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Seven Winning Eating Habits For Children

Getting your child to eat healthier is not as difficult as you think. Here are seven simple changes that will have a dramatic impact on your child’s eating habits.

1. Ensure they eat a nutritious breakfast every day.
Meal Planning is the most important skill for preventing obesity. Try a glass of milk, small piece of fruit, hard boiled egg or bowl of non-sugar cereal. One teaspoon of sugar added to cereal is better than a presweetened cereal (for example plain Cheerios vs. Honey Nut Cheerios).

2. Start by saying “no” to fast food restaurants and regular soda.
Every time we feed our children, we have an opportunity to prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease. A regular 20 oz. soda is 248 calories. Removing regular soda from your child’s diet will dramatically decrease the daily calories. Drink a calorie-free drink.

3. Add multiple servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Children will eat more fruits and vegetables just by having them readily available.

4. Insist on three meals per day.
Again, a scheduled and consistent meal plan is the key to weight management. Skipping meals only leads to overeating at the next meal.

5. No eating food in front of the TV or computer; move meals back to the kitchen or dining room table.
Most over-consumption occurs while eating in front of the TV.

6. Don’t use food as a pacifier or reward.
If you reward your children with food items at a young age, they will learn to reward themselves with food as adults. Try using non-food items as a reward.

7. Learn what's in the food your children are eating. is a wonderful resource. Check how much sugar is in one 20 oz. soda. Most regular 20 oz sodas contain 68 gms of sugar….that is 17 teaspoons of sugar….(4 gms to 1 teaspoon).

This is the first step in improving your health and lifestyle.

At Tidewater Bariatrics, my staff and I are committed to helping you achieve your weight loss goals.

I am a board certified Bariatrician and Internal Medicine physician. I will tailor a program specific to your needs, time constraints and abilities.

Our program is modeled after successful academic university medical center programs, and is dedicated to decreasing your health risk, improving nutrition, providing health education, and increasing your overall wellness. You can expect to lose weight, improve your cardio-vascular health, and reduce your risk of developing long-term obesity complications.

Even if you already have the complications of obesity, weight loss can decrease or eliminate their effects.

Dr. Margaret Gaglione

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