So I just read about this book that is coming out this fall about dieting for children! Is this what bedtime stories are about these days?!? This new book is called Maggie Goes On a Diet and instead of teaching your children not to say 4-letter swear words, parents should be more concerned about a scary word to teach them…to….Diet. A pre-school child needs a healthy, balanced diet to fuel his or her active and growing life. Also important is for you, the parent, to give the right foods and model healthy eating habits yourself. This can help your child to ward off any childhood health problems such as obesity or even diabetes.
According to Jezebel, the book is described as follows:
This book is about a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self-image.
I understand and agree that many of the kids, especially in the United States, are obese or on their way to being overweight, but reading it in a book at a young age is only going to possibly lead to distorted understanding of body image and even worse, eating disorders. What happened to teaching your kids about making good choices with the food they put into their bodies and exercise??? A chubby girl in a poorly styled and ill-fitting dress is not going to show your child what it means to have a “healthy and active lifestyle.” Do kids so young really need to learn about diets? Would you ever read this book to your preschooler?
Preschool children need healthy foods to meet the demands of their growing, active bodies. Provide your child with a diet full of whole-grain foods, colorful vegetables, fruits and high-protein foods, such as lean meat and beans. Children need foods that are high in calcium and iron. Milk, white beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cheddar cheese, yogurt and fortified orange juice are excellent sources of calcium. Increase your child’s intake of iron with lean meat, fish, nuts, peanut butter, beans, spinach, strawberries and whole-grain bread.
You can give your child a kid’s multivitamin to supplement your kiddo’s balanced diet; however, this should not replace eating healthy foods.
Just Remember…Proper nutrition helps prevent obesity, weak bones, and diabetes. Provide your child with a healthy diet to help prevent diet-related diseases when your kid grows up. A healthy lifestyle will also boost your child’s concentration, provide her or him with genuine energy and just help your child feel good every day!