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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Parents can help guide good eating habits

  • With school days just around the corner, it's not too soon to think about healthy school breakfasts and lunches for children.
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  • With school days just around the corner, it's not too soon to think about healthy school breakfasts and lunches for children.
    "When they took gym classes out of schools, we saw obesity start to rise," said Keith Kantor,  who serves on the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Committee. "That's not the only reason—kids are also watching more TV and playing video games."
    He cites two other factors—parents working more, leaving children to fend for themselves, and a fear of playing outside.
    "We need to teach kids why an apple is healthier than a cupcake and why sugar and salt are bad for you," he said. "We don't teach nutrition in school anymore."
    The solution is for parents to take responsibility—preparing healthy lunches and having their kids help.
    "If you're having a problem with time, make them ahead for the week on Sunday nights," says Kantor.
    His suggestions for healthier lunches include:
    1. Pack water for drinks, not fruit drinks with added sugar or sports drinks with dyes, sugar and sodium.
    2. Stay away from processed foods.
    3. For breakfasts on the go, he recommends 6 to 8 ounces of Greek yogurt with a half cup of all-natural granola or a smoothie with fruit and protein powder.
    4. Kids and adults need 3 1/2 hours of exercise a week, a BMI below 30 and an all-natural diet.
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