Skip the Burger and Feel Better

By Andrews, Linda

What do you want for lunch? If you're like many kids, your first answer might be a burger and fries. But that may not be your best choice.

Some scientists looked at what kids ate all around the world. Those who often ate burgers were more likely to get asthma. But kids who ate fish, fruit, and veggies were less likely to get it.

Why are burgers bad for asthma? It could be because of the unhealthy fat in fast-food like burgers and fries.

Power up your body

Healthy food choices help you feel and do your best. Food is the fuel that powers your body. With the right fuel, you have more energy to learn and play. A balanced diet also helps you grow and build strong muscles and bones. Plus, it helps your body stay at a healthy weight.

When you have asthma, a good diet helps your lungs work better. It decreases swelling inside the airways. And it reduces the risk for wheezing—a whistling sound that some kids with asthma make when breathing.

Supersize your health

Now here's the really good news: Healthy food can still be yummy! The following smart choices are delicious, nutritious, and fun. Have your mom or dad help you prepare these tasty treats:

  • Berry good smoothie. Put 1 cup unsweetened orange juice, 1/2 banana (sliced), 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, and two ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Makes two servings.

  • Any day sundae. Top low-fat yogurt with fruit and crunchy whole-grain cereal. For the fruit, try sliced apples, peaches, or strawberries. Or use whole blueberries instead.

  • Snacker crackers. Make little sandwiches from whole-grain crackers. Fill with peanut butter or almond butter and 100 percent fruit spread—this is the kind with no added sugar.

  • On-the-go trail mix. Combine dried fruit, nuts, and mini-pretzels. Put a handful in a zip-top bag for an easy-to-carry snack.

  • Little dippers. Stir a package of dry ranch dressing mix into 1 cup of plain low-fat yogurt. Eat with raw carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, or cauliflower pieces.

  • ¡Que bueno! quesadilla. Sprinkle grated low-fat cheese and cut up peppers and mushrooms over a whole-wheat tortilla. Cover with another tortilla. Microwave to melt the cheese. Spread on low-fat refried beans for extra flavor.

  • Meal in a pocket. Fill a whole wheat pita pocket with hummus, shredded lettuce, cut up tomatoes, and sliced cucumber.

  • Too good tuna salad. Mix canned light tuna with chopped carrots and celery. Stir in a little fat-free mayonnaise. Spread on a whole wheat roll, or spoon into celery sticks. 

Medical Reviewer: Bass, Pat F. III, MD, MPH, Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS Last Annual Review Date: 2011-09-08T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: © 2000-2011 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Your Guide to Asthma

Take a Personalized Health Test

Personal Story Network

A place where patients, healthcare providers, caregivers, and innovators share their personal stories about healing, and hope within the healthcare system and beyond.

Did You Know?

View Source

About how many children in the United States have asthma?