Friday, January 17, 2014

Healthy Winter Living for the Whole Family Part 1: Eating Right

        This winter, don’t let the cold freeze your healthy way of living! There are many simple ways to keep you and your family healthy through this chilly season.

        One of the best ways to save your money and improve your health is through home cooked meals. While going out to eat sometimes seems like the easier option, it is one of the top three causes of the increasing problem
of child obesity. On a snowy winter day when you are stuck indoors, cooking may not seem too bad. It can even be enjoyable if you find ways to get the whole family involved in the process. It is the perfect time to talk about your day and bond as a family overall. Here are some examples of meals to consider cooking with your kids:

Busy nights are unavoidable and we all have them sometimes, but that’s what quick and easy recipes are for! There are still many options for you to cook when you are short on time. You can also help yourself out by preparing the meal the night before or the morning of, so you will have less to do in the small time frame before everyone gets hungry for dinner.

        Everyone likes something to snack on when they are stuck inside all day, but there are ways to be smart and healthy about what you choose to eat. If you leave fruit and vegetables within reach, they will seem like the simple choice of snack for your family. It’s possible that you could even get your kids excited about vegetables by teaching them about “the rainbow” that they should be eating every day, which includes the various choices and colors of fruits and vegetables available. Some popular vegetables among children include zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, red peppers, carrots, and celery. There are also many healthy dips that they might enjoy, like ranch, black bean, and hummus.

One enjoyable and healthy snack requires:
-1 can garbanzo beans or chickpeas
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon
 Blend these ingredients together until it is smooth and creamy and serve it with fresh cut vegetables immediately.

You can also keep your children healthier through the choices you make at the grocery store. Instead of choosing a juice full of sugar, maybe you can find one that tastes just as good but is 100% juice with no added sugar. It can be hard to say no when your child asks for a treat, but try to give them a healthier option and only say yes to the treat once in a while. If you are able
to find a healthier option that they enjoy eating, you may even see a difference in how often they ask for the treat, meaning you will be forced to say no less often. It also helps if you teach your children which snacks they should ask permission to have, like cookies, and which ones they can take on their own, like fruit and vegetables. Click here to view the 20 best snacks for kids!

Another component of healthy living is being active. Look for tips to stay active this winter in part 2 coming soon!