If your New Year’s resolution was about health, dieting and weight loss, you’re not alone. Wellness goals are among the most common vows made each year. This year, attack the age-old lose-weight-and-eat-healthier pledge from a different perspective and make it a family resolution.
Many families are skipping breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. Diane Chaney, a school nurse and mother, argues kids who eat breakfast have better school attendance, improved test scores, better nutrition, and are less likely to visit her office. “As a school nurse, I love when students get breakfast because it is an easier way to get nutrient-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy into their bellies before they start the day,” said Chaney.
Rethink Your Drink,
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sweet tea, sodas, juices and lemonades make managing your health difficult, as it offers no nutritional value. Dr. Cannon-Smith, a pediatrician with more than 25 years of experience claims sodas and sports drinks are the biggest sources of added sugars and calories in a teen’s diet. A clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends replacing sports and energy drinks with low-fat milk at mealtime because of its unique package of vitamins and minerals.
Switch and Swap
When it comes to achieving a healthy weight, small changes can make a difference. Getting healthy can be as simple as making smart changes or swapping foods your family already enjoys. For the greatest nutritional impact, try replacing a side of fries with a salad or vegetable soup. Purchase snack foods in single serve options, if available. Offer your family vegetables in different ways—raw, steamed, or roasted—to keep things interesting. Downsize your dinnerware and try to eat main meals from salad-sized plates. To minimize second helpings, leave serving dishes on the stove.
Try these suggested resolutions and commit to smaller portions to conquer good health in 2015.
Rebecca Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD