LISD Wellness Tips

Lindale ISD Student Health Advisory Council-April/May 2019

Healthy Habits

In this newsletter:

  • Importance of Good Nutrition
  • Easy Healthy Recipes
  • Exercise at home
  • Screen Time Recommendations-Birth to age 18

Importance of Good Nutrition

Your food choices each day affect your health — how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.

Providing Variety in a Healthy Diet

Your child should consume a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Each food group supplies im­portant nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.

These five groups and typ­ical minimum servings are:

  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day. A serving may consist of 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, 3/4 cup of vegetable juice, or 1/2 cup of other vegetables, chopped raw or cooked.
  • Fruits: 2-4 servings per day. A serving may consist of 1/2 cup of sliced fruit, 3/4 cup of fruit juice, or a medium-size whole fruit, like an apple, banana, or pear.
  • Bread, cereal, or pasta: 6-11 servings per day. Each serving should equal 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of rice or pasta, or 1 ounce of cereal.
  • Protein foods: 2-3 servings of 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish per day. A serving in this group may also consist of 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, one egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for each ounce of lean meat.
  • Dairy products: 2-3 servings per day of 1 cup of low-fat milk or yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese.

Balancing Fast Food and Healthy Food


Editor’s Note: Diana Weil is the daughter of Dr. Andrew Weil. Her column is intended to educate and guide our adult audience on how to interact and communicate with children on health and related matters.

Fast food is a huge problem these days. We like it – kids especially – but it is making us unhealthy and fat. We eat too much of it, and we eat it too frequently. Way too many children are eating fast food more than once every couple of days. Many parents and caretakers think it’s easier to take children to Wendy’s or McDonald’s instead of dragging them to a more expensive restaurant or figuring out something to cook at home that everyone will like. Or children beg for fast food, because they are so influenced by advertising, and in order to make them happy parents give in.

Fast food also tastes good – let’s admit it. The companies that sell it know how to appeal to our tastes for sugar, salt, and fat. But eating that way becomes a habit and a hard habit to break.

Consuming fast food on a regular basis is not a good idea. It gives us too many calories, too much animal food and not enough vegetables, too much unhealthy fat, and too many unhealthy carbohydrates. I think it’s OK to eat fast food maybe once a month or every few weeks. The problem is when you start to eat it too frequently or all the time.

Parents can help break the fast food habit by telling children that they are not going to get it for them every day. Instead, take them out for healthier food or involve them in making favorite foods at home. For instance, if kids want fries, let them help you make oven-baked potato slices that are a tasty and healthy alternative. The potato pancakes on are good, too. If it’s hamburgers they want, try some veggie burgers or soy burgers. I love them.
If you’re not allowed to have something, don’t you just crave it even more? That’s why I think parents should not forbid kids to have fast food or try to eliminate it completely. Kids will just want the forbidden foods more.

I hardly ever go to a fast food place, but if I do, I’ll get a salad or maybe fries and a drink once in a while. And I like the yogurt and fruit parfaits at McDonald’s.

Diana Dakota Weil

Benefits of Exercise

Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:

  • have stronger muscles and bones
  • have a leaner body, because exercise helps control body fat
  • be less likely to become overweight
  • decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • have a better outlook on life

In addition to the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle the physical and emotional challenges that a typical day presents — be that running to catch a bus, bending down to tie a shoe or studying for a test.

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