Friday, May 8, 2009

Calories and Kids

Hey, wouldn't it be nice if your kids automatically ate healthy and you didn't have to teach them? Too bad most of the adults don't eat healthy either, but if you fall into the category of wanting too, then you've come to the right spot for help. Teaching your kids about calories is essential to their health, which is obvious. However, we aren't just talking about in the next couple years, but the rest the rest of their life. Heck, you might even learn a few things along the way and be healthier yourself.

The first thing to understand is that counting calories is generally not advised by nutritionists nor is it healthy for your children. So if you're out there doing it right now, or making a meal for a child and keeping track, then stop. To be honest, an active elementary child can easily burn 2,000 calories a day. If you have one that isn't very active, they can still burn around 1,500 a day.

See, when we are fighting to give our children healthier bodies, there is a lot more at stake. Obesity is becoming a major concern in children and we are partly to blame. If you're one that likes to look at a calorie chart keep in mind that there is a difference in the food you consume. Getting the same calories from soda and fast food as fruits and veggies is one thing, but there is a such thing as bad calories so stick with the latter choices.

Sometimes we will be worried about overeating and if that's the case then have a discussion with your child about moderations. Even though the body has "craving sensors" you can turn them off by offering substitutes. Plus, since children eat different then parents, if you aren't consuming empty calories then they will be easier to burn throughout the day.

All of this is serious to think about, but if you take one thing away from this article it's going to be the following. If your child consumes 500 more calories then they will burn each week, he/she will gain an extra pound of excess body fat in a week. You would be surprised at how often this occurs throughout the world. Below you will find a nice little chart that portrays a proper intake for both gender and age. You might want to utilize it the next time you are preparing meals throughout the week.

Average Nutritional Recommendations for Children

?1000 - 1400 for a 2 to3 year old
?1400-1600 for a 4 to 8 year old
?1600-2000 for girls 9 to 13 years old
?1800-2200 for boys 9 to 13 years old
?2000 for girls 14 to 18 years old
?2200- for boys 14 to 18 years old

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