Healthy Children - October 2017

ExceleRate Illinois in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services is providing information on healthy choices. The Healthy Children, Healthy Families Project will communicate to parents, child care practitioners, and others who visit the website, the seriousness of obesity in young children and to link them to current research on the issue.

Helpful suggestions for meal planning, recipes and healthy physical activities are presented on this site for children and the health of the entire family.

New ideas are listed every month. Each month a new column on this issue of national concern is posted. It answers questions you have regarding children and healthy lifestyles -- be sure to check it out.

For more information contact the Illinois Department of Human Services at (217) 785-9336 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact your local Illinois Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.

The consumer health information on childhood obesity provided by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies on the site or by any links to other sites is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product or course of action. This web site generally links to other sites that are informational in nature and does not link to commercial sites that are primarily intended for the sale of products or services. Use of this site or any links to other sites does not replace medical consultations with a qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or a loved one. You should promptly seek professional care if you have any concern about the health of you or a loved one and you should always consult your physician before you or a loved one starts a fitness regimen.

Rethink Your Drink

Soda pop, sports drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks are all common beverage choices for many Americans, especially our children.  Studies have proven that many consume their extra calories through the beverage choices made throughout the day.  We know that extra calories mean extra pounds, which in turn means negative health effects, including childhood obesity.
The research concerning beverages have caused many cities and counties to establish policies that will help the general public decease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.  There are even fast food restaurants who have completely removed their XL beverage options in hopes to help Americans.  The truth of the matter is that everyone has the right to choose what he or she drinks, but sometimes we need a little motivation to make those necessary choices.  Policies and tases may help adults, but to children this carries little to no weight.
How can you help your children get accustomed to less sugar in their diet?  Let’s do what other policy makers are doing: Rethink Their Drinks.  Since milk and water are the most beneficial choices for children, think of low sugar ways to make these beverages more enjoyable.  For example, perhaps you can add real strawberries to your low-fat milk.

Try this Low Sugar, Dairy Filled Recipe with your children:
Sweet Summer Smoothie
1C Vanilla Yogurt
½ C Frozen Strawberries
½ C Frozen Peach Slices
½ Banana
½ C Low-fat Milk

Antonia Mercer, MS
Early Childhood Intervention Coordinator
UIC Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion
Chicago, IL