The economy is taking its toll. Many parents are trying to save money and fast food is often the answer. The wrong answer, especially for kids.
Pulcino, a Pediatric NP at Rochester General says, "Food is just something you do when you're trying to get full and that's what the approach might be."
And what area doctors are noticing is that stress eating is really more of a family thing. If one thing happens to a parent, then that can pass along to the children as well. "You know a family's a system. So, any change in one part of the system affects the other part of the system."
Pulcino suggests parents take a few minutes to control the situation. Start with lunches. A brown bag lunch is still the healthiest. "So if I can just get parents to say: OK, how much is a loaf of bread. THe fruits that are seasonal, how can you put that into a lunch bag?"
When it comes to other meals, try your best for at least one meal together a week. "Just by having more family meals together at adolecense alone, improved their nutritional intake, even into adulthood."
Most importantly, get the kids involved in planning meals. "So we try to just go through the day to day, how can you kinda build around a one week menu that's healthier for your child and helps you save money in the long run."