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Table 1 Summary of the nutrition education guide used in one treatment group

From: An increase of cereal intake as an approach to weight reduction in children is effective only when accompanied by nutrition education: a randomized controlled trial

Recommendations concerning the family:
   • Parents are responsible for teaching their children healthy food choices in and outside their home.
   • Lunch must be a simple, appetizing, easy to carry, economical and nutritious meal.
   • When eating together, the rest of the family should eat the same type of foods, but the serving size may vary individually.
   • Mealtimes at home should be calmed and trouble-free; this is not a good time for arguments about the child's diet.
   • The amount of foods eaten at home is influenced by family preferences. Watch out what is bought and stored at home. Avoid storing foods that the child may crave for such as deserts, soft drinks, candies, potato chips and other calorie dense foods.
Recommendations concerning the child
   • The child must continue with his/her usual physical activity.
   • Food preferences should be considered when planning the child's meals.
   • A child must always have breakfast before school, or during the weekend.
   • Consume only skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and low-fat yogurt.
   • Eat the regular foods prepared at home, following the general recommendations given in the sample menu.
   • If there is a mealtime out of home, child may be allowed to eat the foods available, but the amount of food consumed should be less than usual.
   • Avoid beverages with a high content of sugar; instead drink natural water.
   • The child should replace snacks with low-sugar beverages or water and may have a calorie dense snack of his/her choice occasionally (once a week).
Foods to be included in the child's diet:
   • Whole grain breads, pasta, rice, cereal.
   • Turkey ham, turkey sausages, chicken, tuna, eggs and beans
   • Low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt
   • Lettuce, tomato, carrots
   • Any kind of fruit
Foods to be avoided in the child's diet:
   • Foods with a high sugar content such as soft drinks, candy, commercial fruit juices, and chocolate.
   • Foods with a high fat content, such as cream, desserts made from whole milk, peanut butter, fried food, pork and lamb meat and their products such as bacon and pork sausage.
Example of a lunch:
   • A sandwich with one item (low fat cheese, turkey ham, or tuna fish in water) + 1 fruit or vegetable + natural water or one glass of a low-sugar beverage and the rest of beverages as natural water.