SAN ANTONIO — Many, including children, gained what's called the "quarantine 15" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Losing weight and staying in shape is not the easiest thing to do for most of us. And with the holidays quickly approaching, it may seem more difficult.
"Just because there's a party, and just because people have to eat, doesn't mean that it has to be processed food. It doesn't mean that it has to be filled with calories, fat and sugar," said Dr. Vidhya Illuri, an endocrinologist with the Texas Diabetes Institute within University Health.
She says getting kids off soda will go a long way. Dr. Illur added, "Once we get them off soda, and if they try soda a couple of months later, they'll be like, 'Oh, this is too sweet!' Because they're not used to it, and their taste buds have adapted."
According to the CDC, 18.5% of children ages 2 to 19 are considered obese. A recent study showed 20% of children aged 14-18 have pre-diabetes. And those numbers continue to rise.
Keeping kids healthy gets a little trickier when children are together in numbers. Dr. Illuri said, "There's always a snack either brought by other parents or teachers -- seems to be with every party. There's like this whole plethora of sugary snacks that are being offered to children in schools."
At any kind of gathering, sweet treats are often served. And with the holidays coming up, that will become more frequent.
Here are some healthier options for kids to consider:
- At birthdays, instead of passing out sugary treats, try small toys.
- During the holidays, don't focus on food, but more on holiday-themed crafts and games.
- And for events in general, choose nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and veggies, hummus, or whole grain crackers.
Dr. Illuri added, "As an American culture, associate holidays and vacations with unhealthy food, but it doesn't have to be. We can associate these fun times with activities."
Here are a few healthy lunch options for children:
-Chickpea pasta with peas
-Carrots and strawberries
-Whole grain bread with peanut butter or almond butter
-Diced apples, cucumbers, roasted chickpeas
-Dark chocolate piece
-Two whole grain muffins (you can sweeten with bananas)
-Blueberries, edamame, cherry tomatoes
For more information about family health call (210) 358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories here.
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