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Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

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Are Your Kids Overloading Their Plates?

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How many servings is a bowl of restaurant spaghetti?

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How many servings is a bowl of restaurant spaghetti?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Whoa! That's a lot of pasta. One serving for kids 4 to 8 years old is only 1/2 cup. Kids this age only need 4 servings of grains a day. Restaurants typically dish up 3-4 cups of spaghetti. That could be twice as many grains as they need in a day. Plus, if you load up on cheese and meatballs -- mamma mia!

 

Make it healthier: Order a small bowl of spaghetti off the kid's menu. If your kids are still hungry, have them fill up with a side of broccoli, green beans, or another favorite vegetable.

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A can of soda is 1 serving.

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A can of soda is 1 serving.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

False. A can of soda is not 1 serving. A 12-ounce can of soda is actually 1 1/2 servings. Whether you drink the whole can or not, it's not a great choice for anyone, especially your kids. A can of cola, for example, has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, more than in a brownie. Sports drinks and juices also have sugar your kids don't need.

 

Water is a better option and kids can drink as much as they want. Low-fat milk is another great choice.

What does 1 serving of cheese look like?

What does 1 serving of cheese look like?

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  • Correct Answer:

Cheese is rich in protein, but it also can have a lot of unhealthy saturated fat. Don't overdo it by piling too much on your child's plate.

 

One serving is three dice-size cubes, one slice, or one piece of low-fat string cheese. Kids ages 4 to 8 need just 4 servings of dairy a day.

 

When shopping, look for low or reduced-fat cheese. They’re better than full-fat versions but still have flavor.

 

To make a snack more satisfying, add some fruit -- like 1/2 banana or a small apple. The fiber and water in the fruit will help fill him up. Plus, fruit has healthy vitamins.

What is a serving size of bread?

What is a serving size of bread?

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  • Correct Answer:

Four- to 8-year-olds need just four servings of grains like bread, pasta, or rice a day. When buying bread, choose whole wheat bread so you can give your kids the benefits of whole grains. Make sure it says whole wheat or whole grains on the ingredients list.

 

For a protein boost and satisfying snack, add a teaspoon of peanut butter and a few banana slices or a slice of low-fat cheese.

How many french fries are in a serving?

How many french fries are in a serving?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Sadly, fries don't count as a healthy vegetable because they are fried. But a salad or apple slices would. Many fast food places will let you replace fries, so ask.

 

Or if your family needs a fries fix, make your own by slicing up sweet potatoes and baking them. That will spare your family the grease and extra calories that come from frying. Plus, sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A (great for eyesight) and calcium (growing bones).

How much pizza is a serving?

How much pizza is a serving?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It depends on the size of your pie, but a serving -- for an adult or child -- is never more than one slice. If the slices are bigger than the size of two $1 bills laid together like a triangular pizza slice, then cut it in half, especially if it's for your kid.  

 

Make it better by skipping the meat toppings and piling on broccoli, tomatoes, or spinach. Avoid the breadsticks and order a side of veggies instead.

 

Your goal at every meal is to first fill half of your and your child’s plate with veggies and fruit. Then think of your main dish as the side item.

How many pancakes is a child's breakfast?

How many pancakes is a child's breakfast?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Forget that short stack. Just one pancake -- the size of a CD -- is 1 serving of grains. Remember, they only need 4 servings of grains a day. So if they do go for two pancakes, they only need 2 more servings of grains for the day.

 

The same goes for waffles -- 1 waffle is 1 serving, about the size of a CD.

 

To make breakfast better, try whole-grain pancakes or waffles. They have more fiber than plain pancakes so they are more filling and better for their hearts. Then, skip the syrup to cut sugar and top with strawberries or bananas for vitamins and minerals.

How many chicken nuggets is 1 serving?

How many chicken nuggets is 1 serving?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Kids love chicken nuggets, but they're usually deep-fried, which can mean too much unhealthy fat. In a restaurant, order extra veggies on the side to help fill them up.

 

To make your own chicken nuggets at home, dip pieces of chicken breast in egg white, then whole-grain bread crumbs. Bake 18-20 minutes at 400 F on a foil-lined baking sheet.

A serving of ice cream is about the size of a lightbulb.

A serving of ice cream is about the size of a lightbulb.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

True. A serving of ice cream is the size of a light bulb. Seem small? It's easy to over-scoop -- especially if you go to an ice cream parlor. But a serving of ice cream is only 1/2 cup, so order a kid's size or split a cup with your child.

 

When shopping for ice cream, read labels to compare sugars and unhealthy fats. Slow-churned brands are often a little healthier. And frozen yogurt isn't always better than ice cream.  It can often have just as much sugar and unhealthy fat as ice cream.

 

Top off your scoop with some strawberries or banana slices. It adds nutrition and makes up for smaller portions.

It's always better to order off the kids' menu.

It's always better to order off the kids' menu.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

False. It’s not always better to order off the kids menu. The portion sizes are more sensible, but the options are often limited. Chicken nuggets, mac 'n' cheese, and burgers aren't always the best bets. Most kids’ meals are loaded with saturated fat, sodium, and more calories than are recommended for kids.

 

Improve on a kids' meal by ordering a side of veggies.

 

Or you can also skip the kids' meals and:

  • Order a healthy appetizer or several sides off the main menu to make a meal.
  • Share a tasty but healthy dish with your child.
  • Or get him his own healthier, adult-sized entrée and box up the extra for leftovers.
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