Children’s Health Guidelines

Children’s health continues to be an unexplored minefield of emotional blackmail and misinformation. In our little studio, many mothers are at a loss because of the overwhelming volume of contradictory information out there.

Australian’s have now overtaken American’s in the number of overweight and obese, and our kids are more likely to be overweight when their parents are overweight (incidentally, so are our pets!).
Consider these facts taken from the Juice Plus Children’s research page:

  • 93% of children and adolescents do not consume the recommended amount of vegetables per day
  • Obesity rates have tripled among teens since the late ’70s
  • 80% of children who are overweight at ages 10-15 become obese as adults
  • 1 in 3 children born in the United States in the year 2000 is predicted to develop type 2 diabetes
  • By age 12, an estimated 70% of children have the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries
  • Today’s generation of children may be the first in two centuries to actually live shorter lives than their parents

Our philosophy at IntoYou is that if it is simple and logical, it is probably correct. Over time, we have developed these simple guidelines, to ensure not only your child’s health, but yours too! (Another side note here, we had a client lose 10kg when she ate the same thing, at the same time, as her kids – keep in mind that your kids will grow up to do what YOU DO, not what you tell them to do!).

  1. Ensure that you eat the recommended daily intake of fruit – that is 2 pieces per day. Any more is healthy, but you need to be aware that the extra sugar is extra calories, and if your family has a weight problem this is not ideal.

  2. Ensure that you eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables – that is 5 or more cups a day. Unfortunately potato doesn’t count, it has no real nutrients to speak of, and is very high in the kind of carbohydrates that store very easily as fat… chose brightly coloured veges, and eat raw where possible.
  3. When you chose carbohydrates, chose as unprocessed as possible – for example, whole grains and seeds over white bread or doughnuts.
  4. Eat lean meat – pork meat is healthy but pork knuckle is overwhelmingly not!! Your butcher can help you chose good cuts of meat. Ensure variety to meet all your nutritional needs. So over a week you get at least 1-2 serves of white meat, red meat, fish, soy, and legumes.
  5. Water – 2 litres per day plus 1 litre for every hour of exercise.
  6. Exercise – 30min three times a week is the recommended amount for optimum health (for fat loss you are looking at 4hrs accumulated throughout the week).

Reading these guidelines, it is remarkably simple… and disappointing if you were looking for a quick fix or secret solution. The facts are, if you eat well you will look and live well, and so will your kids.

Clare Hozack: Clare is managing director of IntoYou, a small strength training studio on Collaroy Plateau specialising in women’s post natal health. For more articles and information, you can follow Clare’s blog: or “like” IntoYou on Facebook: . For comments or feedback, email [email protected]


1 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
2 “Overweight in children.” American Heart Association. Updated June 10, 2010.
3 Ogden CL, et al. “Prevalence of High Body Mass Index in US Children and Adolescents, 2007—2008.” JAMA. 2010;303:242—249.
4 Whitaker RC, et al. “Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity.” N Engl J Med. 1997;37(13):869—873.
5 “Diabetes overview.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Nov. 2008.
6 Bogalusa Heart Study. 
7 Olshansky SJ, et al. “A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century.” N Engl J Med. 2005 Mar 17;352(11):1138-45.
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