Good nutrition is the fuel for happiness, intelligence, accomplishment and enduring health. But American kids are being deprived of those remarkable benefits in record numbers and to a degree that is hard to wrap your head around. New information released in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reveals that almost half of kids ages 1 to 5 don't eat even one vegetable a day and around a third don't eat even one serving of fruit. Plus, 57% drank a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once during the last week, according to the study. Limiting or reducing foods higher in added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages, is important because added sugars are associated with increased risk of obesity, cavities, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the report adds. Many times, poor nutrition happens because families don't have easy access to healthy foods or they aren't aware of the harm their dietary habits inflict on their kids -- and themselves. Whatever the cause, every parent needs to understand that cooking nutritious, delicious foods your kids will love -- and that will love them back -- does not have to be expensive or difficult. But it does take a bit of planning and a bit of research, say, by reading the recipes in my "What to Eat When Cookbook" and searching online for "healthy meals the kids will love." I got 753 million Google responses in 0.54 seconds when I searched for that phrase. Please make an effort! Your children's future and the future of this country depends on that.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email [email protected]
King Features Syndicate