Summary Overview

Proper nutrition promotes the optimal growth and development of children. A healthy diet also helps prevent obesity and weight-related diseases.


Basics

Benefits of Healthy Eating-
  • Healthy eating helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Healthy eating reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes
  • Healthy eating reduces a child’s risk for developing obesity, osteoporosis, iron deficiency and dental cavities


Consequences of a Poor Diet-
  • A poor diet can lead to energy imbalance and lead to an increased risk for overweight and obesity
  • A poor diet can increase the risk for lung, stomach, colon and prostate cancers
  • Drinking sugar beverages or soda one or more times per week can result in weight gain, overweight and obesity

The Digestive System


Recommendations

  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free and low-fat dairy products for persons aged 2 years and older.
  • The guidelines also recommend that children, adolescents and adults limit intake of solid fats (major sources of saturated and trans fatty acids), cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and refined grains.
  • Unfortunately, most young people are not following the recommendations set forth in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • To give your child a nutritious diet:
    • Make half of what is on your child’s plate fruits and vegetables.
    • Choose healthy sources of protein, such as lean meats, nuts and eggs.
    • Eat whole-grain breads and cereals that are high in fiber.
    • Use alternative cooking methods than frying. Instead broil, grill or steam foods.
    • Limit fast food and junk food.
    • Drink water or milk instead of sugary fruit drinks and sodas

Related Facts

Most U.S. youth:

  • Do not meet the recommendations for eating 2½ cups to 6½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Do not eat the minimum recommended amounts of whole grains (2–3 ounces* each day)
  • Eat more than the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium (1,500–2,300 mg* each day)

Spokane Counts 2015- Physical Activity (Youth)

Spokane Counts 2015- Overweight (Youth)

Complete Eats

Use SNAP/EBT food benefits to buy $10 in fruits and vegetables and get a $5 coupon toward future produce purchase.

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Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program

WIC has an extraordinary record of preventing children’s health problems and improving growth and development. Locally, the health district supports this vision by offering WIC services in several convenient locations.

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