits to Your Child’s Diet

We’ve all heard the term “5 A Day” from the United States Department of Agriculture for years now. But, did you know that the recommendation has increased to 7 to 13 meals a day? That may seem difficult to the average parent!

Why do we need more fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are full of important nutrients that can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Did you know:

1. More than 20 million children and adults have diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association.

2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64% of adults are obese.

3. According to the American Heart Association, more than 80 million Americans have some form of heart disease.

4. According to the Bogalusa Heart Study, by the age of 12, approximately 70% of our children have developed early stages of heart disease.

5. Nearly 50% of obese teenagers are still obese as adults according to the International Journal of Obesity.

These are staggering facts!

Make sure you and your family are on the path to better health with these 5 easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet:

1. SNACKING: Always keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand on the LOW shelf of your refrigerator for easy access to children. Prepare after-school snacks like Ants on a Wheel (celery with peanuts and raisins) or Potted Vegetables (a small bowl of hummus with baby carrots sticking out and parsley on top for “leaf”) Kids love fun food! Why do you think they sell so many foods that have cartoon characters on them?

2. Mirror: Let your children see you eating vegetables and fruits. The more children see their parents eating healthy, the more likely they will adopt that behavior. The “do as I say, not as I do” pattern DOESN’T WORK! You need fruits and vegetables every day as much as they do. So, eat UP!

3. GIFT: Just adding a handful of veggies to an omelet or some fruit to oatmeal can be an easy way to add to your diet. Try adding pureed carrots and squash to spaghetti sauce or make a smoothie with low-fat yogurt, berries, ice water and even some green veggies like kale and cucumber. (My kids drink this and they won’t eat kale by itself! I even make the smoothies into popsicles in the summer.)

4. ACTIVITY: Planting a garden in the backyard is a great way to get kids involved in their food. Growing vegetables gives children a sense of pride and encourages them to eat what they have grown. My kids can’t wait to get into the garden and pick fresh vegetables and herbs for our summer dinners!

5. FOOD: Make it a priority when preparing meals to include as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Serve vegetable soup or a side salad with your meal or a glass of fruit with frozen yogurt for dessert. Make kabobs on the grill or roast root vegetables in the oven for a delicious meal.

Making simple changes to your family’s diet will not only improve their health, it will improve their happiness as well.

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