Will our Children be there to take care of us as we age?

This is a guest post by my friend Nancy Ortiz. Nancy blogs over at www.thefrugaldietitian.com Make sure you pop over and check out her site. Thank you Nancy for guest posting with me!

Many elderly people need to turn to their children for assistance as their own health declines. Obesity now in children is at a staggering rate – 17% are obese. Do not confuse the terms overweight and obese.  Here are the set of growth charts for different age groups. They will indicate overweight vs the more serious obese by BMI.  http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm

1) From 1999 to 2008 prediabetes and diabetes in  teens increased from 9% to 23%. When I started out in dietetics, 30+ years ago, I very seldom came across a Type 2 diabetic in anyone under 30.  Now it is common place.

2) With younger ages for Type 2 diabetes comes an earlier incidence of stroke, high blood pressure  and heart disease.  Disability will come at a younger age!!

3) In children between the ages of 12-18, 10% of these teens already have fatty livers.

As we all know, prevention is much easier than treatment.


1) Breast milk is usually the best choice for an infant. If formula feeding is the choice do NOT force an infant to drink more once they indicate they are done.

2) Do not start solids until 6 months of age. Do not use white rice at all. No added sugar or salt the first year of life.

3) Do not feed table foods if they are “adult foods” that are unhealthy. Sadly, the number #1 vegetable in toddlers was listed as french fries. Increase fruits and vegetables.

4) Avoid all soda or fruit juice if possible. If you do give 100% juice, dilute to 75% water to 25% juice. Better to give the whole fruit.

5) Do not give toddlers sweets. The sweeter the food, the more we crave it (at any age).

6) Avoid processed and fast foods as much as possible. Be proactive for healthier school lunches and stop selling junk food at school (after-school activities too).

7) Play active games with your child inside and outside. Encourage your children to be active in sports.  Keep TV off. It is best for a child under 2 not to watch any TV.

8) Make this a family affair for good health!

Nancy Ortiz, MS, RD



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