Over a 15-year period, studies show a dramatic increase in the number of overweight (tripled) and obese (quadrupled) Canadian children. (1) In the US, which has similar statistics, the Centers for Disease Control states that one child in three born since the year 2000 will develop diabetes during his or her lifetime. In many families, even young children consume too many calories, too much fat and far too much sodium. Studies show that at one to three years of age, sodium intakes averaged close to 2,000 mg a day (double the recommended level). Among four to eight-year-olds, the average daily sodium intake was 2,700 mg and 93 percent consumed more than the upper limit. Trans fats are harmful and, young or old, we have no need for dietary cholesterol.

Calories Fat
grams (g)
Sodiummilligrams (mg)
Day’s
Recommended
Intake

(Calories vary
with activity)
Age 2-3 yrs: 1166 gradual increase to age 19 years: female: 2000 male: 2600 Upper limit:
Age 2 yrs: 39 g; gradual increase to age 19 years: female 71 g or male 88 g
Age 1-3 yrs: 1000 mg
Age 4 to 8 yrs: 1200 mg
Over 9 yrs: 1500 mg
McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal: Double cheeseburger, fries, low fat choc. milk 840 37 g (14 g saturated;
1.5 g trans; 85 mg cholesterol)
1460
Wendy’s Kids’ Meal: Chicken sandwich, fries, small chocolate Frosty 860 32 g (10 g saturated; 0.5 g trans;
55 mg cholesterol)
1210
KFC Kids Meal: Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese, small Pepsi 800 34.5 (7.5 saturated; 0.3 g trans;
65 cholesterol
1800
A&W Kids Meal: Cheeseburger, fries,
soda pop
780 29 g (9 g saturated; 0.4 g trans;
70 mg cholesterol)
1360
2 Bean Burritos
(recipe below)
with avocado, lettuce, tomato
461 17 g (3 g saturated;
0 g trans; 0 mg cholesterol)
459

References
1. Tremblay MS et al. Temporal trends in overweight and obesity in Canada, 1981-1996. Int J Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders 2002, 26(4): 538-43.
2. Stats Canada Health Reports 82-003-XWE 18(2) www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2006004/article/sodium/4148995-eng.htm#3
3. PCRM Doctor’s Report. Pediatricians vs Junk Food Giants. 2010. Good Medicine. Volume XIX Number 10. www.pcrm.org/magazine/gm10autumn/junkfood.html

Vesanto Melina is a dietitian and co-author of nutrition classics Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan, Becoming Raw, Raising Vegetarian Children, the Food Allergy Survival Guide and the Raw Food Revolution Diet. For personal consultations, phone             604-882-6782       or visitwww.nutrispeak.com


burritosBean Burritos

Makes 4 burritos

Children need about 15 g of protein at two years, gradually increasing to 50 g for females or 58 g for males at 19 years. A serving of two of these quick-to-make roll-ups provides 20 grams of protein. They are good for lunch (even in a lunchbox), as an after school snack or for supper.

THE WRAPS
4 wheat or corn tortillas or chapatis

THE BEAN FILLING
2 cups cooked pinto beans
(or drained 15-ounce can)
2/3 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped
red or green bell pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. each:
garlic powder, oregano, cumin

TOPPINGS
(optional)
Chopped avocado, lettuce, tomato, olives, onion

Warm the wraps in a dry skillet, if desired. Keep them warm by stacking and wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel. Put the beans, tomato sauce, bell pepper and seasonings into a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and mash beans with a fork or potato masher. Place one-quarter of the bean filling onto each wrap, placingit in a strip along one side, slightly off-centre. Add your favourite toppings and roll the wrap around the filling.

 

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