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Healthy Eating for Busy Families

Posted by JCC Pittsburgh on June 18, 2015

America is getting fatter and Pennsylvania is helping to lead the way as one of the nation’s top 20 “Most obese” states. Our busy lifestyles encourage unhealthy eating habits, like eating on the run, and high/fat – sugar snacking. But with just a little effort, you can gradually transform your family’s diet from “fat” to “fit”.

  1. Start your day off right – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Kids who eat breakfast- especially those packed with “brain food” like protein, vitamin C, and omega 3- are more alert and focused in school; adults have more energy and concentrate better.
  2. Think smart when it comes to fast-food lunches- no time to pack your own lunch? Use healthy strategies when dining out: Say no to fried, sautéed, or creamy foods. Opt for roasted, grilled, broiled, steamed, or baked. Beware of add-ons (like mayo, butter, and salad dressing) that quickly increase calorie counts. Replace sodas with water of fat-free or 1% milk. Even diet sodas can be bad for you. Go online for the nutrition info on your favorite meal. Don’t just focus on calories: look at factors like fat and sodium count.
  3. Make dinner a family affair- Eating together as a family offers countless benefits- including serving more balanced, nutritious meals and the chance to act as “healthy – eating” role models. Talk to your children about portion control, with fruits and vegetables comprising half of every plate. Reduce the amount of meat your family eats by gradually introducing healthy alternatives into your meals, like fish, whole grains, and beans. Look for seasonal produce that is locally grown. In the Fall, that means vegetables like pumpkins and squash, and fruits like apples and pears.

Remember… We are what we eat…. So why not make it healthy!

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