Government warns: make healthy snacks for kids

POSTED: 10/10/12 11:58 AM

St. Maarten (DCOMM) – Nutrition related health problems in children are increasingly significant causes of disability and premature death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The problem of overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions globally, and both developed and developing countries are seriously affected.

In some countries, the epidemic of obesity sits alongside continuing problems of under nutrition, creating a double-burden of nutrition-related ill health among the population, including children.

The study How Healthy is St. Maarten? indicated that on a daily basis 31 per cent of the participants don’t consume breakfast; 63 per cent don’t consume vegetables and 66 per cent don’t consume fruits. This is an indication that this lifestyle is also practiced by their descendants.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS), the executing agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, and the Minister Cornelius de Weever strongly recommend to parents and guardians to check the ingredients of the products that they buy and prepare for their children through the remainder of the school year. Just because it is convenient does not mean that it is healthy- healthy choices equal healthy children and healthy smiles, the service said in a press release.

‘Get Checked ‘is Minister De Weever’s campaign to draw attention to health issues.

Improving the nutritional status of school-age children is an effective investment for improving school results.

Establishing healthy dietary and physical activity patterns among young people promotes health and nutritional well-being and prevents obesity and non-communicable diseases.

In making healthy foods and beverages available at home and for school, and in providing, supporting and encouraging opportunities for physical activity, parents can influence their children’s behavior.

Simultaneously parents are advised to live and promote a healthy lifestyle because children’s behavior is often shaped by observation and adaptation.

Here are some tips for children and adolescents: provide a healthy breakfast before each school day; don’t leave home without breakfast; serve healthy school snacks to children (whole-grain, vegetables, fruits); promote the intake of fruits and vegetables.

Restrict intake of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods like packaged snacks; restrict the intake of sugars-sweetened soft drinks; ensure an opportunity for family meals; provide information and skills to make healthy food choices.

Promote regular intake of water and physical exercise and get your child involved in sport activities.


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