Parents show their love with food, especially foods that kids think are “yummy.” But, sadly, that well-intentioned love actually is harming our children and putting their health at risk. Too many kids are growing up on steady diets of sugar-laden snacks and an ever-growing assortment of other processed foods. It’s no wonder that childhood obesity rates have nearly quadrupled over the past few decades, leading to runaway increases in diabetes and other chronic ailments. The good news is, parents have the power to put their kids on the right track.
In this edition of the Bottom Line Advocator Podcast, Nicole Avena, PhD, a research neuroscientist and expert in childhood nutrition and food addiction, joins Bottom Line President and CEO Sarah Hiner to share the most common mistakes that parents make when feeding their kids…and easy ways to build kid-friendly eating habits that will set the stage for their lifelong health. Dr. Avena is author of Why Diets Fail, What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler and other books on nutrition.
Topics covered include…
- What’s behind the soaring rates of childhood obesity? (4:04 – 5:13)
- How lack of physical activity makes matters worse (5:13 – 7:23)
- The hidden dangers for “skinny fat” kids (7:23 – 9:47)
- Why parents are the best ones to fix the problem (9:47 – 12:34)
- How “food rewards” contribute to unhealthy patterns (12:34 – 15:09)
- Why adult obesity is driven by childhood eating habits (15:09 – 16:55)
- Harmful misconceptions about dietary fat (16:55 – 20:45)
- Why we’re hardwired to love sugar (20:45 – 23:03)
- The neurochemical basis of sugar addiction (23:03 – 25:34)
- Sneaky ways that sugar is hidden in our foods and drinks (25:34 – 28:14)
- What evolution has to do with your food preferences (28:14 – 31:40)
- The trick to get kids to eat healthy foods (31:40 – 33:03)
- Why you should be emotionally neutral when feeding kids (33:03 – 35:44)
- How babies’ food preferences begin in the womb (35:44 – 38:42)
- Why nutrition in a baby’s first 1,000 days is so crucial (38:42 – 41:35)
- How early-life food choices affect a child’s behavior (41:35 – 43:30)
- “Organic” doesn’t always mean healthy (43:30 – 45:28)
- How to talk to kids about the importance of nutrition (45:28 – 48:25)
- A smart way to let kids make their own food choices (48:25 – 50:29)
- Why it’s a good idea to let kids help you cook (50:29 – 52:06)
- Why you should introduce your kids to cinnamon and other spices (52:06 – 54:23)
- Do children need nutritional supplements? (54:23 – 59:04)
You can learn more about Dr. Avena’s work at DrNicoleAvena.com.
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