Help Make Your Family Healthier: It’s E-A-S-Y!

Earlier this month I had the honor of flying to Chicago for a taping of the Steve Harvey Show. A local family reached out to producers of the show because they needed some help in making healthier lifestyle decisions.  After talking with the producers, I learned a little more about the family and their typical eating habits. We decided we would show the family lower-calorie swap out meals that are healthier, cheaper and even faster to prepare!

If you want to help your family lead a healthier lifestyle and you’re not sure where to start – don’t worry it’s E-A-S-Y!

E-Exercise 60 minutes daily
It is recommended that children and adults are physically active for 60 minutes every day. This means arms and legs should be moving and your heart should be beating fast. It also means that sweat is a good thing!  Feeling crunched for time? Don’t worry, not all 60 minutes have to be consecutive – 10-15 minute increments work just as well too. If it’s yucky outside, try running in place or jumping jacks during commercials of a TV show. By the end of the hour you will have done 20 minutes of physical activity.

A – Always eat breakfast and a healthy snack
Breakfast is “breaking the fast” while you have been sleeping. We want to make sure that you eat something in the mornings to wake your body up and rev up that metabolism. Healthy snacks are also important in keeping up our energy throughout the day. A snack should be ~100-200 calories and contain 2 or more food groups (for example, 23 almonds and 1 low-fat cheese stick would be protein and dairy).

S – Sugar-free beverages
Replace those sugar sweetened beverages with sugar-free ones. Water is your best option. Water not only helps to keep us hydrated but helps to keep us full as well – bonus – you’ll eat less! A regular 12 oz soda or sweetened juice per day can add up to an additional 15 lbs of weight gain per year!

Y – Yes to vegetables
Half of your plate should be vegetables. However, they shouldn’t be drowning or doing the backstroke in cheese sauce, butter or ranch dressings. So get creative with cooking with herbs and spices – you might be surprised at what you and your family end up liking. I challenge the kids to go to the store with the main grocery shopper to help pick out a new vegetable to try each week. Fun for everyone!

Check out www.kidseatright.org for great tips, tricks, and recipes to help your family get on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Find that you accomplished the above and want further guidance? Make an appointment with one of our registered dietitians who can give you more tailored recommendations for your family.

About Kristi King, Clinical Dietician

I am a clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics for Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.

My interests are in general pediatric nutrition, pediatric nutrition support, and Intestinal Rehabilitation for those children who malabsorb vitamins & nutrients.

I was honored to be the Houston Area Dietetic Association’s Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in 2008 and was a graduate of the Inaugural Class of the Texas Children’s Rising Leader Program in 2010.

I am a registered dietitian and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Posted in Nutrition, Parenting, Videos

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