Test Your Food and Fitness Facts

Answer Key

1. b. All kids need at least three servings of veggies daily, but the portion size is smaller than you think. Figure on one tablespoon for every year of life for kids 1 to 6, 1/2 cup total thereafter.

2. a. Animal proteins contain "heme" iron, which is absorbed better than iron from plant foods. Dairy products don't have any iron.

3. b. Dads who encourage exercise and who provide logistical support such as a ride to practice are more apt to have active daughters. In the study, a mom's activity level made no difference.

4. a. Sturdy fibers and proteins lock up the carotenes in vegetables. Light cooking sets them free, while overcooking destroys them. If your kids like raw veggies, serve them with a little salad dressing (but not fat-free), which will improve the absorption of carotenes.

5. a. Kids are less active than ever, in part because schools are cutting gym classes; only 56% of students take them regularly.

6. c. Just 1/2 cup of baked beans offers 64 mg of calcium while a corn tortilla delivers 53 mg.

7. d. A Tufts University study shows that, regardless of education or income, families who turn off the tube during meals eat healthier. Maybe it's just a matter of focus.

8. b. To boost your child's level, make fitness a family event. Take walks after dinner, and plan weekend hiking or biking trips.

What's Your Score?

  • 7 or 8 You take the (carrot) cake. Keep up all your fabulous work.
  • 5 or 6 You're cookin' -- just check out www.bcm.tmc.edu/cnrc for an up-to-date chart of kids' nutrient needs.
  • 3 or 4 Get on better footing with the kids' section at www.fitness.gov.
  • 2 or fewer Grab a copy of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Guide to Your Child's Nutrition to boost your score (and your family's health) pronto.

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