Saturday, August 1, 2015

Augusts Topic: Kids Eye Health


Babies, children and teenagers have different eye health needs than adults. Some problems, like amblyopia, that can be treated in babies and young children, become irreversible once a child is older. Once a child's best eyesight is established, it's crucial to protect their sight from injury.
Vision doesn't just happen. A child's brain learns how to use eyes to see, just like it learns how to use legs to walk or a mouth to form words. The longer a vision problem goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more a child's brain learns to accommodate the vision problem.
That's why a comprehensive eye examination is so important for children. Early detection and treatment provide the very best opportunity to correct vision problems, so your child can learn to see clearly.  Make sure your child has the best possible tools to learn successfully. 
Here are some of the most nutritious foods that support healthy vision:
Fish 
Cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts. If you don't eat seafood, you can get a good supply of omega-3s by using fish oil supplements or taking vegetarian supplements that contain black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil.
Leafy Greens 
Spinach, kale and collard greens, to name just a few, are packed full of lutein and zeaxanthin, important plant pigments that can help stem the development of macular degeneration and cataracts. Broccoli, peas and avocados are also good sources of this powerful antioxidant duo.
Eggs 
The vitamins and nutrients in eggs, including lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.
Whole Grains 
A diet containing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) can help reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration. Swap refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole-wheat breads and pasta. The vitamin E, zinc and niacin found in whole grains also help promote overall eye health.
Citrus Fruits and Berries 
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and berries are high in vitamin C, which may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Nuts 
Pistachios, walnuts, almonds — whichever type tickles your fancy — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables 
Foods such as carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, pumpkin, corn and cantaloupe are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. And carotenoids — the compounds that give these fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange and red pigments — are thought to help decrease the risk of many eye diseases.
Legumes 
Kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc — and can help protect the retina and lower the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil and Black Currant Seed Oil 
These super supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids and have many eye health benefits, including helping to prevent or control dry eye syndrome as well as reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Sunflower Seeds 
Help keep your eyes healthy and disease-free by snacking on sunflowers seeds, which are excellent sources of vitamin E and zinc.
Beef 
In moderation, lean beef in your diet can boost your eye health. Beef contains zinc, which helps your body absorb vitamin A and may play a role in reducing risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.
We know some of these foods can be really hard to get your kids to eat, so all this month we will be posting recipes that are super healthy, and sneak these foods into things your kids will love to eat!

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