Healthy Changes for the Whole Family

A new school year is a perfect time to start some new healthy habits – not just for your child, but for the whole family!

Here are 9 healthy habits that can help you and your kids reach their top potential.

Healthy Diet changes

1. Heavy breakfast – your family doesn’t need any calories to watch TV at night or sleep, but they need tons of calories throughout the day to keep you alert and energized. Make bigger meals when your family needs it most, and keep evening meals small (like just a meat and a green).

2. Frequent meals – By eating 5-6 times a day, your family will have a TON more energy. Ask your child if they get hungry during the day. Send them to school with a bag of nuts or a protein bar to snack on between classes to help keep their metabolism revved all day. This is especially important if they attend after school activities.

packing lunch3. Don’t forget the protein – Many meals (especially for kids) are high in carbs. Kids tend to eat (or want to eat) a lot of foods like cereal, poptarts, chips, fruit rollups, candy, french fries, tater tots, pizza, etc., but most kids don’t eat a lot of meat or high-protein foods. Probably because they aren’t wrapped in a fun flashy cartoon wrapper. 🙂 As you are making meal, look at protein content and make sure they are getting protein with carbs and fat for more balanced meals. Greek yogurt, eggs, lunch meat, cottage cheese and protein enriched foods (like high-protein flat bread) are great foods to add to meals and snacks.

4. Hydration – Often times kids want a soda or snack, when they really need hydration the most. Teach your child to always drink a glass of water before they take their first bite of a snack. They will not only bet the hydration they need, but they will likely eat less.

caffeinated-beverage

caffeine drinks caffeinated-beverage5. Limit caffeine – Caffeine is a drug of sorts. It has a chemical effect on the body, so it is smart to limit those beverages. Cokes should be treats, not a daily staple – especially while they are growing. Low Fat milk, water and juice (in moderation) should be the main source of hydration and nutrients.

6. Avoid sugar & processed foods – Processed foods break down and turn to sugar very rapidly. This can send someone’s blood sugar for a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs (and more downs, than ups). By limited sugar, you’ll be able to maintain a more steady level of energy through out the day (and avoid weight gain associated with high-calorie processed foods).

7. Stress buster foods – Does your child even know what that is? To me, it means your child shouldn’t feel deprived, but there are also foods known to help relieve stress. They should have foods they can snack on and enjoy without negative side effects. For me, it’s 100 calorie popcorn. Your child may enjoy yogurt or fresh fruit. Either way, they should never feel that eating healthy is boring or restrictive. While it may take some adjusting at first, they should enjoy the foods they eat. CLICK HERE to get see a list of 10 foods that help relieve stress.

8. Boost Super foods – People talk about super foods all the time, but do you know what they are and what they do? There are actually foods that help us think and perform better. Some of those foods include berries, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado and beans. CLICK HERE to read more on foods that boost brain power from WebMD.

9. Avoid unknown foods – When you eat out, you really have no clue what’s in that food. Since most restaurants are all about the dollar bill, we should expect they will cut corners and add fillers, taste enhancers and who knows what to keep us coming back for seconds. My rule of thumb is this: “if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t eat it” – especially if it’s a big day (like test day). Not only is this a good way to avoid eating extra unknown calories to avoid weight gain, but it will also help you feel your best by eating your best. If you MUST eat out, stick to whole foods and avoid all the extra sauces, breads, toppings and junk.

Whether you are a parent or not, these are great healthy changes everyone should try to implement.  🙂

 

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on August 20, 2013, in Diet & Nutrition Tips, Healthy Foods, PFOODIE and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The myth that eating frequent meals “rev” the metabolism has been shown to not be true over and over again http://examine.com/faq/do-i-need-to-eat-six-times-a-day-to-keep-my-metabolism-high.html

    • When I talk about metabolism here, most people understand that as energy level- (not true metabolism) and of course, if you eat often, you are getting a steady stream of fuel to give you the energy you need and want. So when I talk of revving your metabolism, really I am speaking of fueling your body so it has more of a constant energy. I think we all know 5-6 small meals are better than how most of this nation eats. If you don’t agree with our blogs you can unsubscribe, instead of starting a debate that confuses people more. The fact is, there are plenty of benefits to eating 5-6 times a day (including enjoying more energy), so arguing technicalities here is unproductive, nor helpful. Police another blog that actually is writing harmful content. If you choose to reply, I will delete it because I refuse to argue or entertain a debate. This blog is for positive people who want to build each other up, not look for things to argue about. Thanks in advance for respecting my wishes.

  2. I would love to see you try to get my kids to eat more protein, lord knows I’ve tried everything. However I don’t think it’s the packaging but some kids have difficulty with textures especially in tougher to chew foods like meat.

    • I can relate to that! I’m not much of a meat eater (and I don’t like eggs either!). But I do LOVE Greek yogurt – and I’ve learned to eat more meat (and eggs). I do pulled chicken and cook meat several ways to get me past the texture. And I supplement. Kids are always wanting our protein smoothies at the gym. They love them! 🙂

  3. Really enjoyed your post Bonnie!

  4. Reblogged this on I am Danni and commented:
    Love this. 🙂
    We are trying to make life healthier for us and our little men.

  5. nice look & very informative. I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and
    include approximately all significant infos. I would
    like to peer extra posts like this.

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