Healthy Children - February 2015

INCCRRA in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services is providing information on childhood obesity through its website. The intent is to communicate to child care practitioners, parents 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 not just for overweight children but 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 heavy 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.



New Food Words to Use

1.    Fresh
2.    Go
3.    Slow
4.    Whoa

Did you know . . .
Some examples of GO foods are: fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. SLOW foods are 100% juice, pancakes, baked potato chips. WHOA foods are french fries, fried chicken, doughnuts, and fried potato chips.

GO Recipes
Breakfast – add blueberries to oat cereal in fat-free or low-fat milk
Snack – An apple and a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk
Dessert – Fat-free or low-fat yogurt with strawberries and bananas

Physical Activities

Get Moving Together!

Sing and dance to Grand Old Duke of York, Shake your Sillies Out or Hokey-Pokey. Follow exercise with a hydrating, nutritious smoothie: blend ice, strawberries, and fat-free or low-fat milk.

Cookie, Cookie, Cucumber!
Based on “Duck, Duck, Goose!” use your nutritional knowledge to think of a WHOA food and a GO replacement. Remember: Healthy choices give you more energy to run around the circle! Follow with a glass of cold water and apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon..


The Hidden Water Truth

Water is Healthy and Delicious!

12 oz. of tap water has zero grams of sugar and zero calories.
Water makes up 70% of your body!
Tap Water is FREE  - Saving cents makes sense!




Healthy Beverages

Benefits of Fat-Free or Low-Fat Milk:

1.    Builds and maintains strong, dense bones.
2.    Keeps teeth strong.

Benefits of Drinking Water:

1.    No fat or calories.
2.    Tap water is free
3.    Essential to every cell in the body (skin, brain, muscles, and organs).

Add some fruit to your water by picking up some lemons or oranges from your local market.

Family Goal

Goal: Replace regular soda and juice with fat-free or low-fat milk, or with water!

Fact of the Week – Regular soda has no nutritional value and is high in calories.

Surprising fact: Your body is made up of 70% water!
Strategy: When your child is 2 years old, it is a good time to switch from drinking whole to fat-free or low-fat milk.
Health Tip: Sugar in regular soda can lead to tooth decay.


Vegetables During the Day

Breakfast: Start the Day Right

Substitute some spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half of the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese.

Cut back on the amount of cereal in your bowl to make room for some cut-up bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.

Lighten up your Lunch

Substitute vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions for 2 ounces of the cheese and 2 ounces of the meat in your sandwich, wrap or burrito. The new version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original.

Add a cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, beans or red peppers in place of 2 ounces of the meat or 1 cup of noodles in your favorite broth-based soup. The vegetables will help fill you up, so you won’t miss those extra calories.

We Choose Health: Meats and Alternatives

Eat more Beans, Chicken and Fish!

We are eating more meat than ever before. Meat is a great source of protein, but some types are very high in unhealthy fats. Also, the way we prepare our meat can add a lot of fat to our diet.

Whenever possible, eat grilled, baked or broiled meats. These are less fattening than fried.

Skinless chicken and fish are lower in fat as well. Also, the fat in many fish is “heart healthy.” Good fish choices include salmon, tuna, and any white fish.

Beans are a great substitute for meat. They also contain fiber and a lot of vitamins and minerals that are important to our health. Try eating meatless meals that contain beans, such as pinto, black eyed peas or black beans at least once a week.

If you do choose to eat red meat or pork, try to eat the leaner cuts of meat. Look for cuts with the words “loin” or “round” in the name – i.e. top round, tenderloin, etc.

Adding an egg white to very lean hamburger meat gives the hamburger similar moisture and flavor as higher fat cuts.