HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Many studies have shown that healthy, balanced diets can promote proper growth and development, prevent illness and help improve focus and concentration throughout the day. With this said, it is clearly important that we are making sure our children receive proper nutrition and healthy, balanced meals throughout the day.
However, sometimes making sure our kids eat healthy foods is a struggle, as they tend to be picky eaters and/or want to eat the same unhealthy choices that some of their friends might bring in their school lunches.
“Fortunately, there are ways to sneak fruits and vegetables into your kids’ diets,” explains Laura Reavis, registered dietitian at Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center. “For instance, add lettuce and tomato to your child’s turkey sandwich at lunch, and make sure the bread is whole grain. Instead of packing a Go-Gurt, which contains excess sugar, for their mid-afternoon snack, send protein-packed Greek yogurt topped with fresh blueberries or strawberries.”
Healthy, balanced diets should also be paired with regular exercise. We are all aware that Americans are now living more sedentary lifestyles, especially kids, with the widespread popularity of video games, social media and easy access to the internet and portable devices. This is why it is more important than ever for parents to encourage their kids to be active each day. Help them explore different sports or go on bike rides or walks as a family on the weekends. Teaching your children healthy habits early on will make them more likely to carry them on throughout their life.
Laura Reavis is a registered dietician specializing in pediatric nutrition at the Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center. Reavis received a Bachelor of Science in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007 and earned a Master of Science in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2009.