Kids Can’t Eat What is Not There

The last few months I have noticed a down hill spiral of eating habits in our house. Breakfasts and snacks became a free for all of low nutrient, high fat, high calorie foods. (Lunches were packed healthy, and dinners became the only really healthy meal that the kids would eat at home) I was guilty of buying too many snacky foods, which became the kids first choice. This of course led to lots of battles.

I decided to throw out every snack food that was unhealthy and replace everything with healthy choices. Not a single unhealthy snack left in our house. But, I did tell the kids that they can have one day a week where they can choose a treat.

It is going on three weeks now, and the kids have not complained once about their snacks and food options. I am kind of surprised, as I thought for sure I would hear a lot of whining about nothing “good to eat”. The best part is that the kids are chowing on all the healthy stuff and loving it.

Kids, especially younger ones, will eat mostly what’s available at home. That’s why it’s important to control the supply lines — the foods that you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks. Kids can’t eat what is not there. A side bonus is that you will not be tempted by your kids snacks.

Here are some basic tips that are great for kids but also for parents:

1. Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine, aiming for the goal of at least five servings a day. Be sure you serve fruit or vegetables at every meal.

2. Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat. Other good snacks that my kids love include low-fat yogurt blended with some low fat milk to make a shake/smoothie, peanut butter and capples or celery, or whole-grain crackers and cheese.

3. Serve lean meats and other good sources of protein, such as fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.Choose whole-grain breads and cereals so kids get more fiber. Don’t be fooled by kids’ cereal marketing. Read the ingredients.

4. Limit fat intake by avoiding deep-fried foods and choosing healthier cooking methods, such as broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products.

5. Limit fast food and low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don’t completely ban their favorite snacks. Instead, make them a special treat, so kids don’t feel deprived.

6. Limit sugary drinks, such as soda, juice, and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead

BABY STEPS: EASY and EFFICIENT WEIGHT LOSS

A healthy body works more efficiently, and here is the best part…a healthy body loses weight more easily and more efficiently than an unhealthy body.

This is why nutrition is so important for weight management as well as general health. There is a definite difference between a healthy diet and a weight loss diet. However, if you want to take baby steps, start on a healthy diet and don’t worry about calorie counting. You will actually feel fuller because of the healthy foods your are eating, so your calories will naturally be lower. Once you get in the habit of healthy eating and you make a conscious effort to reduce your calories, the weight will fly off.

It’s worth remembering that 20 minerals, 13 vitamins and fiber (none of which contain any calories) are essential for health. Their presence or absence can also change the rate at which energy is produced or calories burned. When foods cannot be metabolised properly because they lack the necessary minerals and vitamins, their energy becomes unavailable to our body and is stored as fat until we get the necessary minerals and vitamins at some later time. In the meantime we feel hungry and eat more. This too turns into fat unless minerals and vitamins are also provided.

When you choose NutrientDense Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, oily fish, oats, beans, nuts and seeds, and avoid wasting your daily calorie allowance on “empty-calorie-foods” (which contain calories but no nutrition), like regular sodas, alcohol, sweets and candy, you will get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet which creates a healthy body which makes weight loss easier.

A Snack for Every Taste Bud

I was fortunate to be contacted by a rep for glenny’s . Truthfully, I had never heard of the company before, but I am always willing to try products and write about it on my blog.

glenny’s started back in 1979, and this is their pitch…”glenny’s low-fat, low-calorie, and high-fiber snacks are the perfect choice for any diet. They are specially formulated to provide you with energy and nutrition you need between meals. Simply put, our nutritious and delicious snacks will keep you satisfied, so you can eat less between meals, and stick to your diet plan! We offer a variety of snacks each with your enjoyment and nutrition needs in mind.”

One thing I know is that any time I’m ‘dieting’ or trying a new eating strategy, it’s nice to have snacky foods to munch on from time to time.

I received a big box of glenny’s snacks, and everyone in my family was ready to dive right in. Before we opened the snacks, I had my daughter create a spread sheet of sorts, so that any time someone took a taste of one of the snacks, their opinion had to be recorded. Not entirely scientific, but this plan worked for us. Even when my kids had friends over, they wouldn’t let them try a glenny’s unless they promised of an honest critique.

I will start with the Stars of the Show:

  1. The two best were Soy Crisp Barbeque and Soy Crisp Ranch. The adults loved the barbeque, and the kids wanted to make sure they got the ranch packed in their lunches, which in our house is a big deal.

    Barbeque

    Barbeque

  2. Next on the super yummy list was the Soy Chips Aged Yellow Cheddar. It received high marks and “delicious” from kids and adults. They were packed with cheddar flavor.
  3. The brownies were amazing. They tasted EXACTLY like a moist, chocolaty brownie. How is this only 100 calories? Best of all, it was a good size brownie. Not just a bite.
  4. My kids LOVE rice crispy treats, so when I gave them the glenny’s version, I was apprehensive. They are kind of Rice Cereal Treat aficionados. Glenny’s passed with flying colors. The texture wasn’t as dense, and it seemed a little sweeter, but all and all it was a great substitute.
  5. Another one of my favorites was the Whole Fruit and Nut Bars. If you like dried fruit, you will love this bar. It’s a dried fruit palooza packed with flavor. I wish the bar was slightly bigger, though.

    Fruit and Nut

    Fruit and Nut

Now for the Runner ups:

  1. The Easy Peasy barbeque had a much milder bbq flavor than the Soy Crisp, so this may be a good alternative for those who don’t like that ‘in your face’ barbeque flavor. One comment my husband had was that the chip should at least be a barbeque color.
  2. The Easy Peasy Parmesan and Olive Oil was a good cracker, but the flavor was a little too mild for most of us.

 

And the not so great flavors:

  1. Any of the Sea Salt versions were just plain blah. Not bad, but no taste to speak of.
  2. The Easy Peasy Chili Lime was kind of weird. The lime flavor hit first but tasted more like lime soap. This part was not good. But then the chili flavor hit with a POW of heat. This part was good, but very spicy.
  3. The Quinoa and Kale options were all graded bland at best.

So, there you have it. The thing I really like about glenny’s is that there is something for everyone and every taste bud. In addition, my family does not have any restrictions when it comes to diet. But for those families that do need to carefully select ingredients, glenny’s offers a wide range of “XXX Free” foods.

 

http://www.glennys.com/

Family Friendly Fit Tricks for Healthy Weight Management

fridge_pic-full[1]I love Google. I use it for almost everything, including health care, how to do whatever, recipes, shopping, and more. But Googling weight loss is like opening Pandora’s Box. There are way too many sites and supplements that are questionable at best, aimed at your pocket book rather than your waist line. Here are five family friendly fit tricks for healthy weight management.

1. Build a healthy home environment. It can be as simple as having a fruit bowl on the table, rather than a bin full of fruit tucked away at the bottom of the fridge. Keeping healthy food visible encourages kids (and adults) to grab and go when they are hungry and in a hurry. Keep cut up veggies, yogurt, or fruit salad front and center in the fridge. When a kid (or adults) opens the refrigerator to mindlessly search for snacks, the healthy option will catch their eye.

2. Purchase small portions and limited amounts of convenience food that is high in sugar and fat. Pre-portion any junky snacks in little ramekin cups, baggies, or mini cupcake liners, so there is no mindless eating from the bag of chips or cookie box. Store these items in the images[9]pantry on a higher shelf so they are less visible.

3. Make physical activity a routine, and make it fun. Take a walk or walk the dog after dinner to unwind. Get up during commercials while watching your favorite show and play catch with a Nerf ball, or strike up a game of balloon volleyball with your kids.

4. Eat meals around the table, at home as often as possible. Family meals offer kids a chance to see parents eating healthy. Show how to load the plate with a variety of vegetables and smaller portions of meat and carbs. Meat packs between 55-110 calories per ounce, so it’s easy to pack on the pounds when the portion shifts even a couple of ounces on a regular basis (especially as you age).

5. Praise yourself and your kids when you practice the skills and behaviors linked with healthy eating. Give high fives after those active commercial breaks. Notice when you and your kids have put in the effort to taste an unfamiliar food and choose healthy options over the junk.

 

7 Wonders of the Nutrition World

imagesCAQP8F7RWe all know which foods we should try to avoid, and despite the appeal of Thin Mints, Doritos, Mountain Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide little good and a whole lot of bad. But when it comes to the nutritious stuffwhat are the best foods to put into our bodies? While we need a variety of foods for a healthy diet, do you know which are the healthiest of the bunch? These are the top seven most nutrient dense foods around. I bet you will be able to incorporate at least one of these into your daily diet.

 

1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating river algae might gross you out a bit, spirulina is actually fairly tasty, especially blended into a smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals making it the most nutrient dense food. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23544470

 

2. Kale: Kale packs a serious nutritious punch, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer. It’s also delicious and an easy to prepare, versatile food. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23631258

 

3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals? Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is versatile, easy to use and extremely tasty, too.

 

4. Broccoli: Your mom was right … Eat your vegetables. Broccoli especially if you want a healthy digestive system and you want to kick it up a notch… your health that is. Broccoli has a wide range of usefulness too, from soups to stir fry, or simply steamed or raw.

 

5.Spinach: Popeye was onto something with that spinach fixation. But skip the canned stuff and stick with fresh or frozen for an antioxidant, protein and fiber-rich burst of healthy goodness. Fresh or cooked, spinach’s sweet and hardy flavor brightens any meal.

 

6. Chia: The Aztecs may have died out, but their legacy is alive and strong in the chia seed. This ancient favorite is loaded with omega fats, protein and fiber. It can be a better choice than flax because chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.http://fitchicktricks.com/nutrition/dangerfood-or-superfood/chia-the-food-not-the-pet/

 

7. Berries: Unlike other fruit, berries tend to be less sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical avenging antioxidants. Wild berries are always a great choice, especially black rassberries

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