More kids today will die from bad eating habits than they will from tobacco, drugs and alcohol. When planning your family's meals, there are a few things to consider when you're trying to make healthier choices.
On average, children consume 450 calories a day from beverages alone—nearly twice as many as 30 years ago. Fruit juices average 120 calories a glass, sodas average 150 calories a can and shakes average about 700 calories.
The good news is liquid calories are the easiest to cut. Drink more water and start limiting the number of sodas and fruit drinks.
The dramatic increase of portion sizes is also driving up America's waistlines. Since 1977, fast food hamburgers have increased by 97 calories, french fries by 68. To create a better sense of portion control, use smaller plates, bowls and cups at home—your kids will feel less deprived if their bowls are full.
Another way to help your kids win the battle of the bulge is to sit down together. Families who eat together three or four times a week have half the weight issues of families who eat together only once or twice a week.