Now that we have those kiddos back in the swing of things, let’s regroup and address a game plan that can help us all stay on track with healthy snacks and meals. Here are several ideas that can keep your weight loss engine rev’d and everybody feeling good.
- Sit down on Saturday or Sunday for 30 minutes or so and plan a menu for the week. Figure out the correlating grocery list so you’re prepared for healthy breakfasts, afterschool snacks and dinners and not planning on the fly what to eat
- Eat breakfast with your kids! This is great for your metabolism, since you will be getting your first meal of the day usually by 7:30 or so and your body will burn burn burn calories better throughout the day
- Prep your own lunch when you make theirs. Don’t forget to take care of mom/dad too! If you need a lunch for work, put the same amount of love and thought into your own meal as for the kids. Always include: Healthy protein, a veggie or two and a healthy starch w/ a healthy fat… fruit for desert is perfect!
- Say no to Little Debbie and other junk at the store when choosing kid foods. Not having low quality snacks at home makes the battle of the bulge much less daunting. Why face the enemy (low quality, fattening snacks) in the cabinet daily when you could bypass them altogether? WARNING: KIDS MAY WHINE! But you have the power to educate them now about all you are learning and help transform their lifelong habits while it counts. Make how to “count” a serving of healthy food (starch, protein etc.) a casual topic of conversation, so they can understand exactly what healthy eating looks like. Just skip the part about portion control, so they don’t think that they need to be watching their weight! Keep in mind, they will feel better, get sick less often and perform better in school as well.
Keep in mind the “counts” are based on a few general portion rules for weight loss, adjusted to your particular weight and weight loss goals. Most people need daily: 5+ veggies, 2+ fruits, 2-3 proteins, 1-2 dairy, 2-3 healthy fats, 5-6 high fiber complex carbs/starches.
- low fat part skim cheese sticks (2 sticks = 1 dairy)
- strawberries and other very sweet fruits ½ cup cut = 1 fruit
- zone, solo or kashi bars (1/2 bar usually = 1 starch)
- fruitaboo (fruit leather) 1 strip = 1 fruit
- baby carrots, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers veggie tray w/light dipping dressing
- pre made tuna salad for topping crackers (prep 1 can with 1 Tbsp mayo and ¼ cup chopped celery) (1 protein, 1/2 fat, 1 starch)
- boiled eggs mixed with mustard and stuffed in 1/2 whole wheat pita (1 protien, 1 starch)
- Thomas brand mini whole wheat bagels w/ horizon brand low fat cream cheese (1 whole bagel = 1 ½ starch) w/ 1 Tbsp low fat cream cheese = ½ fat
- Make a smoothie for everyone as an after school snack and give them some whole wheat crackers or a side of bagel w/ natural peanut butter with a teaspoon of honey drizzled on top.
- Let them do whole wheat crackers hors d’oeuvre style w/ a buffet of natural deli meat, low fat cheese, cream cheese, peanut butter, jelly, laughing cow cheese spread and anything else they may like to put on top that’s healthy
- central market brand sea salted pre popped popcorn 2 cups = 1 starch
- boca burger or other vegetarian meatballs on toothpicks with a cup of spaghetti sauce to dip
- Apple slices with 2 Tbsp nut butter and 1 teaspoon honey to dip (1 fruit, 1 fat)
When many parents are blaming “parenting” and all it’s demands and the desires of their kids appetites on their weight and health issues, you can be slimming down, fighting off cold season and teaching the kiddos how to eat to live! They’ll thank you some day… you’re thighs will thank you next summer.