Holidays

Enjoying the Holidays….Without Guilt tips from a pro

We are days away from Halloween, which I think of as the gateway to the holiday season.  Many parties, get-togethers, work events, and other festivities will fill our time.  It is during this time we are often bombarded with articles and news stories related to “avoiding the holiday weight gain” or “healthy versions of traditional dishes.”  While these can provide us with good ideas and healthful recipes, they often aim to make us feel guilty for actually enjoying some holiday cheer.  I think we can be healthy, enjoy the holidays and all their traditions, and not feel guilty about it!

Here are some quick tips for enjoying your holidays, food and all!

  • Eat a healthy breakfast everyday.  Start your day with fruits, veggies, protein, and fat.  These foods will give you the energy to stay focused during this busy time of year.  
  • Meal plan!  If you have been following my posts for any amount of time, you know I am a huge advocate of planning your meals in advance.  This takes the stress out of weeknights while saving you time and money.
  • Drink water and lots of it. Period.
  • Move your body everyday.  Whether you hit the gym, walk the dog, wash the windows, or have a dance party- don’t stay still for too long.
  • Stock your fridge with easy to grab snacks.  Cut up veggies, fruit, and yogurt are great options.
  • Try to meet your daily fiber needs.  Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts can get you there easily.  Fiber will keep your GI tract (where a lot of our immune system lies) healthy and will also keep you feeling full longer.  There are many other fiber benefits you read about here
  • Enjoy your desserts and other treats.  Don’t think of these foods as “off limits.”  Often we label foods as good and bad, which can lead to a restriction-binge type of cycle.  Just enjoy your dessert and don’t feel guilty.
  • Listen to your body.  You will thank me for this one.  If you feel full, stop eating.  Why be in pain?  Enjoy your foods, but just be cognizant of when you are satiated.  If we slow down our eating, we are often more aware of the signals our body sends.
  • When at parties, scope out the food choices before you fill your plate.  Figure out what you really want and be sure to eat those choices first.  If you are still hungry, go back for your second choices later.  This way you will eat those foods you love and not feel the need to finish the second choice foods from your plate.
  • Consume alcohol during meals.  Also having a glass of water after each alcoholic drink works well.  These both slow the alcohol from hitting the bloodstream, keeping you sober longer!  And always- don’t drink and drive!

 

Go ahead, eat grandma’s stuffing and have a glass of eggnog!  Enjoy the traditions the holidays bring us.

Cheers,

Rachael

 

Health

Happy Independence Day, USA!

From my family to yours, Happy 4th of July!  May your celebrations be safe, and shared with the ones you love.  God Bless America.

Here are a few reminders to keep you healthy over the weekend:

  1. Drink water!  Being outside for long periods of time and drinking alcohol can dehydrate.
  2. Fill at least half of your plate with veggies.
  3. If there are lots of delicious looking options, take small portions of several so you can sample more without overdoing it.
  4. If you feel full, stop eating.  It never feels good to overeat.
  5. Don’t eat in front of the food table.  Make a plate and sit down to eat.  This will keep you from grazing all day.
  6. If you do eat or drink too much, be sure to get in lots of water and fresh fruits and veggies the next day to get you feeling better.
  7. If you are headed to a party, offer to bring a veggie or fruit tray, that way you know there will be a healthy option.

Have fun!

Rachael

 

Family Feeding

Starting Good Eating Habits Early

I am asked many times for “tricks” or “tips” to get kids to eat more healthy foods.  Unfortunately, a simple trick won’t do it.  Besides, the goal is for children to develop lifelong healthy eating habits.  If we trick them into eating right,  they will never have really learned what it takes and what it means to eat healthily.  I do believe we can set them up to make better choices and develop tastes for healthier foods, but parents need to be engaged and committed to this idea.

Children are constantly growing.  Their nutrition needs are much greater than adults.  Growing is a lot of work, and work needs calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.  This means they can be hungry quite often.  Think about how frequently a baby nurses or bottle feeds.  They are at the most rapid growth stage in their life.  Children do slow down as they get older, however they still need to fuel those bodies for growth.

So if kids are growing so much and need so many calories, why is there a current health issue related to overweight and obese children?  Many factors play into this, including food and exercise but we will save that topic for a later post.  The point I will make is that kids need lots of healthy foods and guidance from family to try new foods.  Nutrient dense foods should make up the majority of their diet.

In an ideal situation, kids would be offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein sources (animal or plant), healthy fats and whole grains everyday, in a no-pressure, comfortable, reliable setting.  Treats or desserts would be included from time to time in moderate amounts.  Foods would not be used to reward or punish behavior.  Children would learn to serve themselves and listen to satiety signals from their bodies.  This is a great model to follow and can be the basis for a very healthy view on food and feeding.  This also takes work, as most parenting does.  It is completely worth it though.  Nutritionally, socially, and emotionally, this is worth it.

There is a lot to know about family feeding but it is attainable. The time you put in now to help your children develop healthy eating habits will benefit  them throughout their life.  I would love to help your family get on track today.  Follow my blog, instagram and facebook.  Send me an email to ask questions about nutrition education and if it is right for you. Make an appointment with me, we can discuss your family’s needs and put together a plan that will work for you.  We will talk about portion sizes, reading labels and healthy choices. All families are different and need different care.  I hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers

Rachael

Book an appointment today!

Family Feeding, Mini-series

Mini-Series Part 3: Healthy Kids

Welcome back for the final post in my mini-series.  Since this is just a mini-series, I am going to keep it short and simple with my top ten tips for feeding healthy kids!

 

Ten Tips for Feeding Healthy Kids

  1. Teach your kids to cook and let them help!  I mentioned this before but it truly is the foundation for healthy eating.
  2. Make dinner (or any other meal that everyone is home for) a priority as family time in your home. Eating together has an amazing impact on families nutritionally, emotionally, and socially.
  3. Offer variety, and try new foods.
  4. Do not force children to finish their meal.  They are learning to listen to their body signals.  If they are truly full, they should not have to finish everything.  This can lead to many eating issues down the road.
  5. Snack on fruits and vegetables and do not allow snacking close to meal times.
  6. Do not make foods “for the kids.”  Everyone should be eating the same foods at meals.  Kids may take a few tries before liking a new food, but they are very capable to eating and liking “adult food.”  Do not become discouraged when you offer something 5 times and they do not like it.  It can take many more attempts.  Just continue to offer new foods.
  7. Lead by example- eat healthy foods yourself.  Kids are very good mirrors…
  8. Allow treats from time to time.  If you restrict certain foods, there becomes a greater desire to indulge in them.
  9. Exercise!  Playing outside is exercise- promote physical activity.
  10. Menu plan- when you take the time to plan your weekly menu, you will have healthy choices ready every night, instead of grabbing that frozen pizza at the last minute!

 

Thank you for reading, and watch for my May posts about the upcoming Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 14-20.

Cheers,

Rachael