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Seven Tips About Healthy Eating Every Family Should Know

The folks over at Hampton Creek are on a mission to bring healthier and affordable food to everyone, everywhere. To help spread the word, I’ve decided to share this post on their behalf today…enjoy!

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Seven Tips About Healthy Eating Every Family Should Know

None of us are born with an innate sense of what’s good for us, and social conditioning tends to steer us toward what’s convenient and unhealthy. If you want to help your family maintain optimal health without depriving them of treats or limiting their palate, here is some great information on establishing healthy food habits that will leave the whole family feeling satisfied.

1. Food cravings are often a symptom of a dietary imbalance.

For example, if you crave chocolate, it may be an indication that your body is lacking magnesium. This vital element is found in other foods that aren’t as harmful, like walnuts, and it doesn’t take a large portion to get your daily dose. They are a great addition to cereals and salads, and just a quarter of a cup per day can provide your daily intake of magnesium and other beneficial nutrients, like essential fatty acids.

2. Portion control is one of the main foundations of establishing healthy eating habits.

You can keep from over-indulging at dinner by eating six smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big ones, or choose portable, healthy snacks to keep hunger at bay if you’re on the go. Another way to help ensure that your blood sugar and energy levels are regulated throughout the day, and keep you from over eating at other meals, is to enjoy a healthy, well-balanced breakfast.

3. Good nutrition doesn’t mean boring, and a colorful plate is a healthy plate.

A diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables will give you all of the colors of the rainbow, they taste good and you’ll receive all of the health benefits that go along with enjoying them. Each color group provides essential vitamins and minerals, and if you start loading up your kid’s plates with visually appealing, healthy foods, eating them will become an ingrained life-long habit. A basic guide to color-coded nutrition is:

  • Red = vitamin C, lycopene, anthrocyanins and anti-oxidants; these nutrients are found in foods like red apples, red berries, cherries, tomatoes and watermelon
  • Orange and Yellow  = these bright, beautiful and tasty fruits and vegetables – like oranges, peppers, sweet ptoatoes and squash – contain vitamins A and C, alpha carotene and beta carotene in order to promote eye and skin health and prevent premature aging
  • Green = vegetables like lettuce, spinach, beans, broccoli, cabbage and peas contain iron, calcium, B vitamins and fiber
  • Blue and Purple = blueberries, eggplant, purple potatoes and blackberries contain anti-oxidants, anthrocyanins and vitamins that help maintain eye and heart health

4. Total deprivation can lead to binge eating, and that’s why many diets fail.

You don’t have to give up all of the good things in life to remain healthy. Ice cream, chocolate and other indulgences, when eaten in moderation, will give your taste buds a treat. The key is balance, not total prohibition. Just make sure to read the labels to make better choices when it comes to dessert or sweet snacks.

5. Beware of foods that claim to be fat or sugar free.

These items often add other ingredients that are just as harmful to your health and your weight as the ingredients you’re trying to avoid. For example, fat free foods may contain sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners to improve the taste, and ‘diet’ soft drinks can contain cancer-causing sugar substitutes.

Many people aren’t aware that fruit juice, while a better option than sugary drinks and soda, can be just as high in sugar. The best option of all is pure, clean water. It replenishes your cells, helps regulate your digestive system and it even improves brain function. Remember, your body is comprised of up to 70% H2O, and you’ll notice the difference when you keep it hydrated.

The basic recommendation is eight 8 ounces of water per day, which is equal to about 2 liters per person. If your family doesn’t like the taste of tap water, water filtration systems are efficient, inexpensive and easy to install on almost any faucet.

6. Packaged convenience foods are high in preservatives and empty calories, but they’re low in nutrition.

Even so-called ‘healthy’ snacks and frozen dinners are laden with excessive amounts of sodium, fats, sweeteners and artificial ingredients. Learn to read and understand labels by checking out online nutrition websites.

Eliminate unhealthy snacks and convenience foods form you shopping list, and make it easier for your children to make good choices by stocking up an fruits and raw, fresh vegetables, and pre-portioning them for ready enjoyment.

7. Try to get all of your nutrients the natural way.

Supplements are helpful to cure diet-based vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but they aren’t the best solution for the average person. Everything our bodies need for proper development and maintaining health is already available at your local farmer’s market, supermarket or health food store, and eating these nutrients in their natural form allows them to be absorbed and used by the body more efficiently.

Healthy eating habits that are learned in childhood form the basis for making better food choices for life. However, it’s up to you to set the example and show your family the way. You can learn more about how to eat better and maintain health when you follow Hampton Creek or any other lifestyle and wellness blogs or websites.

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