Utah is well known for having large families. Utah leads the nation with an average of 2.2 children per family. Utah schools swell with children eager to learn, with an average of 22 students per class in kindergarten to 31 in a high school Chemistry class.
Nutrition is essential for children to thrive and develop properly. Research shows that children who eat a healthy diet learn and develop much better than those who lack adequate nutrition.
But when your child is a picky eater, you may feel it is too difficult to compel your children to eat a nutritious meal. This seemingly futile battle of wills rages at thousands of homes everyday.
“My kids are pretty good eaters, except for one,” states Chris Peterson, father of five young children. “It’s always such a struggle to get him to try new food in the first place. We usually end up telling him to make his own food, because we give up. Then he’ll cave a little.”
Recent research published online ahead of print in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that being vigilant in your struggle to get your children to eat healthy meals could prove very beneficial when they become adults.
In the new study, scheduled for print in the December 2011 edition, researchers evaluated the current health status of 230 women who previously participated in the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC). DISC was a trial that limited fat and increased fiber intake by encouraging consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
What researchers found was that the DISC study participants, who are now adults aged 25 to 29, had lower blood pressure, better fasting blood glucose levels and lower very-low-density lipoprotein levels, when compared with the control group.
The study authors noted that metabolic syndrome – a name for a group of risk factors that increase risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes – was uncommon among study participants.
“Consumption of a diet lower in fat and higher in fiber during childhood and adolescence may benefit glycemic control and blood pressure long term,” determined lead author, Dr. Joanne Dorgan of the Fox Chase Cancer Center and her colleagues.
This study suggests a childhood diet high in fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in fat has the potential to influence the development of chronic disease in adulthood.
Parents don’t give up on this frustrating battle. Healthy eating is essential for your children and may be the difference between a healthy and unhealthy adulthood.