Caffeine Stunts Your Child’s Growth: Food Fact or Food Fiction?
Caffeine is hiding in everything nowadays, but is a little caffeine here and there truly harmful to your child’s growth? According to Lizzie Kasparek, a Registered Dietitian at Sanford Health, this myth comes from a theory that suspects a correlation between too much caffeine and bone breakdown, which causes ‘stunted growth,’ however this theory doesn’t have enough evidence to be true. “Of course nutrition has an impact on bone health, so focusing on specific nutrients that can benefit bone health, such as calcium and Vitamin D, is more important for strong and healthy bones,” she says.
Besides growth concerns, there are other side effects that parents and educators should be aware of when it comes to caffeine and your children. According to Lizzie, your child could also experience side effects like anxiety, a racing heart, bodily tremors, and reduced sleep quality and/or quantity if they’re consuming large amounts of caffeine. All in all, eating enough calories that come from a wide variety of nutritious food groups is the optimal way to support healthy growth and development in kids.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Food Fact or Food Fiction?
An apple a day seems simple enough if it keeps you well, but is it really enough? According to Lizzie, probably not. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables keeps you healthy by providing your body with a wide array of vitamins, nutrients, minerals—all things you need to support a healthy immune system! “Of course, a person’s dietary needs are as different as the people that have them,” she says. “But a good rule of thumb is to make sure that roughly half of your plate is made up of fruits and vegetables. By trying to incorporate different kinds of fruits and vegetables into your meals, you’re more likely to fulfill your body’s dietary needs.
If you have questions about your personal dietary needs, please consult a dietitian in your area. Click here to learn more about making your own nutritious food and beverage choices. Download and print our Eat More, Eat Some, Eat Less Food Chart for an easy way to help your family choose the best foods and drinks to fuel your bodies.