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Food, Fitness and Children


Help kids adjust to changes in school lunch program

With the beginning of the school year, students saw a big change in meals being served up in the school cafeteria. Here are some tips for helping your child adjust to these changes and to ensure that your child eats the nutritious foods being offered...more


24 tips for packing a healthy, affordable lunch

Proper nutrition is a key ingredient for back-to-school success. Follow these tips and not only will you save money, but you will pack a nutritious lunch that your child will enjoy...more


Breakfast is essential for school success

In recent years even more evidence supports the fact that starting your day with breakfast benefits people of all ages, especially children. Kids who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to be successful in school...more


Use MyPlate to pack a healthy school lunch

The school year is in full swing and this is a busy season for many. If you send lunch with your child, use MyPlate as a guide to effortlessly pack a healthy lunch...more


Use garden produce to make homemade baby food

Making homemade baby food is a good way to use your garden produce — you’re using quality food and you know how it was handled from seed to stove...more


Simple changes can help kids avoid obesity

During the last 30 years, obesity rates among children have tripled, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate we have reached the point where one in three American children are overweight or obese...more


Help your child develop healthy eating habits

One of the best gifts a parent can give a child is helping them develop healthy eating habits, which can build a strong foundation for lifelong health...more


Getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables

Getting kids excited about fruits and vegetables can be a challenge. If you have a picky eater who won’t touch a plate with leafy greens or an unfamiliar vegetable, try these tips...more


Drink for optimal athletic performance

Lots of body fluid is lost during physical activity and those fluids need to be replaced. If your young athlete thinks it doesn’t matter that they don’t drink, let them know that even slight dehydration can impact their performance...more


Feed your young athlete for maximum performance

Eating healthfully helps an athlete to reach their maximum potential. Good stamina and energy are also a result of regularly eating healthy meals...more


Pack a healthy sack lunch

Back to school means it’s also time to think about what children eat during the school day. What a child eats impacts their learning and behavior, as well as growth and development...more


Getting Kids in the Kitchen

"It's amazing how much kids love to eat fresh produce and to be able to prepare their own things," said Amy Hoffman, Kids in the Kitchen coordinator at Columbia's Fun City Youth Academy. "Kids are much more likely to eat something that they've prepared as opposed to something that is put in front of them." Kids in the Kitchen emphasizes basic cooking skills, healthy food choices, food safety and physical activity...more


Everyone benefits from family meals

Following more than 10 years of research, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University consistently found that kids who eat dinner with their families are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. Family meals can also help children develop lifelong health habits...more


Fun Snacks for Kids of Any Age

There are lots of easy and nutritious snacks for kids that are also delicious and fun to make and eat, no matter what age we are. Kids that are involved in making their snacks, or growing or selecting their snacks are more likely to want to eat them. Here are some easy recipes for snacks kids can help with that include veggies, fruits and milk...more


Parents can take back control from marketing aimed at their children

It is estimated that the typical child sees about 40,000 ads a year on TV and that the majority of the ads targeted to kids are for candy, cereal, soda and fast food ...more


Help Children With Healthy Habits

News reports in a variety of media have recently been informing us that we have a problem with children exceeding weight limits on car seats. Car seat makers are increasing the size of car seats to assure these children stay safe but there is still the issue of the long-term impact of childhood overweight...more


Healthy Habits for Your Preschool Aged Child

Preschool is a good time to help your child develop good eating habits. Because your child is with you most of the time, it is easier to influence their food choices. Keep in mind that the eating habits learned during this time can be carried into the future...more


Help your child snack healthfully

Snacks can provide 25% or more of food intake on any given day for your school-aged child. Because children in the six to twelve age group grow two inches and gain about five pounds a year, it is important that snacks help to provide the important nutrients these growing children need...more


Feeding your newborn

So many questions about feeding arise when the first child is born. There are questions about whether to breast or bottle feed, when to start solids, how do you know if they are eating enough, and why do they spit up. It is good to be concerned and conscientious about these things because a significant amount of growth and development happens in the first year of life...more


Baby’s First Food

Starting your infant on something other than milk is a milestone in the life of your child. During this important time in your child’s life, it is important to know what to look for as a sign that your child is ready to eat solid foods. The order in which foods are introduced is also important...more


Feeding Your Older Baby

It is amazing to think of the changes in the eating habits of your infant from the day of birth until their first birthday. They progress from drinking only milk to feeding themselves with a spoon. From six months to one year is the time of rapid change in eating skills. Here are some tips to help you help your child make all of these changes successfully...more


Ten Tips for Feeding Your Toddler

Feeding toddlers can be tricky. They have developed a mind of their own and the way you want them to eat may not always be the way they want to eat. Here are ten tips to help decrease your anxiety about feeding your little one...more


Parents: Feed Your Children Well to Prevent Chronic Disease

In many ways, children are healthier than they used to be. There is lower incidence of infant mortality and fewer deficiency diseases in children. A major threat to the health of children now is the risk of becoming overweight...more


Good nutrition can be a tough sell to finicky eaters

The picky food preferences of children can make even the best of parents struggle to ensure their child eats right and to keep mealtimes from being a battle. Ensuring that your child eats nutritious food can be a challenge, but not impossible...more


Teaching lifelong health skills to our kids

We can do a lot as parents to protect our kids from ailments that strike typically in middle age and beyond. Childhood is our “window of opportunity” to have an impact on a child’s weight, height, bones and tooth strength...more


BMI for Children and Teens

Body Mass Index (BMI) for children and teens is not the same as the BMI for adults. BMI for children and teens is determined by using gender specific BMI-for-age growth charts. In children and teens, body mass index is used to assess underweight, overweight, and risk for overweight. ...more


BMI and Your Child's Health: Resources

Information about BMI and tips on how to promote healthy habits....more


Helping children develop good health habits

Parents play an important role in helping their children develop good health habits. Healthy children eat well, live a physically active life and feel good about themselves and others. Children need encouragement from parents and other significant adults to develop healthy habits and attitudes...more


Should I Put My Child on a Diet?

Currently, American children are becoming increasingly more overweight and obese, however, the solution is not to restrict calories. Children are rapidly growing and developing their skeletal structure...more


Weight Lifting and Kids

Kids lifting weights? I know what you are thinking; strength training is dangerous for children. Many coaches, parents, and exercise professionals believe lifting weights is unsafe and not beneficial for children, despite the overwhelming research to the contrary...more


Back-to-school nutrition

As a new school year approaches, parents should be reminded of the important role nutrition plays in assuring kids a successful school year. Nutrition and learning go hand in hand. Here are a few tips suggested by the American Dietetic Association on practical, easy ways to help ensure both proper nutrition and a productive school year...more


The 8th Birthday Menu

The Nodaway County fair week is always a busy extension week, then we squeeze in freezing corn, picking green beans, and celebrating our daughter’s birthday. We usually celebrate with the immediate family with a dinner-with the birthday person in charge of the menu...more


Making Mealtime Pleasant with Young Children

Gathering around the table to share food and conversation is important for children. It provides them nourishment, and comforting routine. The dining table is a place to learn manners, share dreams, and explore new flavors.... Following are answers to some of the most common questions asked by parents and caregivers of young children...more


Number of Overweight Youth a Concern

The number of overweight children in the United States continues to climb sharply, according to initial results of the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recent study shows that 13 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight. This is up from 11 percent in the previous NHANES survey in 1994...more


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Last update: Monday, September 11, 2017