US experts recommend common-sense approach to child’s health
A team of paediatricians in the United States has advised that allowing children to eat some foods with a small amount of fat and sugar is fine, especially if it encourages them to eat their vegetables.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued recommendations to parents, which emphasises the importance of a diet that includes foods from all the main groups: nuts, whole grains, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and fish.
The guidelines as published in Pediatrics, an online journal, stated that parents need to make the range of foods palatable to children, and a little fat or sugar may be required.
According to Dr Robert Murray, co-author of the paper and a professor of nutrition at Ohio State University, snacks and meals that are provided in US schools have improved, although more progress is needed in a child’s diet overall. This includes any lunches that are brought to school.
Murray recommended not excluding a foodstuff because it is labelled as ‘bad’. An example given by the academy is children drinking chocolate milk. The guidelines state that the amount of sugar in the milk is fine, as long as the rest of the child’s diet limits its consumption. He added that fat, sugar, spices, and salt may make it easier to get children to eat nutrient-rich foods.
In Britain, schools are encouraging children to make healthier choices, without the sugar and fat, by bringing in healthy tuckshop foods. Merseyside, for example, is just one of the regions to introduce nutritious options for pupils.
March 3, 2015
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