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Healthful Eating: Essay On Health And Nutrition In Childhood--with A Free Essay Review

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Is healthful eating important? If so, when should healthful eating begin? Good nutrition is very important in enhancing long life and good health, and it begins in infancy. Healthful eating is a very important factor in a parent’s diet and the diet of children and healthful eating affects all of our personal well-being. There are many wonderful benefits from healthful eating, such as improved health and feeling much better about oneself. Eating healthfully doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. Eating healthfully means a well-balanced diet, full of nutritious foods and drinks, and it means limiting the amount of fat, sugar and carbohydrates you consume daily and exchanging them for healthier choices. Therefore, I believe healthful eating should begin in children to enrich them with healthier lives, escaping the darkness of diseases and deadly health problems.

Changing eating habits as an adult can be a very challenging task; therefore, learning to eat healthily as a child is the key. The earlier you start, the earlier the benefits can begin. There are so many benefits from healthful eating starting in childhood. The Journal of School Health (1997) states that “healthy eating patterns in childhood and adolescence promote optimal childhood health, growth, and intellectual development, prevent immediate health problems such as iron deficiency anemia, obesity, eating disorders, and dental caries, and may prevent long time health problems such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke. These are some of the main causes of death today.”

Things that can be done to assist children in healthfully eating include encouraging them to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lean meats. Limit their fat, sugar, and salt intake, and avoid drinks full of sugar and high in calories with no nutritional value. The Center for Disease Prevention (2000) states that “most young people eat too much fat, only one in five eats the recommended daily five servings of fruits and vegetables.” There are many ways to help promote and encourage healthful eating. You can have regular family meals at home with your child; you can also allow your child to get involved in the cooking process by helping the parent prepare healthful meals. Also, limiting their portion sizes on their plates and giving them good healthy snacks and having the healthy snacks on hand at all times are good ideas. You can consider making their lunch for them if they attend school to ensure they are getting a healthy and nutritious lunch when they are away from home. You can also discuss with your child the importance of healthful eating so they can be aware of how important it is and the benefits they will reap from healthful eating. Also, if parents are eating healthy, children will be more likely to follow suit (Lair, 2000). Dianne Neumark Sztainer states that “parents can help their children engage in more healthful eating and physical activity behavior and feel better about themselves through (1) role modeling healthful behaviors, (2) providing an environment that makes it easy for their children to make healthful choices, (3) focusing less on weight and more on behaviors and overall health, and (4) providing a supportive environment”

Eating poorly is not the only factor in poor health. The lack of physical activity in our children can contribute to the problems also. Therefore, physical activity, along with healthful eating, should be encouraged in our children as well. The Journal of School Health (1997) states that “regular physical activity is linked to enhanced health and to reduced risk for all-cause mortality and the development of many diseases in adults.” We need to encourage physical activity among young people so that they will continue to engage in physical activity in adulthood to obtain the benefits of physical activity throughout life.

Activities that we can encourage are playing with them, throwing around a football or playing a game of basketball. There are many outdoor and indoor activities to consider, such as taking a family walk in the neighborhood or gym or playing a simple game like tag. Activities should be fun and interesting so children will continue to be interested in them. Therefore, never keep doing the same activities; mix them up at times.

Therefore, what make healthful eating so important in our children lives are the many benefits that are linked to healthful eating. The fact of knowing that all the benefits promote long and healthful lives is found to be very encouraging. So the question may not be, Is healthful eating important for our children? but, How can I encourage my child to eat healthfully? Also, how can I encourage them to participate in physical activities, so they may reap every benefit of a healthy life style? With obesity raging in the world today, encouraging good healthy patterns in childhood is a must. Children who are introduced to healthy eating early in life have a better chance of eating right when they are adults. Therefore, the earlier those healthful eating patterns begin, the better off you are. That’s why I believe that healthful eating should begin in children, to enrich them with healthier lives escaping the darkness of dreaded diseases and deadly health problems. This is the reality of healthful eating in our youth: the possibility of a long life full of great expectations as we age and grow into adulthood.

Essay Review:

Thank you for submitting your essay for review. While I have silently edited some of the grammatical problems, there are a number of other issues that I think you could usefully address. I’ll identify a few minor problems, and then address a larger one.

First, some of the paragraphs are poorly organized; you introduce a topic and then discuss something else. For instance, your second paragraph begins by arguing that children should be encouraged to eat well because of the difficulty of changing eating habits later. But you then go back to the question of the benefits of eating well, which you had already begun to cover in your first paragraph. Try to focus on a single issue in each paragraph.

Second, transitions in the essay are also a bit weak. The worst example is the transition to the last paragraph: in the penultimate paragraph you are discussing how to get children engaged in physical activity, but you begin the last paragraph with an unrelated claim about the importance of eating well, and your attempt at a transition to your conclusion is a single word, “Therefore.” You seem to want to use that word to suggest that the last paragraph is the logical conclusion to your essay, as though the word meant, in effect, “Given everything I have said in the previous paragraphs, I can now logically claim the following.” The word “therefore” can’t do that much work!

Third, if this is intended as a serious research paper, then your teacher may well have an issue with the range and quality and date of some of your sources. Note that I’ve added quotation marks to directly quoted material.

Finally, the larger issue. I think you need to completely change the organization of your essay or the introduction, but preferably change both. The introduction doesn’t lead me to expect a lesson on how to encourage healthy eating habits in children (which you provide in your third paragraph) because you don’t set the essay up as an obvious attempt to provide a solution to a problem. For the same reason, the transition to talking about physical activity (fourth paragraph) and the lesson in how to encourage physical activity (fifth paragraph) are unexpected and make the essay appear disorganized. If you want your essay to be about solving a problem, then I think you need to start by articulating the nature of that problem. You begin instead with the question, “Is healthful eating important?” I think that’s a weak question because the answer is obvious. It’s not much different from asking, “Is it good for you to eat food that’s good for you?” The second question (“when should healthful eating begin?”) is more promising, but what it seems to promise is a real discussion about when we need to start getting worried about the junk we put into our bodies, and obviously that discussion doesn’t really materialize in anything other than a superficial way in the essay. So, again, I would strongly recommend starting with a problem that you intend to solve. For example, you might claim that there’s a health crisis in America (or somewhere specific) and define the nature of that crisis. You might then argue that the problem needs to be addressed by changing our eating habits and physical activity levels. You might then argue that the best way to bring about the change is by encouraging appropriate habits in childhood. You might then explain how that can be achieved and discuss some of the possible obstacles to achieving it (Junk food tastes good, it’s easy, it’s everywhere, it’s cheap and so on). Do something like that, and I think you would have a coherent essay.

Hope you find some of these comments helpful. Best wishes, EJ.


1: (2000). CDC’s Guidelines for School Health Programs...Promoting Lifelong Healthy Eating 0(1), 5

2: (1997). Guidelines for School Programs To Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating. Journal of School Health, 67(1), 26

3: (1997). Guidelines for School and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity among Young People, 67(6), 202

4: Neumark-Sztainer,D. (2005). Preventing the Broad Spectrum of Weight Related Problems. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 37(2), 7

5: Lair, Cynthia (2000). Paving the Path to Good Eating Habits. Better Nutrition, vol62 Issue10, p20
Submitted by: bonny


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August,03 2011

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