The advice of the nutritionists of the Nutritional Observatory to provide children with all the nutrients necessary to grow well, without gaining weight and spending less.
by Sabrina Vita
Healthy children. At reduced costs The advice of the nutritionists ofNutritional Observatory to provide children with all the nutrients they need to grow well, without gaining weight and spending less.
A study carried out by the Grana Padano Nutritional Observatory evaluated the eating habits of 2,238 children between the ages of 6 and 14. From the data collected, an important prevalence of excess weight emerges: about 40% of children are overweight.
The study also notes a correlation between being overweight and the habit of exercising.
Proper nutrition and physical activity have simple rules that could stop this growing phenomenon around the world. But how much does proper nutrition cost and how much do Italian families spend to buy food?
LESS JUNK FOOD, LESS EXPENDITURE
According to ISTAT, in 2010 the average monthly food expenditure for a family of 5 was 675 euros. Combining the data on the availability of expenditure with those on overweight and obesity, a plausible concern arises, as explained by Professor Claudio Maffeis, pediatrician, professor at the University of Verona and expert in nutrition and obesity in children:
Overweight and obesity are almost always due to an incorrect diet and a sedentary lifestyle, or lack of physical activity. Reduced spending power can lead parents to further purchase low-cost, but often high-calorie foods. We have been witnessing this phenomenon for some time regardless of the reduced purchasing capacity. The diet of obese or overweight children is often rich in foods rich in various types of fats and simple sugars. These foods are consumed by children outside of main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) or with meals, instead of traditional foods. In fact, snacks are not all the same and among these, there are some that provide well over 100 calories in 30g of product. This type of food is very easy to eat, which is why it is consumed excessively in front of the TV.
Sedentary lifestyle and food too rich in fats and sugars lead to obesity – underlines Maffeis – There are alternatives and they also save money: for example, you can start by not buying what you don’t need, drinks, sugary juices … ; do not usually eat sauces and spreads; avoid consuming chocolate and sweet foods except on certain occasions; avoid all fried snacksâ € ¦
Babies should be fed simple, recognizable foods.
NUTRIENTS THAT COST LESS – 10 TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
- Once a week, replace the second dish of meat or fish with eggs (two hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs or in an omelette or in a non-stick pan).
- Twice a week, replace the second course of meat or fish with a second course of seasoned dairy products, preferring Grana Padano PDO (a portion from 30 to 60 g depending on the age of the child).
- At least two or three times a week, replace the second dish of meat, fish with legumes (peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils) associating them with cereals for example: rice and peas, pasta and beans …
- If there are difficulties in purchasing fresh fish, replace it with frozen fish. Occasionally, canned fish can also be used, preferably natural. Fish should be offered at least two or three times a week.
- Even vegetables, if there are difficulties in buying fresh vegetables, can also be purchased in frozen form (for example, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus) or mixed vegetables such as soups.
- For cold cuts, it is better to prefer raw or cooked ham and bresaola regardless of the seasoning. It is cheaper to buy the fresh product over the counter rather than prepackaged in a tray. The savings are further if you buy the whole piece and slice it at home.
- Prefer ripe seasonal fruit, alternating their quality and color, remembering that the size does not change the quantity of nutrients.
- Extra virgin olive oil is the preferred condiment and if it is classified as extra virgin the nutritional characteristics are independent of the price, take advantage of the commercial offers, they allow you to save.
- Limit the consumption of sweet and savory snacks and that of precooked foods. These dishes are generally quite inexpensive, but their nutritional quality is quite low, as they are generally rich in simple sugars and saturated fats.
- Do not use juices, fizzy and sugary drinks that have poor nutritional value, often disproportionate to the cost. Preferring water, perhaps the one on offer at the supermarket or tap water, is a way to save without sacrificing quality.
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