Alliance Against Childhood Obesity

HEALTH, PARENTING | | June 9, 2009 at 9:37 pm


Childhood Obesity is the nation’s leading health problem.  Well, I guess that is not news as we have known this for years. However , only now  we are seeing some significant movement – The American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation have formed  The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. It would be interesting to see how the big corporations, which feed off the profits from soda, chips, burgers and other fatty food, would participate in this alliance.

The best place for kids to learn healthy habits is at home.  Each day,  parents – their best role models,  can do little things that can affect  child’s health in a big way. The Alliance site has tons of ideas for parents to start a healthy living for the family. I was particularly impressed with simple yet practical ideas that are actionable right away. There are simple and easy to use every day choices that make the difference. In this fast paced world people  just can’t avoid eating out, however the Alliance has a few suggestions that would go a long way:

  • Pizza: Order a thin-crust with extra veggies. Go easy on the cheese and meats. Before you eat, use a few paper napkins to blot the extra oil. You’ll cut some fat right off the bat—and you’ll never miss it.
  • Italian Food: Avoid creamy sauces and pesto on pasta. Instead, try marinara sauce or pasta primavera. Pasta portions can be hearty—try sharing with your kids or taking some home.
  • Chinese Food: Order steamed rice instead of fried rice. Try boiled, steamed, broiled or lightly stir-fried dishes. Pile on the vegetables. Avoid deep fried and egg dishes, and go light on the salty sauces.
  • Burger Night: Try the regular or kid-sized portion. Load up on lettuce and tomato, and try to skip the cheese.
  • Breakfast: Choose a small whole-wheat, high-fiber muffin, bagel or toast. Replace the bacon or sausage with ham (it’s leaner). Watch out for fruit juices that are loaded with added sugar.

The Alliance is bringing together private and public entities to positively impact children’s lifestyle including food at home and at school. Sodexo, a leader in student nutrition,  is the first major food service provider to sign on to the Alliance Guidelines. Let us hope that it will bring a real change.

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