All in the Fam­ily

Hec­tic pace of life wear­ing you and your loved ones down? Try th­ese 7 stay- healthy tips for busy fam­i­lies

Better Nutrition - - CONTENTS - BY LISA TURNER

Is a busy sched­ule sab­o­tag­ing your health? Try th­ese seven sim­ple stay- healthy tips for busy fam­i­lies.

1 Cut back on sugar. Se­ri­ously, it’s the fastest, eas­i­est way for a busy fam­ily to im­prove over­all health. If you can’t com­pletely elim­i­nate it, cut way back. Drink less juice: one small glass has about 25 grams of sugar ( as much as a soda). In­stead, serve chilled hi­bis­cus, ap­ple, or blue­berry tea with break­fast. And be­ware of hid­den sug­ars in prod­ucts such as peanut but­ter, nondairy milk, ketchup, and oth­ers; look for unsweet­ened ver­sions. If you do buy pack­aged snacks, look at the sugar con­tent, and stick to those with 10 grams or less per serv­ing. And serve a small por­tion of a low- sugar dessert ( berries with whipped cream, pears and dark choco­late, re­duced- sugar ice cream) with meals. It neu­tral­izes the idea that dessert is a re­ward, and makes the sweet stuff less of a Holy Grail.

2 Cook slowly. Slow cook­ers are the fastest way to make a home- cooked meal. While your coff ee’s brew­ing in the morn­ing, fi ll your Crock- Pot with meat, beans, or chicken; add broth, sauce, or wa­ter, and a hand­ful of spices; turn it on low. When you come home, stir in frozen veg­eta­bles, and you’ll have a ready- to- eat meal by the time you set the ta­ble. Fam­i­lyfriendly sug­ges­tions: pulled chicken, bar­be­cue brisket, turkey chili, pot roast, short ribs, tacos, black bean soup, and white beans with kale. Make more than you need, and freeze left­overs.

3 Turn TV time into fi tness hour. Get your lit­tle pota­toes off the couch, and let them watch the tube only if they’re mov­ing too. Do crunches, squats, or jump­ing jacks dur­ing com­mer­cials. Stretch or jog in place while chan­nel surfi ng. Keep hand weights in a bas­ket by the sofa, and bust out some curls or over­head presses dur­ing your fa­vorite show. Do tri­cep dips or in­cline pushups, us­ing the couch as a prop. Make it a con­test: who­ever does the most burpees gets con­trol of the re­mote.

4 Mi­crowave. When slow cook­ing won’t work, em­brace your mi­crowave. Skip the high- fat, high- sodium prepack­aged meals, and look for in­stant or frozen foods with less than 450 mg of sodium, 300– 500 calo­ries, 10– 20 grams of pro­tein, and less than 4 grams of sat­u­rated fat. Or make your own ul­tra- fast, zap­pable meals: Mi­crowave chopped veg­eta­bles with scram­bled eggs and cheese for an in­stant omelet. Com­bine blue­ber­ries, mashed ba­nana, oats, ground fl ax, and an egg, and mi­crowave for break­fast. Mi­crowave pre­sea­soned chicken fa­ji­tas and pep­pers un­til done, and serve with tor­tillas for in­stant din­ner. Com­bine frozen veg­etable mix with canned chick­peas, co­conut milk, and curry paste, and mi­crowave un­til hot for veg­e­tar­ian curry.

Make break­fast easy. It’s the most skipped meal, and that has health con­se­quences, espe­cially for young ones: kids who skip break­fast have di­min­ished aca­demic per­for­mance, a greater risk of be­ing over­weight, and a lower fi tness level. Stock up on quick morn­ing meals- to- go: make smooth­ies the night be­fore and freeze in bags. Keep a bowl of boiled eggs, small con­tain­ers of fruit, and in­di­vid­ual pack­ets of al­mond but­ter ready for grab- and- go morn­ing meals. kids and teens a well- de­signed mul­ti­vi­ta­min and min­eral to fi ll in any nu­tri­tional gaps.

Visit bet­ter­nu­tri­tion. com for our Easy Blended Baked Oat­meal recipe ( it can be made the night be­fore).

Wa­ter your fl ow­ers. Be sure that your fam­ily drinks enough wa­ter; de­hy­dra­tion can lead to headaches, mus­cle cramps, even changes in mood. En­cour­age hy­dra­tion by keep­ing wa­ter around; buy ev­ery­one his or her own re­us­able wa­ter bot­tle and post re­minder notes on the front door to take wa­ter bot­tles be­fore leav­ing the house. Other easy ways to en­sure that you and your fam­ily are get­ting enough wa­ter:

Stock up on cans or bot­tles of sugar- free, fruit- fl avored fi zzy wa­ter to en­cour­age sip­ping. Fill a pitcher with wa­ter and slices of orange or sprigs of mint for fl avor­ing. In­vest in a coun­ter­top wa­ter dis­penser; kids love the nov­elty of refi lling their own glasses. Fill ice cube trays with di­luted fruit juice and berries, and freeze to add nov­elty to iced wa­ter.

Pri­or­i­tize sleep. It’s easy to skimp on the Zzz’s when life is full. But lack of sleep can im­pact brain devel­op­ment, im­mune func­tion, mood, and even weight: kids who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk of be­ing obese as adults. To en­cour­age a rest­ful night, shut down elec­tron­ics at least 30 min­utes be­fore bed­time, and start dim­ming lights and noise lev­els through­out the house. For younger kids, cre­ate a night­time rit­ual: brush teeth, read a story, sing a song. If kids strug­gle with sleep, try gen­tle herbs such as pas­sionfl ower, chamomile, or cat­nip. Look for them as sin­gle or com­bi­na­tion for­mu­las in cap­sules or al­co­hol- free tinc­tures. Or choose a home­o­pathic sleep rem­edy de­signed for kids; they’re safe enough even for lit­tle ones.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.