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Think Twice Before Ordering From The Kid’s Menu

April 12, 2018

Going out to dinner as a family can be a meaningful family experience, but that may quickly change once you start glancing over the kid’s menu. The average kid’s menu generally consists of chicken fingers and fries, mac and cheese, hamburgers, and the occasional sub-par quesadilla – depending on the cuisine. Not only are these items high in fat and sodium, but they’re also unappetizing, lack flavor and tend to be overpriced! Some restaurants have the audacity to serve authentic Italian cuisine and charge $8 for buttered pasta in a bowl. The unpalatable options reserved for children are unhealthy and doesn’t allow one to take advantage of the chef’s wide array of expertise. For instance, how hard is it to make grilled cheese? The lackluster kid’s menu options aren’t exactly challenging or expanding children’s palates. A menu should serve as a great tool for school-age children to practice reading skills. […]

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Junk-Free Easter Baskets

March 28, 2018

10 Egg-Cellent Ideas for a Junk Free Easter Holiday The Easter bunny comes around every Spring with surprises sweets, treats and delights – but all baskets and eggs don’t have to be filled with chocolate. Save your kids from the inevitable sugar rush post morning egg-hunt, by incorporating healthy snacks. Show off your creativity and get festive by substituting the sweets for these healthy goodies, and non-candy options! Stay Away from Pre-Made Baskets – Have those elaborate plastic baskets shown up at your local supermarket? They’re usually filled with sugar-filled candy, chocolate, a few toys, and lots of tissue paper. Plus, they’re overpriced. Save money by grabbing a basket from a local dollar store and filling it with healthy options you know your child will enjoy. Fortune-Style Exercises – If you’re hosting an egg-hunt – type up some of your favorite heart-pumping exercises on a word document and cut them […]

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Raising Children with Healthy Eating Habits

March 9, 2018

How to encourage your picky eater to incorporate healthy food options into their diet By Marissa Davis, Project Director, Trenton YMCA and NJPHK-Trenton If you think you’re the only parent with fussy eaters at home, think again! It can be extremely tough getting kids to choose healthy options. Forcing these foods sometimes result in tantrums and meltdowns that may make mom or dad want to resort to junk food favorites, just to keep the peace. While it is difficult, it’s also important for parents to monitor what their children put into their bodies, as it sets the groundwork for their lifelong wellness and health. Here are five simple ways to incorporate healthy food options into your child’s diet. 1. Offer Only Healthy Options Your kids don’t tell you what time they’d like to go to bed, so why allow them to dictate what they eat. Adults go grocery shopping, purchase […]

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Is Obesity Declining Among Low Income US Kids?

January 16, 2018

According to a Reuters article, a recent US study indicated the proportion of poor kids receiving government food assistance who are severely obese has declined following benefits changes designed to encourage healthier purchases.  The study focused on 22.6 million young children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children 9WIC), which gives money to low-income families to purchase healthy foods…  Read more     SHARE:

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5 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Season Healthy

December 5, 2017

With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s easy to lose sight of healthy habits. Foods rich in fats, sugar, and sodium are in abundance at parties and gatherings which can make these dishes very difficult to avoid. According to an article on CalorieControl.org, the average American consumes nearly 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat at just ONE holiday meal. Don’t stress – here are 5 tips to help you keep your holiday dinners healthy and light: Bring a healthy dish with you – Bringing a dish you whip up yourself is a great way to ensure that at least one thing you eat is healthier! Eat breakfast – Starting your day off with a healthy balanced meal is always important, why skip it during the holidays? Know your limits – Stop when you’re full and pop a mint in your mouth. A fresh palette can curb overeating. Plan some […]

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FDA Continued Delay of Menu Labeling Rule Proves Unhealthy for Families

October 2, 2017

Photo by Djenaba Figueroa School is back in session which means planning healthy lunches and snacks for children to eat during the school day. In 2016, the FDA announced they were planning to release improved nutrition labels to make it easier for consumers to see what’s in the foods they’re purchasing. Unfortunately, there was a delay in production of these easy-to-read labels. Susan Jones, registered dietician, and nutritionist at Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, NJ, and member of NJPHK-Trenton, penned this op-ed about just how detrimental a delay in production of these updated labels can be for consumers nationwide.   by Susan Jones, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist at Henry J Austin Health Center Have you ever wondered how many calories are in your favorite fast food burger, breakfast sandwich, pasta entree or order of movie theater popcorn? Calorie information is available on many restaurant and food establishment menus and menu […]

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Absence of Recess a Setback for New Jersey Children

September 5, 2017

All children deserve to be educated about the importance of nutrition and being physically active. In January 2016, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would require a mandatory 20-minute recess during the school day. Dr. Darrin Anderson, state deputy director for the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and associate executive director for the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, penned this op-ed about the importance of physical activity and how recess aids in shaping a culture of health for students during the school day. —————————————————————————————- Darrin Anderson, Sr., PhD, MS State Deputy Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids The absence of recess in New Jersey public schools is a disfavor to elementary school children and a major setback in promoting a healthy weight among children. Childhood obesity in our country has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Today, nearly one in four children ages 10-17 in […]

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5 Snacks You’ve Been Tricked into Thinking are Healthy

July 31, 2017

Let’s face it – we’re a nation on the go! Quick, easy, and healthy snacks are the ideal choice for people of all ages, but it isn’t always easy to tell which is best to munch on. In fact,  the Huffington Post reported that Americans spent $374 billion on snacks like chips, protein bars and pretzels in 2014. Unfortunately, Large amounts of salt, sugar, and fat can be found in many of the snacks in grocery aisles. Parents try to keep pantries stocked with healthy snacks aside from fresh fruits and vegetables, but sometimes get duped by snacks with misleading healthy labels. Here are five snacks you may think are healthy and nutritious, but are not: Granola bars – Most cereal bars contain whole grains and fruit as ingredients, but a large amount of added sugar and trans fats make these snacks an unhealthy choice. Try some of these recipes […]

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4 Reasons to Give Yoga a Shot This Summer

July 5, 2017

Are you looking for a new way to exercise? Practicing yoga is a great way to calm your body and mind while increasing flexibility and muscle strength. Yoga is a great activity for all ages and levels of physical ability. Summer programs like Camden’s Connect the Lots and Vineland’s Park Hop have incorporated yoga into their healthy activity rotations. YogaJournal.com offers a list of 38 awesome health benefits of practicing yoga, including the following: Stress Management – Practicing yoga can help increase calmness and sharpen concentration. Muscle Strength and Toning – Along with relieving stress, yoga is great for physical health. As you continue to practice yoga, you may notice an increase in your core strength and overall muscle tone. Healthier Eating Habits – Exercising regularly helps you burn more calories and become a more conscious eater. You can start positive dietary changes by switching out junk food snacks and […]

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Stay Active This Summer!

June 6, 2017

by Cara Morello Director of Administration/Operations, Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA Summer is the ideal time for kids to get up, get out, and explore. But, for some kids, summer means no access to recreational and educational activities to help them learn, grow, and thrive during out-of-school time. As a result, some kids can experience learning loss and gain weight twice as fast than during the school year (Y USA, 2016). Keeping kids active and engaged over the course of the summer will help combat some of the barriers that arise during the summer season. Being active doesn’t have to be boring or strenuous – contrary to what most believe. There are options for any kid, and any parent, to have fun this summer, instead of being in front of the television or computer. Parents may consider a summer camp program for their child that ensures campers are moving throughout the […]

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