Why Eat Healthy?
- To provide the necessary nutrients that your body needs to create new cells, clean toxins, and to just function every day!
- Eating right now can help prevent future diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
- You will have more energy and be more alert.
Overeating and not exercising can lead to unhealthy weight and body conditions. Obesity is defined as having more than 20 percent more than the "ideal" body weight for someone your age and height. If you think that you may be overweight or obese, talk to your parents about ways to become healthier.
If you want to eat healthy, it is important to make healthy choices in what you eat all the time -- meals and snacks.
Foods with refined grains, such as white flour or refined wheat, have high amounts of starch that the body just stores away and doesn't use. Try to eat more whole grains such as whole wheat (bread, etc.), brown rice and oats -- which provide energy over a longer period of time after you eat them.
The USDA's ChooseMyPlate.gov outlines the basic areas of foods:
- Bread, cereal, rice and pasta (remember: whole grains are healthier!)
- Milk, yogurt and cheese
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Fats, oils and sweets
You don't have to give up cake, ice cream or pizza, but remember not to eat these often, and to eat lower-fat or lower-sugar versions. Have milk or juice instead of soda, or have diet soda. Instead of cookies after school, have fruit, veggies, popcorn (low fat -- don't use too much butter) or pretzels.
- Rice cakes
- Whole wheat bread or crackers
- Dried fruits (raisins, prunes, etc.)
- Fat-free or low-fat cheese or yogurt
- Cottage cheese
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Reviewed by the Web Content Committee of PAMF
FAQs Concerning the Problems of Obesity in Children, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Nutrition and Fitness, PAMF.
Vegetarianism in Teens, Katie Ransohoff, PAMF.