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Just For Parents
With child obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) on the rise; and the computer age making our kids less active; parents must take action NOW to teach children good habits to carry them for life.
Vibrant Health and Vibrant Lives
TRUTH - Healthy eating is not a priority for most people and most families.
TRUTH - ADHD, ADD and Mood Disorders are rampant among our young children and teenagers, and the effect that diet has on these cannot be underestimated.
TRUTH - Poor diet and inadequate nutrition are contributing factors in many of today’s physical illnesses, disorders, syndromes, mood and psychiatric disorders.
TRUTH – Overwhelming research and evidence continue to prove that WE ARE WHAT WE EAT and the sad result is that many of us are sick and simply surviving and not thriving as we should be.
TRUTH – Many illnesses are preventable simply by diet.
We Can Make a Change and We Need to Make a Change - For Our Kids Sake.
Everything we eat impacts our body either positively or negatively. The choice is ours, and it is our responsibility to provide our bodies with the fuel it needs to stay healthy and energised so we can live long, healthy and vibrant lives.
Changing eating habits can be overwhelming. So Start Small. Decide on 1 change, 5 changes or 10 changes depending on how ambitious you want to be. Commit to making these changes over the next 6 weeks. Once you make a change, keep the change by making it a habit. Small changes over time can create a new lifestyle.
Ingredients or Food Items Your Family Should AVOID in Your Weekly Shopping Cart:
1. HFCS – High Fructose Corn Syrup
2. Excitotoxins such as artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (msg), hydrolyzed vegetable protein
3. Sugared Cereals
4. Foods containing Saturated, Trans and Hydrogenated Fats
5. Processed White Sugar
6. Processed White Carbohydrates such as white pasta, white flour, white rice, white bread, etc
7. Processed and Packaged Foods
8. Foods containing artificial chemicals such as Tartrazine and colors
9. Soda, Chips and Candy
10. Foods containing nitrates and phosphates
Food Items Your Family Should INCLUDE in Your Weekly Shopping Cart:
1. Wholegrain breads, flour, pasta, rice and cereals
2. Vegetables particularly green veges such as broccoli, spinach, bok choy, watercress, etc.
3. Tomatoes, especially tomato sauces
4. Fruits, particularly brightly colored fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, red grapes, etc
5. Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, legumes and beans etc
6. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
8. Foods rich in Omega oils such as flax, fish, nuts and olive oil etc
9. Fish such as salmon, cod, tilapia, mahimahi
10. Wholefood snack bars such as Lara Bars and Bumblebars
Always shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where the fresh foods are located. Try to only buy food items that have less than five ingredients listed.
Change can often be challenging, especially if your family has a taste for high sugar or high fat foods. This is why the “little by little” approach is so necessary. Retraining both habit and taste is important and takes effort. The initial transition stages are often the hardest. Constantly remind yourself and your family of the benefits you will reap from changing your eating habits. As the advantage becomes apparent this will provide motivation to make further changes.
Eating for health is a journey…. One that never really ends continues to change and expand. You may have setbacks…. Simply put those behind and get back on course. It is a journey you and your family will never regret.
“The greatest wealth is health”
~ Virgil ~
Teaching Your Child Healthy Eating Habits
Involving your child in the grocery shopping, preparation and cooking of the food are fabulous ways to increase their awareness of nutrition and health. Find simple recipes or snacks that your child can make or help with. When shopping, allow them to pick items they need, which is good opportunity to talk about healthy & unhealthy options, labeling and ingredients, etc. You can be sure kids will be very eager to test and taste what they have made and proud to offer their goodies to other family members and friends to enjoy. Kids, especially young kids, love to be involved and help Mom or Dad in the kitchen. You can buy lots of kid friendly kitchen utensils that are safe for them to use to help out with chopping, grating, peeling, etc. You'd be surprised how many of today’s famous chefs and health gurus found their love for food and nutrition simply from being given the opportunity to join in and experiment in the kitchen from a young age. Planning meals together as a family for the week or month ahead is a great way to provide opportunities to discuss healthy options and alternatives. Give everyone an opportunity to choose favorite meals and foods and look for creative ways to tweak family favorites with healthier ingredients. Have a "new food" night once a month where your family chooses a "healthy" meal or food(s) you've never tried before.
The Importance of Exercise
Gone are the days of bike riding, tree climbing and rampaging the woods for hours on end with friends. Our kids live in a cyber generation, and more and more kids at a younger and younger age, spend a huge amounts of time on electronic devices such as Ipods, phones, computers, and game machines. US Today reported that one study found that the average child spends approximately 53hours a week on electronic devices. This is having a tremendously detrimental impact on both our children's physical and mental health and wellbeing.
More and more children are becoming obese and suffering other health concerns that were rarely heard of 30 years ago. We need to get our children active. Whilst there is no doubt that this technology provides amazing benefits and challenge to our children, physical exercise is crucial to our children's cardiovascular health, muscle development and coordination not to mention team- work, stress relief and camaraderie. Look for ways to get your child or children outdoors everyday even if it's only for 20 minutes.
Each season brings new and exciting things for a child to enjoy and explore outdoors. In addition to bike riding and various sporting activities, look for different seasonal activities to involve your child in like puddle jumping in the spring, kicking leaves in the fall, a summer bug or treasure hunt or snow man building contest in the winter.
Balance is the key here so look for ways to balance your kids technological activities with physical activities on a daily basis.
Helpful Hints to Get Your Child to Eat More Vegetables
Teaching your child healthy and new eating habits can be an arduous task often over whelming for both parent and child. The key to success is to convert eating habits little by little. Make small changes and then ensure each change becomes a habit by incorporating it regularly into their routine For example, if you have a little fast food fiend on your hands don't just put the complete kibosh on it, but cut back to once or twice per month and opt for healthier fast food choices at other times
Healthy carbohydrates are naturally occurring sugars that the body transforms into slow-release energy sources for the brain. Brain cells cannot store glucose like the muscles and liver, so complex carbohydrates provide the sustained release necessary to maintain brain energy.
If you have a child who adamantly refuses to eat fruits and vegetables try introducing them with sweet and savory dips and toppings initially to make them more palatable and then you can slowly wean the amount of sauce or dip used. Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica released a great kid-friendly cookbook called “Deceptively Delicious - Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids to Eat Good Food". With the help of a nutritionist and a professional chef, Seinfeld has developed a month's worth of meals for kids of all ages that includes, for example, pureed cauliflower in mac and cheese, and kale in spaghetti and meatballs. She also provides revealing and humorous personal anecdotes, tear–out shopping guides to help parents zoom through the supermarket, and tips on how to deal with the kid that "must have" the latest sugar bomb cereal.
*While great care has been taken in organizing and presenting the material throughout this website, please note that it is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as Medical Advice. More...
5 Things to Avoid Putting in Your Child's Lunchbox
Premade Lunch Kits - Tend to be high in salt, sugar and heavily processed foods.
Chips & Granola-Type Bars - Most chips have nearly no nutritional value and are high in salt and fat. Many granola or health bars are high in sugar, read the labels for hidden sugars.
Yogurt - many have high sugars. Read the labels.
Soda, Juice, & Sports Drinks - high in sugar, coloring and synthetic vitamins.
Fruit Roll Type Snacks - Bad for teeth and usually high in sugar.
5 Healthy Lunchbox Alternatives
Wraps, soup, mini homemade quiche, healthy sandwiches. Tip: For kids it's all about the presentation. Try cutting shapes (cookie cutters) for unique looking sandwiches or mini size them.
Replace chips and high sugar "bars" with pretzels, rice crisps , rice cakes or "bumble bar's".
Buy large containers of plain organic yogurt, add fresh blueberries, strawberries or other fruit with a touch of honey.
Replace sodas, juices and sports drinks with water, non-fat milk or mineral water with a splash of juice for taste. Use a cute cup with a decorative straw.
Instead of fruit-roll type snacks, try homemade mini muffins with added flax and blueberries.
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