Can you feel it? I’m talking about the weight gain that started creeping onto your body last week and hasn’t seemed to have found its way back off yet. It starts with a mini snickers bar Halloween night, and over the next few months it will progress into mashed potatoes and pie overload until suddenly you wake up one day and you’re finding it harder to zip up your favorite jeans! But one thing many parents don’t stop to consider is that their children might possibly be gaining the same winter weight that they are.
It’s no big secret that childhood obesity is a growing problem in our country. It’s estimated by the CDC that 17 percent of children aged 2-17 are obese, and it continues to get worse every year. Being the owner of a fitness and wellness company in Northern Virginia, I learned that many of my clients were ill-informed about nutrition and felt overwhelmed about how to keep their children at an appropriate BMI (Body Mass Index). For example, does your 7 year old sedentary daughter need the same amount of calories as your 12 year old active son? The reality is no, but how much more food does your son need? Many people do not know the answer to this question, or for that matter, where to even begin in making sure children are receiving the calories they need.
I decided it was time to survey parents on what they were actually feeding their kids and then see if I could offer some guidance. What I learned from surveying more than 300 parents was that the same foods kept popping up over and over again, but many parents were clueless on how many calories their kids were actually receiving on a daily basis. What many parents don’t know is every five years, the USDA releases recommended calorie counts that every child should aim to eat daily. These calorie counts are determined by the child’s age, sex and activity level.
I decided to take those foods and write a book called Serve It Up, A Parent’s Guide to Kid-friendly Portions. Serve It Up uses the USDA Nutritional Guidelines and gives you 50 popular, kid-friendly meals and in the appropriate serving sizes.
Serve it Up is now available at Amazon.com and is the first-ever book that offers meal plans and ideas for serving kid-friendly foods in healthy portions. This book is designed to help adults feed their children popular kid foods by pairing foods in appropriate and beneficial ways. The ground-breaking idea is that children will be able to eat the foods they already eat, but do so by placing certain foods together so they are satisfying daily calories, protein, fat and carbohydrate recommendations.
Today, many homes have two working parents and it is harder to provide healthy, home-cooked meals than it was in the past. In addition, some children are reluctant to try new foods, and many parents feel guilty giving into fast and processed foods. I decided it was time to write a book that would look at commonly-served foods and give parents simple suggestions on how to serve those foods properly.
Serve it Up is the perfect book for the parent who does not have time to cook a homemade meal every night, but still wants to make sure their child stays in a healthy BMI range. Serve it Up makes it easy to determine exactly how much food to serve your child.
Please visit our website at www.serveitupfood.com and order your book today!