Vail Health Magazine 2013 - page 21

19
2013
VVMC.com
wellness
make the decision to start or stop
something, even when parents are
encouraging them.
“Trying something new
doesn’t mean kids should always
continue it,” says Dr. Fishman.
“Make sure that they stay involved
because they like it, not because
they are told they have to finish
what they started.”
Dr. Fishman does recommend
that parents get involved with
what the kids are doing, even
beyond the times of the organized
activities, practices and compe-
titions. Involvement should be
supportive, but not forceful.
“It’s always helpful for parents
to say ‘this is for you, don’t do it to
make me happy.’ That conversation
has to be had,” says Dr. Fishman.
Injuries can also result in phys-
ical and emotional stress for kids,
and a complete recovery does not
always mean fast recovery.
“Kids can hit their head and
there are long-term concerns,” says
Dr. Fishman. “When parents want
kids to get back to their sport after
a head injury, for example, really
what they should be doing is sup-
porting a full healing process.”
Food Is Fuel
How else can parents support
their kids with their engagement
in exciting and rigorous activities?
Feed them well.
“One of the biggest problems
is that kids don’t eat breakfast or
they don’t eat a good diet,” says
Dr. Fishman.
He says that although busy
kids don’t always make room for
nutrition, parents need to make
it a priority.
Katie Mazzia, MS, RD, CDE, is a
clinical dietitian at Vail Valley Med-
ical Center. She says planning and
preparation are the most important
factors for providing kids with
nourishing and simple nutrition.
“I think the biggest thing is
taking the time to prepare healthy
food,” says Mazzia. “Anticipate
when your child might need a
snack or meal, and prepare it
before they leave the house.”
For meals, Mazzia recommends
serving kids a balanced combina-
tion of carbohydrates, proteins and
healthy fats. She says breakfast and
lunch should consist of at least
3 grams of fiber in a whole grain
form, such as a piece of bread,
oatmeal, brown rice, tortilla, as
well as a protein and a healthy fat
source. Fruit and veggies should be
incorporated, although kids may
take a little while to warm up to
their greens.
“If you want your kids to eat
more fruits and vegetables, avoid
pressuring them to eat them, or re-
warding them with a sweet if they
do, because it usually backfires,”
says Mazzia. “Don’t give up — keep
offering vegetables. It can take
15 to 20 times before new food is
accepted. Try different cooking
methods, too, such as raw, roasted,
steamed, etc…”
Kids can also get dehydrated
quickly, so Mazzia recommends
sending them with an extra filled
water bottle so they can keep their
fluid intake up.
“Just have water and food avail-
able for them,” says Mazzia. “Kids
really have fun if their parents take
the time to prepare new stuff.” She
suggests substituting bok choy
for celery, shredded cabbage for
lettuce, cauliflower for broccoli or
sweet potato fries.
Mazzia says kids should nearly
eliminate all sweetened and caf-
feinated drinks, allowing for only
6 to 8 ounces of 100 percent fruit
juice per day, and no soda, energy
or sugar drinks. Also, Mazzia says
that snacks are meant to sustain
energy between meals and should
incorporate moderation with two
to three food groups.
“Kids love to dip so cut up some
fruits and veggies and send your
kids with a container of healthy
dip,” says Mazzia. “For example, in-
stead of potato chips, you can give
them whole grain crackers, pita or
tortilla chips with 3 grams of fiber
or more, plus some veggies.”
She offers these dip ideas:
»
Peanut butter or peanut butter
powder mixed with yogurt
and cinnamon
»
Refried black beans mixed
with salsa and cheese
»
Hummus (blend with edamame
until smooth for a protein boost)
»
Mashed avocado with olive oil
and a dash of salt and pepper
Just because it’s healthy doesn’t
mean it’s not tasty.
Research shows that
dark chocolate is loaded
with antioxidants, which
can help reduce chronic
illness. The higher the
cocoa concentration, the
better it is for you; 70
percent is the optimal
level. Just keep an eye on
those fat calories — a little
chocolate goes a long way
if you just let it melt on
your tongue.
*
GOOD TO KNOW
“Kids who are active in their schools and communities
often have more well-rounded growth patterns and
relationships.” ­—Dr. Leslie Fishman
Healthy Snack Ideas
Simple Snacks
Mini sweet
peppers filled
with light
cream cheese
Fruit or veggie
smoothie
“Sushi”— spread
cream cheese
or avocado and
shredded/diced
veggies on crust-
less wheat bread,
roll up and cut
into pieces
Freshly cut fruit
with cheese
Homemade trail
mix with nuts,
dried fruit, whole
grain cereal and
dark chocolate
chips
Whole wheat
tortilla with
almond or
peanut butter,
dried cranberries
or apple slices
Gas Station Stop
»
Mozzarella
cheese stick
»
Raw nuts
»
Healthy energy bar,
such as Larabar, Clif
Bar, Luna Bar or
Kind Bar
»
Oatmeal raisin
cookie or fig bar
»
Whole grain and
low fat pretzels
or crackers
»
V8 juice
»
Water
»
Zero-calorie drink
From VVMC clinical dietitian Katie Mazzia, MS RD CDE
“Three or four hours before an activity, kids can have a balanced,
mini meal,” says Mazzia. “But an hour before a competition, they will
want to have more carbohydrates with less fat and protein, such as a
banana, yogurt, granola bar or cereal.”
Planning and preparation is key for healthy eating, so make up some
of these snacks to have them close-at-hand when hunger hits.
Dr. Leslie Fishman
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