Food Fun and Facts-

Your Child's BMI Could Signal Weight Problems

About 13 million children in the United States are overweight, and nearly that many are believed to be at risk of becoming overweight.

How can you tell if your child is one of them?

The standard for screening for possible weight problems is the body mass index, also called BMI. In children and teens, BMI-for-age is determined by comparing weight and height against a growth chart that takes their age and sex into account.

For example, a 13-year-old girl who weighs 100 pounds and is 5 feet 2 inches tall is at a healthy weight, but a girl of the same age who is 4 feet 7 inches tall is at risk of becoming overweight

"It's important that parents know if their child is overweight or at risk for overweight," said Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"Excess weight increases a child's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions later in life."

The NIH's "We Can!" program (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity Nutrition)
recommends that parents ask their primary care provider or pediatrician to regularly determine their child's BMI-for-age to track changes that could signal excessive weight gain.

"We Can!" is a public education program designed to help children between the ages of 8 and 13 stay at a healthy weight through improving food choices, increasing physical activity and reducing television and recreational computer time.

What can parents do to prevent their children from becoming overweight?
"The best way to have your child grow at a healthy weight is to balance energy in with energy out," Nabel says.

"Energy in" is calories consumed from food and beverages, and "energy out" is calories burned during physical activity.

An easy way for a child to cut energy in is to trade a bottle of regular soda for a glass of water each day, and to increase energy out, go on a family bike ride or hike

For a free "We Can!" parents' handbook and other tools, including BMI-for-age growth charts, visit or call 866-35-WECAN.

For information about healthy weight in adults, log on to

HEALTH, SAFETY, AND NUTRITION FOR THE YOUNG CHILD, 8th Edition, covers the contemporary health, safety, and nutrition needs of infant through school-age children in one comprehensive volume, with extensive coverage of topics critical to the early identification of children's health conditions and the promotion of children's well-being.

Concepts are backed by the latest research findings and linked to the key professional standards of the field.

Collaboration with families, sensitivity to individual differences, and the critical importance of health, safety, and nutrition education continue to be stressed.

Written in a clear, concise, and thought-provoking manner, this time-proven book is filled with easy-to-access checklists, guidelines, and lesson plans that no early childhood student or professional should be without!

Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child

Pear Ka-bobs With Strawberry Dipping Sauce Recipe


  • 1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • 2 Anjou USA Pears, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 bananas cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 cups strawberries, stems removed
  • 6 wooden skewers


  1. In small bowl combine yogurt and strawberry preserves. Set aside.
  2. Thread fruits by alternating pears, bananas, pineapple and strawberries onto skewers.
  3. Serve fruit skewers with a dollop of the strawberry sauce on the side.     Serves 6
Calories:162g Total Fat:0.05g
Cholesterol:39mg Protein:0.05g
Carbohydrates:2.60g Sodium:24mg

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Produce for Better Health Foundation

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Help Kids Eat Healthy
Children born today will live shorter lives than their parents and grandparents because of the obesity epidemic in America.

Despite heightened awareness of the problem and advances in healthcare, present strategies are not working to reverse the trend.

This book aims to honestly answer questions currently weighing on the minds of many parents: How can I prevent or reverse obesity in my child or adolescent? How do I ensure that my child will not become obese during his or her lifetime?

Written by a registered dietitian and mother, The Poisoning of Our Children contains practical advice that can be incorporated into a family’s daily life immediately.

Based on credible research, it gives parents the knowledge and tools they need for raising healthy children from the start.
And it provides pediatricians and health professionals with the evidence they need when working with families.

This book goes beyond the obvious problems of unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity; it closely examines the roles of modern-day American culture and lifestyle habits.

Rather than offering a list of “do’s” and “don’ts,” the emphasis is on developing healthy habits to last a lifetime.

The Poisoning of Our Children:
Fighting the Obesity Epidemic in America

Help Kids Eat Healthy Let them help you in the kitchen
(Family Features) -

It's never too early to start teaching children about cooking. Involving kids in meal preparation encourages healthy eating habits and introduces them to the value and importance of nutritious, balanced meals.

Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., heads Produce for Better Health Foundation, the nonprofit entity behind the Fruits Veggies - More Matters national public health initiative.

Pivonka says the kitchen can be a great place to stir up some fun while teaching healthy eating habits.

As a working mother of two, Pivonka understands that getting kids to eat healthy fruits and vegetables can sometimes be a challenge.

"Involving children in cooking is an important step in getting kids interested in fruits and vegetables and getting them more excited about eating them," she says.

"Kids can help by measuring, mixing or gathering ingredients while you cook.

If kids help with the cooking, they are more inclined to eat what's on the table.
At my house, we make meal planning and preparation a family activity."

Let toddlers help you "cook" by using toy food, pots, pans, bowls and spoons to copy what you're doing.

Preschoolers can help by measuring ingredients and stirring.
Grade school kids can make simple, no-bake recipes or use the microwave with proper supervision.

Remember to use child-size tools and, if the counter is too high, use a sturdy step stool or have children sit at the kitchen table while they help.

Pivonka says taking a little extra time at the grocery store to interact with kids and single out fruits and vegetables as important is another way to persuade kids to give them another try.

"Kids like to have fun with their food, so one way to get them to eat something is to offer it with a dip," Pivonka says.
"Once children turn about two years old, they can really get into dipping and might try things they wouldn't otherwise if they're served with some kind of dip."

She offers some dipping suggestions like low-fat ranch dressing, mild salsa, guacamole, or hummus for dipping vegetables, or any flavor of low-fat yogurt or peanut butter for dipping fruit.

Pear Ka-bobs with Strawberry Dipping Sauce and Pear Party Salsa are two fun recipes that let children dip their food.

"Make sure their snacks are just as nutritious as their meals.

If you're looking for a 100-calorie snack, don't reach for a prepackaged processed item.

One medium-sized fresh pear is a portable, single serving that tops out at 100 calories with no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

Fresh pears, tomatoes, and other fruits and veggies are now available all year round.
Their versatility and nutritional value make them very popular with people of all ages.
They're budget friendly and good for your health."

Parents interested in tips for getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables, and delicious recipe ideas for dishes that children will willingly eat are encouraged to visit the Fruits Veggies

More Matters website,

The website also features some materials to make taking your child food shopping with you an educational experience.

The Take Your Child to the Supermarket materials are available to everyone online, free of charge.
Just print them out and plan a trip to the store.

For more information about pears, including family-friendly recipes, tips for kids, and even online games featuring fresh USA Pears grown in Oregon and Washington,

For information about the other ingredients featured in these recipes, visit

Food Fun and Facts has over 900 pages.
Use the Menu, or for a quick Search, use the Site Search Bar. Enjoy!

As much about parenting as feeding, this latest release from renowned childhood feeding expert Ellyn Satter considers the overweight child issue in a new way.

Combining scientific research with inspiring anecdotes from her decades of clinical practice, Satter challenges the conventional belief that parents must get overweight children to eat less and exercise more.

In the long run, she says, making them go hungry and forcing them to be active makes children preoccupied with food, prone to overeating, turned off to activity, and likely to gain too much weight.

Trust is a central theme here: children must be able to trust parents to provide as much food as they need to satisfy their appetites; parents must trust children to eat only as much as they need.

Satter provides compelling evidence that, if parents do their jobs with respect to feeding, children are remarkably capable of knowing how much to eat.

Your Child's Weight: Helping without Harming

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