Kids Eat Right is a national program aimed at improving the nutrition - and health - of our kids. In order for our kids to learn to choose and enjoy healthy foods, parents need to model health eating themselves. There’s a wealth of useful and practical information at the Kids Eat Right website. I particularly like this recent article by Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, LD on making time for breakfast: http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442462528
Growing up, my entire family ate breakfast. I continued the same practice with our kids, encouraging everyone to sit down together and eat breakfast. Even when their lives became hectic and busy in high school, they still ate breakfast before leaving for school. Now they’re in college living in an apartment, and most of the time they eat breakfast. Developing healthy habits early can lead to a lifetime of good eating!
I have three favorite breakfasts right now:
1. On mornings I’m heading out first-thing for exercise, I eat a mini-bagel with a smear of peanut butter and a big glass of water.
2. 2 hard-boiled eggs, a slice of whole grain toast topped with 50% reduced fat Cabot cheddar cheese, and a piece of fruit (yesterday a clementine) plus a big glass of water.
3. Greek yogurt mixed with cut-up fruit (clementine and pear this morning), a handful of chopped walnuts, and another handful of Kashi Go-Lean cereal. I let this sit for 20 minutes while I do some morning exercises so the cereal becomes soft. My version of muesli!
What’s your favorite breakfast?
SoFAS aren’t couches, and let’s hope they’re not found in your living room. SoFAS stands for “solid fats and added sugars”.
Why do we care about SoFAS? Fats that are solid at room temperature - think stick margarine, solid Crisco, and animal fat - contain saturated fat which contributes to heart disease. Replace solid fats with liquid oils and you’ll not only consume less harmful sat fats, you’ll also increase the healthy poly- and mononsaturated fats that help protect your heart.
You may think identifying foods high in added sugars is easy - think again. The food label doesn’t differentiate between sugars that naturally occur in foods such as fruit and milk or sugars that are added to foods like cookies and cakes. Here’s my tip: if the food doesn’t come in a box or can, it probably has no added sugars.
We get most of our added sugars from sweetened beverages, everything from soda to fruit drinks to sports drinks. Make it simple and drink plain water. Water doesn’t taste sweet, because it doesn’t need to be. We don’t drink water for the taste, we drink it to satisfy our thirst. If you want a sweet taste, eat a piece of fruit.
Tell your family you’re throwing out the SoFAS and see what reaction you get!
I’m thrilled to lead a 3-part wellness series with the Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning in Manchester, VT. Join me for one session, or all three! more info
First session February 23rd, 3-4:30pm at the Israel Congregation.
Topic: Creating Health and Wellness in a Hectic World.
Learn about the individual components of wellness and work toward developing your own personal wellness vision that clearly describes what you want wellness to look and feel like in your life.
Second session March 2nd, 3-4:30pm at the Israel Congregation.
Topic: Why Do I Eat? How to Choose Healthy Foods in a Toxic Food Environment. We’ll discuss national guidelines for good nutrition and healthy eating, plus talk about how to put these guidelines into practice in your life. Learn simple and effective ways to improve your eating habits without spending hours in the kitchen, and how to manage stress without food.
Third session March 9th, 3-4:30pm at the Israel Congregation
Topic: Our Bodies are Made for Movement: Get off the couch! Learn about the national guidelines for exercise, and how to fit movement into your daily life. We’ll also talk about how optimum sleep and a positive outlook set the stage for a healthy, balanced, energetic and vigorous life.