Kids' menus: A day at a glance

Wednesday, October 4th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

By Leslie Garcia / The Dallas Morning News

Jack Sullivan is 12, Ana Villareal 11. They're healthy, active kids whose diets – like those of most children – include good-for-them foods, as well as not-so-nutritious ones.

In August, we asked Jack and Ana to keep track for one day of everything they ate. Then we asked Joyce Barnett, licensed and registered dietitian with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, to evaluate their choices.

First, a caveat: An accurate nutritional analysis, Mrs. Barnett says, can't be determined by just one day. Jack, for instance, likes watermelon, grapes, canned carrots and other fruits and vegetables. But on this particular day, he didn't eat any of those.

Ana, who sometimes amazes her parents by ordering pizza with broccoli or spinach, didn't eat many vegetables on the day in which she kept track.

But, Mrs. Barnett says, "Vitamin A and other fat-soluble vitamins carry over." In other words, they can be stored in the body. But water-solubles, like Vitamin C, are needed daily.

All that said, here's the kids' meals for one day.


Breakfast: Bowl of Cap'n Crunch with 2percent milk; calcium-fortified Sunny Delight

Lunch: Nachos, beans, carrot sticks with ranch dressing, chocolate milk.

Snack: One peach, handful of potato chips.

Dinner: Tacos with lettuce and beef, strawberry tangerine punch.

What Mrs. Barnett is glad to see: Adequate calorie intake; pretty good amount of grains (Mrs. Barnett counted the cereal, taco shells and chips); enough protein (milk, beans, taco meat).

What she'd like to see: More calcium. Fruit juice instead of fruit punch; another two servings of fruit.


Breakfast: None

Lunch: (at 10:30 a.m.): Baked potato with sour cream, cheddar cheese, butter; lemonade; strawberry ice cream; bagel with cinnamon icing

Afternoon snack: Bottled water, Chinese chicken salad left over from his mother's lunch; bread and butter; chocolate-chip cookie; lollipop

Dinner: Club soda, homemade french fries, cheeseburger with ketchup, macaroni and cheese; iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing

What Mrs. Barnett is glad to see: Adequate calorie intake and amount of protein. Calcium almost, but not quite, meets Jack's daily needs of 1,300 milligrams.

What she'd like to see: Breakfast – even juice and a piece of toast. More fruits and vegetables; although he did eat potatoes, she'd prefer a serving of something green or yellow. A little less fat, though she guesses his body is getting ready for a growth spurt.

Leslie Garcia