According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 85% of children get less than the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and the majority of that comes from french fries and ketchup.
At Altoona Regional Health System, Registered Dietitian Dona Baughman says it's not just "what" kids eat or don't eat. It's the fact that we all super-size. Baughman says, "it's not even just Mcdonald's that supersizes things you'll even find apples and oranges, even pieces of bread that are thicker, apples that are two servings of fruits instead of one. Everything is bigger nowadays.
The dietitian uses rubber models of food to re-educate children and adults what a portion size is. For example, a serving of broiled chicken fits in the palm of your hand. A true serving of spaghetti and meatballs wouldn't fill your plate. A portion of juice comes in a small glass.
When it comes to what kids should eat, Baughman says, "they need more nutrient dense type foods like fruits and vegetables that don't have a lot of calories in them not so much the protein type foods or fat type foods or even the calorie type foods like carbs and stuff."
But Baughman doesn't recommend that you try to force feed your kids healthy food. She says instead, lead by example. "If you always have potato chips, and candy and foods that aren't necessarily nutrient dense around then your children are going to be more likely to chose those types of foods." In other words parents, eat healthy, cook healthy, and have healthy foods available.