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Nutrition

Promoting a Healthy Weight: What Can Parents Do?, by Danielle Haley, MPH, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Promoting a Healthy Weight: What Can Parents Do?

A recent survey by Nemours Children’s Health System, the Delaware Survey of Children’s Health (DSCH), showed that 36 percent of children in Delaware are overweight or obese. From the survey, we also learned that there’s a gap between how parents perceive their children’s weight and the reality of their actual weight. According to the DSCH findings, 80 percent of all overweight children and 53 percent of all obese children are considered by their parents to be “normal weight.” A key first step in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to understand exactly what that means and why it’s so important to their overall health. How Do I Know if My Child’s at a Healthy Weight? Calculate your child’s body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of your weight compared to your height. Calculating BMI on your own can be complicated, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created an easy […]

young men showcasing healthy eating in college

Healthy Eating in College

College is such an exciting time in a young person’s life. For many, it marks a new beginning and an age of independence students probably haven’t experienced before, especially if they move away from home and choose to live on campus. Suddenly your “baby” is solely responsible for waking up on time for class, doing laundry, and – maybe for the first time – making healthy food choices. Navigating the kitchen at home may be an easier task than navigating one of the many all-you-can-eat dining halls on campus. But fear not! It isn’t impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the college years. Share the following tips with your teen to help with healthy eating in college. Stock up the mini-fridge. Healthy eating in college starts in the dorm room. Having nutritious food choices on hand is a must. Keeping things in a mini-fridge is always a good idea. […]

Boy eating seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Desperately Seeking Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

One of my favorite things about summer has always been the great variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. In addition to being delicious, they’re packed with nutrients including fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate. The high water content also makes them a perfect snack to help kids stay hydrated during the hot summer months. Mix It Up With Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables You can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet in a variety of ways to help beat the heat this summer: Try freezing grapes, melons, orange slices, or your favorite fruit so it’s still cold when your child wants a snack at the pool or beach. Add seasonal fruits and vegetables to water. Include cucumbers, strawberries, lemons, or limes to give it a refreshing summer-time taste. It’s also a healthy alternative to juice without providing extra sugar. Just slice up the produce of your […]

Boy and girl drink milk with lots of vitamin D and calcium

Calcium and Vitamin D: Are Your Kids Getting Enough?

Did you know that your children’s adolescent years are critical for building bone mass? On average, peak bone mass is achieved at 12.5 years of age for girls, and 14 years of age for boys. By the age of 18, nearly 90 percent of peak bone mass has been acquired. This means that our kids must make the most of their diets and physical activity prior to becoming an adult, as they will rely on their acquired bone mass for the rest of their lives! Why Calcium and Vitamin D? Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients when discussing diet and bone health. Calcium is a mineral that makes up the bone structure (along with phosphorus). Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is necessary for our bodies to absorb calcium. Calcium is mainly found in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. The United States […]

Registered Dietitians’ Top Healthy Eating Tips for Spring and Summer

Healthy Spring and Summer Eating: Registered Dietitians’ Top Tips

Spring and summer have always been my favorite times of year. The temperatures start to warm up, and I can pack away my winter jackets for the season. The sun stays out later each day, so I have more time in the evenings to enjoy walks outside. And the fresh fruits and vegetables become more abundant than ever. During the spring and summer, trips to the farmers market are a favorite activity of mine. Nothing beats the taste of locally grown produce, freshly picked and sold to you right from the growers. I share this tip with many families and children that I see here at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. I asked other registered dietitians here at Nemours what tips they share with families looking to eat healthy during the warmer months. Here’s what they said. Snack Hacks Jaclyn Costantino: “Try homemade frozen fruit pops for a yummy, […]

Yep, Kids Can Have High Cholesterol, Too

Yep, Kids Can Have High Cholesterol, Too

You hear the word “cholesterol” and a child doesn’t exactly come to mind – more like one of us grown-ups fighting the urge to scarf down that double cheeseburger. But, in the wake of the ongoing childhood obesity epidemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says tracking youngsters’ cholesterol levels at an early age may help fend off future heart disease, the No. 1 killer of both men and women. So many adults suffer from heart disease in this country. It can be a scary disease to have and it can cause further health problems too, such as heart attacks and even erectile dysfunction. For men, erectile dysfunction can be worrying, however, there are treatments available at online pharmacies, like Blink Health. Those treatments can help men to experience better blood flow in that area, allowing them to achieve an erection. That’s just one health risk associated with heart disease, […]

Nutrition 411: National Nutrition Month — “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” from the experts at Nemours Children's Health System

National Nutrition Month: “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”

Spoiler Alert: Beet Pizza Crust Recipe Ahead (Yes, Really) National Nutrition Month is the perfect time to rethink eating habits – both yours and your child’s It’s a time to focus on the importance of making smart food choices and establishing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Healthy meals don’t have to be boring. The goal of this year’s theme, “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” is to help people enjoy all different types of food traditions and to appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences that food can add to our lives. Preparing Once-Avoided Foods in New, Fun Ways Just because you or your kids don’t like an ingredient, doesn’t mean you won’t like it prepared in another way. How many children say they “hate” tomatoes but will glad eat tomato sauce – or scoff at avocados, but scarf down guacamole? Baking, sautéing, steaming, broiling, grilling and stir-frying […]

Nutrition 411: Introducing Solid Foods from the experts at Nemours Children's Health System

Nutrition 411: Introducing Solid Foods

Starting your baby on solid foods can feel daunting for any new parent. Hopefully these answers to a few frequently asked questions will help prepare you and your little one for the big transition. Question: When can my baby start solid food? Answer: Babies can have an upset stomach, gas, pain and constipation if their digestive tract isn’t ready for solids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about the first 6 months of a baby’s life. After that, they recommend that moms continue to breastfeed and introduce complementary foods until their infants are at least 12 months old. After baby’s first birthday, you can keep on breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby desire. Before starting solids, babies should be able to hold their heads up, sit with support, open their mouths when offered food, and be able to move semi-solid food from the front […]

4 Tips to Keep Kids Heart Healthy from the experts at Nemours Children's Health System

4 Tips to Keep Kids Heart Healthy

February is Heart Month, a time when we traditionally hear many messages about adults at risk for heart disease. Now it’s time to focus this message toward kids, as medical research has shown that cardiovascular disease has its roots in childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five U.S. teens have abnormal cholesterol. This means either their good cholesterol (HDL) is too low or their bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) is too high. As a parent, you may not be thinking about what cholesterol means for your kids. But with the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, more and more kids are at risk. Obesity can not only cause abnormal cholesterol, it can lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. So, here are four steps you can start taking — today — to help keep your kids’ hearts healthier […]

Kids and Cholesterol: What Parents Need to Know Now from the experts at Nemours Children's Health System

Kids and Cholesterol: What Parents Need to Know Now

Pediatricians have been getting a lot of bad news about their patients lately: More children at younger ages are developing high cholesterol. I certainly don’t need to tell you that obesity is an epidemic in the United States. Obesity and a family history of high cholesterol levels certainly play a significant role in the development of childhood hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels). However, you should know that not all children with high cholesterol are obese — or even overweight. Over the last 40 or so years, research has shown that the atherosclerotic** changes that can lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD) begin early in life (as early as 2 years old) and continue to progress throughout life***. We know that genetics play an important role in susceptibility to early CVD, but factors like diet and excercise are just as important in determining the progress of the disease. And in some cases, an […]

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