No fluff in this introduction. In order to be at your healthiest this should define your eating habits.
10 Nutrition Rules to Live by:
- You control the supply lines. You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Adults decide which foods are regularly stocked in the house. If it's not available in the cupboard and fridge at home you are less likely to make a store run just for a craving. If their favorite snack isn't all that nutritious, you can still buy it once in a while so they don't feel deprived.
- Plan. Plan your meals including snacks if needed. A meal plan will save you time, energy, and aggravation. Knowing ahead of time what is the menu selection will afford you the opportunity to shop only for the items needed that week. You’ll more likely not forget to take items out of the freezer as well. If you work off your meal plan when it comes time to make the meal, you’ll have everything needed to put the meal together. Don’t forget to also schedule times to eat your regular meal and snack times.
- Quit the "clean-plate club. Please stop eating when you feel you've had enough. Lots of us grew up under the clean-plate rule, but that approach doesn't allow you to listen to your body tell you when feel full or 80% full. When you respond to feelings of fullness, you're less likely to overeat.
- Try new foods/recipes. Food preferences are developed early in life, so offer variety. Likes and dislikes begin forming even when kids are babies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop different taste as you grow older. Try a new ‘old’ food. Prepare a food you didn’t care for in a different way. You never know it might just become a favorite.
- Rewrite the menu. Who says you have to prepare Tacos every Tuesday and Spaghetti on Wednesday with Fish on Friday? It might surprise you how willing your family is to try a new recipe next week.
- Drink calories count. Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. I don’t know of an adult who thinks of them as nutritious. But many of us will not part with our coffee/ latte topped off with sugar and cream or our Gatorade during a hot day. Alcohol? Again, calories you need to count in your day.
- Put sweets in their place. Occasional sweets are fine, but don't turn dessert into the main reason for eating dinner. When dessert is the prize for eating dinner, we naturally place more value on the cupcake than the broccoli. Try to stay neutral about foods. Remember moderation is not once a day or even every other day.
- Food is not love. Find better ways to say "I love you." When foods are used as a reward and to show affection, they start becoming a coping device for stress or other emotions. Enjoy time alone, listening to a favorite song, buy a new pair of sunglasses instead of food treats.
- Kids do as you do. Be a role model and eat healthy. When trying to teach good eating habits, try to set the best example possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, try different foods in a variety of ways, and don't skip meals.
- Limit TV and computer time. When you do, you'll avoid mindless snacking and encourage activity. With limited TV and computer time, you'll find more active things to do. And limiting "screen time" means you'll have more time to be active With those you love together.