Friday, November 15, 2013

How You Can Stay Healthy And Still Eat Out

Everyone loves food that is quick and easy. Who doesn’t love being able to feed their family without even getting out of the car? Not to mention just trying to get that picky eater (that only wants junk food) to eat something! Just because it’s fast, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you and your family. Those McDonald’s fries that many people love are NOT just potatoes, salt and oil. They actually contain SEVENTEEN different ingredients including things that are used as sealants, listed as hazardous for ingestion! They even contain TBHQ which chemical makeup is similar to lighter fluid. This is linked to asthma, skin conditions, hormone disruption and cancer.

Does your child love soda? Other than the weight related issues that soda can cause, including diabetes, there are a mouth full of cavities and many ingredients that can also be detrimental to your child’s health. Some sodas contain industrial chemicals that are used as a flame retardant in plastics which is known to cause memory loss and nerve damage.

Alternatives? Other than good old fashioned water, try substituting that bubbly soda with some flavored sparkling water such as Sparkling Ice. It contains zero calories, and has zero grams of sodium.

If you must go out to eat, try making some healthier choices from the menu.

Instead of:                                                                         Try:

Double patty hamburger with all the toppings           Single patty hamburger with no cheese and especially no mayo.

Fried chicken                                                                      Grilled chicken

Salad with ranch, croutons, and cheese                       Garden salad with grilled chicken and low- fat dressing on the side

French fries                                                                        Baked potato, sweet potato fries, fruit, salad

Shake                                                                                  Greek yogurt with fruit

Fried chicken                                                                     Skinless un-breaded chicken breast

Refried beans                                                                    Black beans

Ham, bacon, meatballs, steak                                        Roast beef, chicken breast, lean ham

Cheddar cheese, American cheese                               Swiss cheese or Mozzarella

White bread sandwich                                                    Whole grain and/or take off top layer of bread

Fried white rice                                                                 Steamed brown rice

Battered or fried                                                               Steamed, baked, roasted or broiled

Thick crust pizza                                                               Thin crust pizza with light cheese and veggie toppings

  Remember: Moderation is important. Make sure not to go overboard with the portions. Drink water before eating your meal, it will fill your stomach so you won’t eat more than you need to.

You Really Are What You Eat

Many people think “As long as I workout, I can eat whatever I want.” NOT TRUE! This is a huge problem that people need to realize. It is important to have a well-balanced diet and an active lifestyle. As a child, my younger brother was always very active. He's been playing basketball and football since he was five years old. He has always been such an active kid, practicing both sports twice a week, not to mention at least two games a week. With all this running around, you’d imagine him to be a skinny child; he wasn’t. He had always been a husky kid, struggling with his weight. How could this be? The food he ate. After practice, the boy was hungry so my parents always took him to the most convenient fast food drive-thru and bought him the usual hamburger, fries and a soda. If he did really well during one of his games, he deserved a reward… pizza! Man, that boy could eat. When grandma was babysitting him, it was worse. She never wanted him to feel an ounce of hunger so she made sure she fed him almost every hour with sweets, fattening, and greasy foods. No one really thought about the problems that food caused, that’s just how we all ate.

I would eat exactly the same, McDonald’s was my favorite place to go. I would go so often that the people who worked there all knew me by name. I lived off of fast food and soda. Nothing healthy would ever touch my tongue. I never took a second look at what I was eating because I was so skinny. Seventh grade to my sophomore year in college I weighed only 94lbs no matter how much junk I ate. Only problem was, I was in and out of the doctors on almost a weekly bases. If it wasn’t for one thing, it was the other. There was always something wrong with me. But of course it wasn’t what I was eating, I was so tiny! During one of my regular doctor visits, he made a “joke” to me about how my medical file was thicker than most of the elderly patients he has seen. Wow! That comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe I do need to change my lifestyle.

By the age of 20, my luck started to run out and my metabolism wasn’t working in my favor anymore. It seemed as though my weight started increasing out of nowhere. I had to do something. I started to change the way I ate. Eating fruits, veggies and only drinking water. I also started to workout a few days a week and started to see some changes. I didn’t need to see the doctor so much, I wasn’t so cranky anymore, and just felt better overall. Recently, my brother decided to start eating the right things and for the first time in 10 years his weight didn’t make him feel bad about himself. Pounds have been falling off of him and he can now fit into pants that he had to stop wearing 3 years ago. He now has this self-confidence that no one has ever seen in him before.

It is very important for people to take a look at what they are eating or feeding their loved ones. Just because they are active or even skinny, it doesn’t mean that is okay for them to eat.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Time Issues for Parents

The biggest regret a parent can have is spending too much time at work when the children were young.  Spending family quality time has been decreasing through the years due to the demands of modern life.  A new survey says that parents and children spend less than eight hours together in total each week. 

During the week, the amount of time parents and their children spend time together average to just 36 minutes as families try to work between work, chores, school and extra-curricular activities.  Even when families are together, most of the time they are spent sitting in silence while watching TV, reading a book, or playing computer games.  Weekends are slightly better, as family spend on average of two hours and twenty minutes on both Saturdays and Sundays. 

As parents, it is easy to forget that their little ones are young and it’s easy to imagine your child being that age forever.  The only real time that families spend time together is when they go on holiday and vacations. 
They key is to schedule time with your children and show that they are important.  By taking  10-15 minutes to bond with your children can have a huge impact in the future.

The pace of modern life can distance family members, but we urge families to reestablish bonds and connections with their family members and create precious memories. 

Healthy After School Snacks

Once the bell rings, it marks the end of a school day.  Kids go home and head straight towards the kitchen to grab a snack or two.  The best thing to serve hungry kids is healthy snacks.  By eating healthy snacks, it will provide children with good nutrition, lifelong eating habits, and prevent health issues in the future.

The key is to find what your kids like to eat during snack time.  Most snacks that should be served to children should consist of fruits and vegetables.  By eating fruits and vegetables, the risk of developing heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure drops. 

Fruits are naturally sweet and can be served in many ways. 
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Vegetables can be served raw with or without dip or salad dressing.

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Celery Sticks
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato Slices
  • Zucchini Slices

Serving fresh fruits and vegetables to children may seem challenging, but with proper planning, you can find various ways to find out what your children like best.