SCHOOLS…OUT…FOR…SUMMER…. Now what? The children are home and they need to be fed. Let's build those healthy food habits so our children can be the generation that changes the health of America! There is a common misconception that children (and others who are not overweight) do not need to make careful choices when eating. I have heard people say—"I can't believe my kids are eating my whole grain crackers—I told them to eat their chips—the crackers are for me because I need to lose weight". Nothing could be further from the truth. None of us need the chips! Chips and other fried salty snacks should be reserved for occasional consumption regardless of your position on the BMI chart. Just because children are not overweight does not mean that we should encourage them to eat unhealthy foods. "Eating behaviors evolve during the first years of life; children learn what, when, and how much to eat through direct experiences with food and by observing the eating behaviors of others. The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS), which provided data on the dietary patterns of 3022 infants and toddlers, revealed that 4 to 24 month old children typically consumed significant amounts of developmentally inappropriate, energy-dense, nutrient poor foods. Of particular concern was the finding that 18% to 33% of infants and toddlers consumed no distinct servings of vegetables on a typical day." www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678872/
Everyday matters, everyone needs to eat healthy, every day.
What does that mean? It means planning ahead, making choices in the grocery store that reflect MyPlate. Having fruits and vegetables, ready to eat, in convenient places for easy snacking. I know you have heard it all before, but with a little planning, eating a healthy snack can be as easy as opening a bag of chips. Keep apples in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Mix up some humus (recipe below). Prep vegetables once a week so they are snack ready. Cut whole grain tortillas into 6 wedges, spray lightly with vegetable oil spray and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes for homemade chips. Make snack mix by combining whole grain cereals with dried fruit and lightly salted nuts. All of these suggestions can be made in advance in large enough quantities to last several days; simply place a single serving into a plastic bag and store.
Easy Humus Dip
1can (15 ounces)garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drain and save liquid, rinse beans
3Tbsp.reserved bean liquid
- Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
- Process together until a smoother consistency.
- Serve with whole wheat pita bread, pretzels, or veggie sticks.
Nutrition Facts:6 servings: Calories 100,Fat 6g,Sodium 140mg,Total Carbohydrates 10g,Fiber 3g,Protein 3g
Watch this video from MyPlate.gov to see what one family does to stay healthy!