With busy schedules, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet. But doctors say for kids with active routines; it’s important to keep their bodies fueled with the right foods. “Kids are eating fast food because they are doing a lot of activities and they are going from here to there, so it’s quicker, but there are ways to make even that a healthier option. So we talk a lot about looking at the menus ahead of time, making healthy choices,” said Dr. Denise Drago, a pediatrician with Lee Health.
Planning is key when it comes to sustaining a healthy lifestyle. “If we know we have a busy day if we can prep snacks to bring in the car, or when we go to fast food restaurants, doing healthier options where you have more control on what goes in your food,” said Dr. Drago.
Healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. It’s also important to limit sugary snacks, drinks, and processed foods. “The liquid calories are really a big problem. Soda, Gatorade, things that you wouldn’t think, especially if you are an active kid who is outside exercising, a lot of parents will give their kids Gatorade. Gatorade isn’t a bad thing, but it does have a lot of extra calories just like soda does,” she said.
Be mindful of ingredients, especially in drinks and packaged snacks—doctors say you want to limit the amount of sugar and saturated fat. “We definitely see a lot more overweight kids, and we see more kids where their idea of what a healthy diet is, is just not really in line,” Dr. Drago said.
Giving children healthier options and allowing them to help with meal planning can not only help you save time and money— but it can also help children develop a healthy lifestyle.