Build up muscle with protein. Because the body needs lots of protein to strengthen muscles, eating a meal that is full of protein reduces feeling hungry between meals. Most of the protein meals people consume are usually high in fats, so choosing leaner meats such as chicken and fish and other proteins such as beans are better for the body and muscles.
Good fat is phat. Producing healthy and strong cells comes from eating fats. The body also needs vitamins A, D, E and K to produce healthy cells. There are two types of healthy fats: Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. Sources for these fats include foods such as avocados, cheese, butter, canola oil, eggs and olive oil.
Carbs can be complex. Because our brain and our body need energy that is produced from carbohydrates daily, we focus on complex carbs such as pastas and breads that are whole grain. Adding green vegetables for fiber regulates our digestive system and gives us regular bowel movements.
Drinks and foods with sugar should be avoided. According to the American Heart Association, a child’s intake of sugar should be limited to three teaspoons a day which equals 12 grams. While we think that avoiding candy, cookies or soda is okay, we should also avoid things that have added sugars such as processed foods, canned goods, frozen foods, fast foods and condiments.
A dash of salt. We all know that the body needs a little salt to function. But adding too much salt can cause health problems such as high blood pressure. Remember one teaspoon of salt is 2,300 mg. Depending on their age, children need 1/3 ‐1 teaspoon per day. Always remember that when we eat processed or fast foods, there is an enormous amount of salt; it is best to limit or avoid these foods.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture