Quality is also being compromised by quantity – both the quantity of food and the quantity of food choices. Visit any restaurant, and you’re going to feel cheated if your plate isn’t overflowing with food. We see commercials with plates heaped with food.

But it’s not just the amount of food restaurants serve up. Think about when you sit down in front of the TV to watch a game or a movie, and mow through a bag of corn chips, a pint of salsa, or a liter of soda—that’s simply too much food.

The problem is also compounded by the many choices we’re given. From my point of view, it is a mistake to give children food choices. If they’re hungry, put something fresh and/or homemade in front of them.

Today, children have choices at school and choices at home. No wonder they always end up eating the same low-quality food.

In my medical practice, I have treated adolescents who told me they ate pizza every day. They go home and eat snacks while watching TV then go out for fast food at dinner. They drink only soft drinks, some of which contain phosphates that promote calcium loss. This creates brittle bones at an early age. These kids complain to me of feeling so tired they cannot concentrate in school, and do not perform well when playing sports. I tell them, “You are what you eat—this is the truth.”

My patients hear me repeating this advice ad nauseam: “No juice, no sodas, no chips, and no candy—allow these things only on special occasions.” A few days ago, I was at the local grocery store when a six-year-old girl approached me and said, “Hello, Dr. Katalenas. Remember me? I saw you in your office yesterday.” I assured her that I remembered her, though I couldn’t think of her name. She went on to remind me that she was the girl who I instructed not to drink sodas or juice.

Her mother, close behind her, smiled and replied to her, “Oh honey, Dr. Katalenas says that to everybody.”

It is true that I repeat myself when it comes to this important reminder. My older patients, after hearing the same song year after year, recite it to me each time I walk through the examining room door.

Learn more about choosing quality foods and scheduling meals:

 

Quality. Families should focus on the quality of the food they eat. By using more natural and less-processed food, they will begin to see a change in their lifestyle. Learn more about making quality food choices. 

 

Timing. Eat only 4 times a day every 3-4 hours. In addition to the detailed meal plans, I provide wholesome recipes that are inspired by my Spanish/Mediterranean background. Learn more about the importance of scheduling means and snacks.

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