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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

Reducing Childhood Obesity

6 Easy Steps toward healthier eating

A girl eating a salad
  1. Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned, or dried). Let your child choose them at the store.
  2. Buy fewer soft drinks and high-fat or high-calorie snack foods like chips, cookies, and candy. These snacks may be OK once in a while, but always keep healthy snack foods on hand. Offer the healthy snacks more often at snack times.
  3. Make sure your child eats breakfast every day. Breakfast provides your child with the energy he or she needs to listen and learn in school. Skipping breakfast can leave your child hungry, tired, and looking for less healthy foods later in the day.
  4. Eat fast food less often. When you do visit a fast food restaurant, encourage your family to choose the healthier options, such as salads with low-fat dressing or small sandwiches without cheese or mayonnaise.
  5. Offer your child water or low-fat milk more often than fruit juice. Low-fat milk and milk products are important for your child's development. One hundred percent fruit juice is a healthy choice but is high in calories.
  6. Be aware that some high-fat or high-sugar foods and beverages may be strongly marketed to kids. Usually these products are associated with cartoon characters, offer free toys, and come in bright packages. Talk with your child about the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods—even if these foods are not often advertised on TV or in stores.

—National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Smooth and Healthy

a smoothie and fruit

Tasty, low-fat coolers for summer fun and family health

Berry Berry Good Smoothie

1 cup low-fat strawberry yogurt
1 cup orange juice with added calcium
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen raspberries
Combine the low-fat yogurt and the orange juice in a blender and blend. Slowly add the frozen berries while blending. If your smoothie is too thick, add more orange juice until your Berry Berry Good Smoothie is the consistency you like.

Creamsicle Smoothie

1 cup orange juice with added calcium
1 cup fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
Orange peeled and sectioned (remove seeds)
Ice as needed to thin*
Combine the orange juice, vanilla frozen yogurt, and orange in a blender and blend. Slowly add ice until your Creamsicle Smoothie is the consistency you like.

Tutti-Frutti Smoothie

1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt
banana / 1 cup strawberries**
Ice as needed to thin
Combine the fat-free milk, low-fat fruit yogurt, banana, and strawberries in a blender and blend. Slowly add ice until your Tutti-Frutti Smoothie is the consistency you like.

* Freeze fruit juice (pineapple, orange, apple, white grape) in ice cube trays beforehand and then save them in a resealable bag. Substitute the frozen fruit juice for plain ice for an extra flavorful smoothie.
** Try peeling, slicing, and freezing the banana in a resealable bag for an extra cold and creamy Tropical Smoothie.

—Recipes from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Spring / Summer 2010 Issue: Volume 5 Number 2 Pages 10 – 11