Balance Food and Activity

The following message on maintaining a healthy weight by creating a balance of foods consumed and  food calories burned through activity comes from the National Institutes of Health.

balance

What is Energy Balance?

Energy is another word for “calories.” Your energy balance is the balance of calories consumed through eating and drinking compared to calories burned through physical activity. What you eat and drink is ENERGY IN. What you burn through physical activity is ENERGY OUT.

Your ENERGY IN and OUT doesn’t have to balance every day. It’s having a balance over time that will help you stay at a healthy weight for the long term. Children need to balance their energy, too, but they’re also growing and that should be considered as well. Energy balance in children happens when the amount of ENERGY IN and ENERGY OUT supports natural growth without promoting excess weight gain.

That’s why you should take a look at the Estimated Calorie Requirement chart, to get a sense of how many calories (ENERGY IN) you and your family need on a daily basis.

Estimated Calorie Requirements

This calorie requirement chart presents estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance (and a healthy body weight) for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity. The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories and were determined using an equation from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Estimated Calorie Requirements (in kilocalories) for Each Gender and Age Group at Three Levels of Physical Activity.

Gender

Age (years)

Activity Level

Sedentary

Moderately Active

Active

Child

2-3

1,000

1,000 – 1,400

1,000 – 1,400

Female

4 – 8

1,200

1,400 – 1,600

1,400 – 1,800

Female

9-13

1,600

1,600 – 2,000

1,800 – 2,000

Female

14-18

1,800

2,000

2,400

Female

19-30

2,000

2,000 – 2,200

2,400

Female

31-50

1,800

2,000

2,200

Female

51+

1,600

1,800

2,000 – 2,200

Male

4-8

1,400

1,400 – 1,600

1,600 – 2,000

Male

9-13

1,800

1,800 – 2,200

2,000 – 2,600

Male

14-18

2,200

2,400 – 2,800

2,800 – 3,200

Male

19-30

2,400

2,600 – 2,800

3,000

Male

31-50

2,200

2,400 – 2,600

2,800 – 3,000

Male

51+

2,000

2,200 – 2,400

2,400 – 2,800

Source: HHS/USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 2005

  • These levels are based on Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) from the IOM Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002, calculated by gender, age, and activity level for reference-sized individuals. “Reference size,” as determined by IOM, is based on median height and weight for ages up to age 18 years of age and median height and weight for that height to give a BMI of 21.5 for adult females and 22.5 for adult males.
  • Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
  • Moderately active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
  • Active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
  • The calorie ranges shown are to accommodate needs of different ages within the group. For children and adolescents, more calories are needed at older ages. For adults, fewer calories are needed at older ages.

Energy Balance in Real Life

Think of it as balancing your “lifestyle budget.” For example, if you know you and your family will be going to a party and may eat more high-calorie foods than normal, then you may wish to eat fewer calories for a few days before so that it balances out. Or, you can increase your physical activity level for the few days before or after the party, so that you can burn off the extra energy.

The same applies to your kids. If they’ll be going to a birthday party and eating cake and ice cream—or other foods high in fat and added sugar—help them balance their calories the day before and/or after by providing ways for them to be more physically active.

Here’s another way of looking at energy balance in real life.

Eating just 150 calories more a day than you burn can lead to an extra 5 pounds over 6 months. That’s a gain of 10 pounds a year. If you don’t want this weight gain to happen, or you want to lose the extra weight, you can either reduce your ENERGY IN or increase your ENERGY OUT. Doing both is the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

  • Here are some ways to cut 150 calories (ENERGY IN):
    • Drink water instead of a 12-ounce regular soda
    • Order a small serving of French fries instead of a medium , or order a salad with dressing on the side instead
    • Eat an egg-white omelet (with three eggs), instead of whole eggs
    •  Use tuna canned in water (6-ounce can), instead of oil
  • Here are some ways to burn 150 calories (ENERGY OUT), in just 30 minutes (for a 150 pound person):
    • Shoot hoops
    • Walk two miles
    • Do yard work (gardening, raking leaves, etc.)
    • Go for a bike ride
    • Dance with your family or friends

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Showing Children How to Fight Pollution

Jacqui Barrie,  a freelance writer, a frequent contributor and working in the marketing department of “http://www.aupairjobs.com/” shares the following article about helping children understand how to fight pollution. She loves writing articles related to child’s behavior, growth & development. This article recently appeared onhttp://www.aupairjobs.com/articles/be-the-change-showing-children-how-to-fight-pollution/

children

In a world where technology rules and children are engaged by smart phones, video games and web surfing, it’s difficult to see beyond their own needs. As a nanny or parent, though, you have the opportunity to use technology to promote ways to give back, preserve the environment and fight pollution by incorporating these lessons into your child’s daily routines.

With a few suggestions to reduce consumption, recycle and promote organic products, you and your children can make a difference locally, nationally and internationally in a crusade to “go green.”

Electronic Shut Down

As technology advances, it’s likely your children have outgrown gaming systems, old computers and outdated cell phones. According to e-cycle St. Louis, a nonprofit organization promoting technology recycling, nearly two million tons of used electronics are discarded each year, including an estimated 128 million cell phones.

The benefits of donating your e-products are many:

  • Conserves Natural Resources: Metals, computer circuit boards, glass and plastics from your electronics can be reused to make new products.
  • Supports the Community: When donating your unused electronics, recycling organizations often refurbish computers, televisions and cell phones for use in non-profit agencies and schools. Many cell phones and electronics are also donated to low-income families who cannot access or afford technology.
  • Creates Local Jobs: Boost the economy by recycling. Many new businesses are forming in the recycling industry, creating more jobs for people who can recover recyclable materials.

Water Conservation

A long, hot shower or a bubble bath filled to the brim may be a comforting end to the day for you and your children, but the waste of water is a barrier to fighting pollution. Teach your children to conserve water by cutting the length of showers and limiting the depth of baths. Discuss how water conservation can eliminate excess waste and overflow throughout the community.

In addition, reduce urban runoff by reducing outdoor watering habits, recommends Pamela Crouch with the Orange County Coastkeeper in California. According to Crouch, ensure that your sprinkler nozzles are aimed properly so water does not run into the street.

Avoid washing your car in the driveway as well, warns Crouch. As soapy water makes its way from your driveway to the streets and eventually into storm drains, it gathers pollutants and goes unfiltered into nearby water bodies.

“Parents should not have to worry about whether or not it is safe for their children to play in the nearest lake, river or shore, but because of the pollution problems caused by urban runoff, they do have to worry about these things,” says Crouch.

As you discuss water conversation with your children, ask them to look up statistics and images online that show the devastation that pollution brings to lakes, rivers and oceans. A picture says a thousand words and hopefully images of pollution will speak volumes about environmental concerns.

Recycling Rally

In an effort to teach the entire family about how to preserve the environment and fight pollution, it’s important to make recycling a priority. Everyday household items that you typically toss in the trash can be sorted and recycled at community centers or on your curbside. Inquire with your city resource center to see if recycling is available in your community, alongside your weekly trash pickup.

The next step is to get your children involved in identifying household items that can be recycled, such as papers, plastics, glass and metal. CleanScapes, a recycling company based in Seattle, Washington, offers the following list of recyclables:

Paper:

  • Cardboard
  • Office paper, including windowed envelopes, color paper, file folders and post-it notes
  • Mail, magazines, mixed paper
  • Newspaper
  • Paper bags
  • Paper cups
  • Phone books & paperback books
  • Shredded paper (in clear plastic bags)
  • Wrapping paper (non-metallic)
  • Paper cartons
  • Juice boxes, Tetra Paks & aseptic containers
  • Milk cartons
  • Paper or frozen food boxes

Plastic:

  • Bottles (all colors and numbers)
  • Food containers and trays
  • Clear or colored plastic milk jugs
  • Dairy tubs
  • Pill bottles (no prescription vials)
  • Plastic cups
  • Lids (3 inches or wider)
  • Plastic plant pots
  • Plastic buckets
  • Plastic bags (shopping, newspaper and dry-cleaning bags when bagged together)
  • PVC pipe (white only)
  • Household rigid plastic items, such as furniture and laundry baskets

Metal:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil & pie tins (clean)
  • Tin cans
  • Ferrous scrap metal
  • Other scrap metals (less than 2’ x 2’ x 2’)

Glass:

  • Bottles
  • Jars

According to Jim Lewis, former staff in the aluminum industry in Pittsburgh, recycling makes a difference. “Not only does recycling save energy and decrease pollution, it also saves space in landfills,” he says. “Recycling is a simple and easy way to go green everyday in the house. Curbside recycling is easy and families can recycle some materials at scrap yards and turn their trash into cash.”

 

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Foods for Before Practice and Before the Big Game

What foods do you need to be feeding your young athlete before a practice? What about before a big game?

According to Dr. Henry A. Stiene, MD, a  board certified  physician and practitioner of Sports Medicine and Co-Medical Director and Team Physician for Xavier University in Cincinnati, parents can actually use nutrition to help their sons and daughters compete or practice with more energy and effort.

Dr. Stiene shares that carbohydrates are the foods that fuel muscles. This is the food group that is utilized when the large muscles of the body are involved in physical activity.

While proteins and fats are essential to the physical development of young athletes, they provide no direct energy for exercise or athletics.

Carbohydrates are stored in muscles in the form of glycogen, which can remain in the muscles for 12-24 hours. Carbohydrates are easily digestible compared to foods high in proteins and fats that can sometimes take 12 hours to be completely digested, especially in growing children.

This is why one can feel so lethargic after eating a meal high in protein and fat; these foods become an energy drain in the sense that is takes much metabolic effort to digest these foods. This is energy that could otherwise be used for exercising muscles.

Examples of carbohydrates are well known to our young athletes. They have learned the food pyramid and know this food group includes breads, cereals, pasta, grains, fruits and juices, dairy products such as milk and yogurt, and sports drinks.

When planning what to feed your young athlete before practice or a game, know that his or her meal needs to be mainly carbohydrates. Kids all have different eating patterns. Some may not want to eat at all before practice. You can remedy this by having them eat a bigger lunch or breakfast and having them take sports drinks to practice and provide a well-balanced meal after practice or games. The best time to eat a pre-game or pre-practice meal should be 1-3 hours before competition depending on how much the athlete eats.

A bagel or muffin with some peanut butter and jelly about 1-3 hours before practice will get most athletes through practices
and games. Avoid a large amount of high fat and protein snacks in the hours before competition- it won’t provide much energy and may actually make the athlete feel tired. A small amount of protein or fat (such as peanut butter) is OK as it can also keep the athlete from getting hungry during practice. Save larger amounts of proteins and fats for after practice or provide some at breakfast and lunch.

Other good choices before practice would be cereals, pasta or rice without heavy sauces, fruit and yogurt, granola, honey, jams or jellies on bread or muffins. Give all these foods at least a good hour to digest. Popcorn and pretzels are also good choices as they are high in carbohydrates and have some added salt, which can stimulate thirst-enhancing intake of the most vital nutrient-water.

Having kids eat during a homework break after school and before practice is a good idea as it gives food time to digest and also
can get them back in focus to complete their homework. If your not sure about the nutritional content of a given food, the label
will provide this information for you in great detail.

What about tournaments and multiple games or competitions on the same day? Most of what is offered at concession stands is pretty high in protein and fat such as hot dogs, candy, and nachos. Good choices for between games are pretzels, popcorn, and sports drinks. If your son or daughter has a favorite snack such as bagels or peanut butter and jelly, have then bring some along.

If the game is early on Saturday or Sunday, have your son or daughter load up on carbohydrates the night before by feeding them pasta or pizza, especially if they are not big breakfast eaters. A bowl of cereal or juice with toast or a muffin will usually get them through the game.

Save the wings, burgers, fries, dogs, and chicken strips for after the games and avoid high amounts of protein and fat with breakfast for those early morning games. While it is true that soda pop and candy are mostly sugars (which is what carbohydrates are in a more complex form), pop and candy can cause wide fluctuations in blood sugar, also draining and wasting energy that would otherwise be used during practices and games.

Source: Henry A. Stiene, MD,board certified in Sports Medicine and practices Sports and Orthopaedic
Medicine with Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

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