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Children's Health

A Look at What Two Girls Eat During a Week

July 13, 1998|PATRICIA MEISOL | BALTIMORE SUN

In the best circumstances, everybody would behave the way Caitlin Sloane, 10, did one night when her dad took her to get ice cream after a dinner at St. Paul's School for Girls in Brooklandville, Md. To her dad's shock, she said, "No, thanks"--she was too full.

Caitlin's diet is not perfect, of course. She and her sister, Sarah, 15, eat French fries and cookies, as most kids do. But in a week of keeping a diary of their eating habits at the Baltimore Sun's request, they ate a lot of fruit and vegetables too.

Fat is more likely to be displaced when fruits and vegetables are eaten. Americans' typical diet contains 34% fat, though the recommended amount is from 20% to 30%. Looking at the Sloane girls' diary, Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, guessed that the family's fat intake is 30% or less.

The family consumes a reasonable amount of cereal, reduced-fat items and a modest amount of protein from red meat, Caballero noted. Except for the beef fajitas with sour cream, which is "quite rich in saturated fat," the family clearly pays attention to what it chooses to eat, he says.

The Sloanes eat well partly because the mother, Ann, an administrator at St. Paul's, makes family eating a priority. She serves a lot of chicken and pasta, and a salad and fruit with each dinner.

The Sloanes stopped going out to eat four years ago, when Sarah became involved in sports and the Visa account needed shaving.

"Part of it is time," Ann Sloane says. "If they have homework, they'd rather have food here."

The only time they eat takeout is Thursdays--husband Tom's night to cook.

Here's a look at the Sloane girls' food diary:

Wednesday

Breakfast: Low-fat granola cereal, orange juice.

Lunch: Caitlin had cheese and mustard on wheat bread, Sarah had turkey and cheese. Box drink, granola bar, String Things fruit-flavored snack.

Dinner: Caitlin had chicken sandwich with barbecue sauce, pretzels, soft drink. Sarah had hot dog, chips, soft drink, cake and ice cream at school event.

Snacks: Bagel with cream cheese, Fruit Roll-Up, chips.

Thursday

Breakfast: Bagel with peanut butter, orange juice.

Lunch: Cheddar cheese with mustard on whole wheat, banana, granola bar, String Things, soft drink for Caitlin; yogurt, lemonade, chocolate bar, ice cream for Sarah.

Dinner: Canned spaghetti with ground beef added, raw carrots, bran muffins.

Snacks: Bagel, snow cone, pretzels.

Friday

Breakfast: Granola cereal, orange juice.

Lunch: Sarah had turkey with cheese on whole wheat, carrots, Fruit Roll-Ups, granola bar. Caitlin, who forgot her lunch, bought French fries with catsup in cafeteria.

Dinner: Caitlin had mesquite-style chicken breast frozen dinner, pasta and sauce, steamed green beans, water and milk. Sarah, at a friend's, had pasta and tomato sauce, soft drink, bread and butter, salad and strawberry shortcake.

Snacks: Bagel after school for Caitlin, two granola bars and milk for Sarah.

Saturday

Breakfast: Sarah, at home, had pancakes made from reduced-fat mix with butter-light syrup, microwave sausage, orange juice and milk. Caitlin, visiting friends, had English muffin with butter.

Lunch: Pizza, Coke, "much candy" at Roland Park Elementary's 70th annual May Mart festival.

Dinner: Beef fajita frozen dinner with salsa and sour cream and vegetables, sliced cucumber with mild pepper rings served in a vinaigrette mix, water and milk.

Snacks: Frozen cappuccino drink.

Sunday

Breakfast: French toast (wheat bread) with syrup, orange juice.

Lunch: Fresh strawberries, banana, chips, crackers with hummus.

Dinner: Steaks cooked on the grill, grilled vegetables (potato, green pepper, asparagus, Spanish onion marinated in olive oil and spices), pasta with pesto sauce, garlic bread, fresh cantaloupe, fruit tart with vanilla ice cream, and pecan pie.

Snacks: Frozen cappuccino drink, chips.

Monday

Breakfast: Frozen waffles with syrup, orange juice.

Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with honey on whole wheat, String Things, granola bar.

Dinner: Caitlin had baked chicken breast with ribs, basted with butter and seasonings; red beans and rice; roasted vegetables, steamed beans. Sarah, baby-sitting, had frozen pizza, an orange, granola bar.

Snacks: Snow cones.

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