It’s New Year’s resolution time again and you’ve been thinking about helping your child get healthy. This is the year you’re going to do it. That’s great! You’re on the right track. But…as any gym owner will tell you, though the treadmills might be full of determined exercisers every January, come March or April, the gym’s back to normal again. So why are New Year’s resolutions so hard to keep?
According to clinical psychologist Dr. Amanda di Bartolomeo, there’s good reason people lose patience when trying to make changes: “Changing behavior can be hard because it takes time. When you think of how long it took to develop the habits you have now – most of them have been developed over a lifetime – it makes sense that changing these behaviors would take time and effort.” But don’t despair. When you start thinking of achieving your goals as a long game, momentum can be your ally. “Starting with very small changes is more likely to lead to success and the feeling of success motivates maintaining new behaviors.”
Many families make healthy eating a priority during the summer months – when fresh produce and seasonal products are readily available. Yet, when the school year begins, you may find it daunting to prepare nutritious meals.
With another school year just around the corner, most families are preparing for the busyness that will once again be “life.”
To get started, begin thinking ahead so you can plan and have healthy foods available.
Below are some tips that you can use to encourage consumption of nutrient-rich foods- the fuel kids need to learn throughout the school year.
Did you know that over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced each year in the United States? That the world’s largest pumpkin was more than five feet in diameter and weighed over 1,800 pounds? That each pumpkin has about 500 seeds and takes between 90 and 120 days to grow?
If you are looking to add pumpkin to your diet, keep in mind there are over 45 different varieties of pumpkin and that they are part of the winter squash family. They range in color from red, yellow, and green, and have names like Hooligan, Cotton Candy, and Orange Smoothie.
Yes, it’s true, summer has come to an end. While it is sad to say goodbye to the barbecues, picnics and the summer season, it is a time to celebrate the beginning of a wonderful fruit and vegetable season. Fall is full of delicious foods you can work into your diet in a variety of ways that can perk up any chilly night.
Why Eat Seasonal Produce?
If you are interested in protecting the environment, buying local seasonal produce not only can potentially reduce our carbon footprint but it also helps local economies. Since it is grown locally, the produce is fresher.. which results in more nutritious produce.
From apples to sweet potatoes, autumn’s bumper crop of fruits and vegetables offer a range of intense flavors and substantial textures that you can use to make a piping-hot bowl of soup….a satisfying meal for a cozy fall dinner
Summer has arrived, and with longer days and warmer weather comes a new crop of fresh produce. It is a good time to “summer clean” your diet and start introducing the summertime fruits and veggies that incorporate the jewels of summer.
If you are tired of apples, bananas and root vegetables, there are some nice summer produce choices readily available. Brightly-colored produce making more of an appearance at our grocery stores or farmer’s markets include apricots, strawberries, asparagus, cherries and more. The more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the more vitamins and minerals it has.
Check out what local produce is in season by using the following link.
In-season produce reaps the most nutritional value so here’s what to look for in the produce aisle or at the local farmers’ market.
Juicing is a powerful way to get incredible doses of healthy vitamins and nutrients into your body. It can have dramatic positive effects. Fresh vegetable juice helps to give you more energy, lower your chances of contracting chronic disease and may even accelerate weight loss.
It’s finally pumpkin season, and the reasons to celebrate are many. Pumpkin plays a starring role at Thanksgiving , but you should consider making it a more regular part of your diet. The bright orange flesh of a pumpkin is loaded with fiber and key vitamins and minerals. It’s also easy to use pumpkin in a variety of recipes from sweet to savory.
Did you know 1 cup of cooked pumpkin only contains 30 calories, less than 1/2 gram of fat, 1 mg sodium, and 8 grams of carbs? Take a look at what other nutrients pumpkin provides.
Nutrition Know How….Tips to get through the school year!
November is upon us, and the kids are well into the school year. While most of us plan on what we will wear to school each day, or do we have all of our homework? Are you still struggling with, What do I eat for lunch? It is time to refocus your efforts as a family to ensure your children’s nutrition and physical activity habits are on track this year.
Do you make time for breakfast? Breakfast is a very important meal for growing children. Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher test scores, they concentrate better and solve problems more easily. So whether they eat at home or at school, be sure your children eat a nutritious breakfast every day.
Review weekly lunch menus. The National School Lunch Program requires that the meals offered in most schools must have a certain amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. It may surprise you to learn that many foods fit into these guidelines, including chicken nuggets and tater tots.
Avocado season is quickly approaching, and there are more ways to enjoy this superfood than just making guacamole. Flavorful, creamy, and full of healthy fats, avocados are perfect for desserts, dips, salsas, salads, sandwiches, and more!
If you’ve been avoiding avocados in your heart-healthy diet because of their high fat content, know that those fats are primarily mono- and polyunsaturated — good fats needed to process the fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. Avocados also have plenty of antioxidants, primarily carotenoids found in the deep green part of the flesh, closest to the peel.
Summer is filled with fun events. Everything from graduation parties, to Fourth of July picnics, to good old-fashioned backyard barbeques – it’s likely that you already have several events you’ll be celebrating the summer season. With a little preplanning, these social gatherings can offer not only great company and fun, but a menu that is nutritious and delicious.
To help you stay on track with healthy eating while still enjoying the celebration, take a look at some of the best foods choices, and those you should be wary of.
Keep Portions in Perspective
Portion size counts, even if you are selecting healthy choices. While the goal is to fill your plate with the best food choices available at any barbeque, you don’t want to sabotage your health efforts by eating too much.
With the warmer weather just around the corner, salads can be quite appealing. Eating salad is a great way to curb your appetite and add nutrients to your diet. Yet, when it comes to your health, not all salads are created equally. Salads can contain more calories and fat than you think!
Take, for example, a Cobb salad. A classic Cobb salad contains chopped bacon, eggs, blue cheese, avocado, and loads of creamy dressing. Or if one of your favorites is a chef’s salad, typically it comes loaded with Swiss cheese, roast beef, eggs, and dressing. These salads can cost you more than 1,000 calories and 80 grams of fat! That said, don’t give up on salads. If you choose wisely they are not only healthy but delicious!