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Body Mass Index



Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. This number lets you know if your child is at a healthy weight. Children whose BMI for age is at or above the 95% are considered obese. BMI between 85-95% are overweight. 31% of New Jer-sey children ages 10-17 years of age are overweight or obese. Prob-lems associated with obesity include Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, asthma, sleep apnea and most commonly psychosocial issues (depression, poor self-esteem, poor peer relations).

You can use the parent friendly online tool at:

www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi or ask your pediatrician to calculate the BMI at your child’s next visit.




"Eat your breakfast . It’s the most important meal of the day!" I am sure most children have heard that from their parents, teachers or school nurse. After a long night of sleeping, you need to fill up your tank to refuel in the morning. Breakfast is the fuel that gets you going to hit the road. Breakfast provides the nutrients and energy needed toconcentrate in school.

Suggestions for a healthy start to the day include: breakfast taco (shredded cheese on a tortilla, folded in half, microwave, and topped with salsa), country cottage cheese (apple butter mixed with cottage cheese), grilled cheese sandwich, peanut butter and jelly. Just like other meals, try to eat a variety of foods including whole grain cereal and bread, protein (eggs, cheese, yogurt, meat) and fruit. The carbohydrates boost energy and help jump start your child’s day, while the protein keeps the body going strong until lunch time. Allow 10-15 minutes of unhurried time to eat breakfast in the morning.


Helpful Website Sites






"Portion size" is the amount of food one chooses to eat.

"Serving size" is a standard amount that gives guidance about how much to eat or identifies how many calories or nutrients are in a food. The Food Pyramid provides serving size recommendations to guide people in selecting their daily food intake. Larger portions of high-calorie, high fat foods are one of several environmental and societal trends contributing to the increase in overweight adults and children, Bagels used to weigh between 2- 3 ounces. Today, the average bagel weighs 4-7 ounces.

Meal combos or value meals have become increasingly popular. Fast food chains offer more food for only a slight increase in cost. This supersizing of meals encourages Americans to buy and eat more food under the premise that it is a good value. Fast food chains target children with supersized versions of their popular kids meals.


If you are too rushed in the morning, try an easy way to grab a quick breakfast. Fill a Ziploc snack size bag with the following:

Single serving of whole grain, low sugar cereal
Fresh fruit
Whole grain muffin
Trail mix of nuts, dried fruits, crackers and peanut butter
Protein bar

Children who eat breakfast do better in school, pay attention better in class and tend to eat healthier overall.