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A Healthy Diet for the Whole Family

Por MyDiet™ -
A Healthy Diet for the Whole Family

It's a challenge sometimes to eat right when you are trying to prepare foods that kids will like, as well as feed a hungry spouse coming home from work. Not to mention, your own day is so busy you have forgotten to eat lunch.

If this is your reality, don't despair--there are ways to get organized so you won't have to turn to eating less healthy meals.
It is important to keep in mind that each family member has different calorie requirements. For example:

• An average woman (with low to average physical activity) needs between 1,600 and 1,800 calories a day
• An average man (with low to average physical activity) needs between  2,000 and 2,400 calories a day
• A two-year-old child requires around 1,200 calories a day. Their calorie level increases each year by 100 or 200 calories until they're six.

This means that each person should eat different amounts and kinds of food, which is why including a variety of foods in a family meal is important.

When you go to the supermarket, make a list of what you need so that you don’t forget important items. You may think you will remember, but make a detailed list anyway and bring it with you. It is not uncommon to get home from the grocery store and have forgotten something obvious like salt or milk.

According to a recent study conducted at the University of Georgia, meal planning and organization at home is a key component in establishing healthy eating habits. According to the study, it's precisely the lack of planning at home due to the pressures of modern life, that has led to an alarming increase in the consumption of junk food.

The list of basic tips below will help you to feed your family and maintain a healthy diet.

  • Be sure to eat breakfast every day. For many families breakfast is the only time during the day that everyone is together. Healthy items that can be included in this meal are: milk, yogurt, cereals or bread, a lean meat and some low-fat cheese.
  • Have cereal available for your kids. There are hundreds of types of cereal to choose from. Be sure to read the food labels to make sure it is whole grain and low in added sugar. They can eat it plain or with milk, and it provides much of the protein they need to stay alert in school.
  • Always have some healthy snacks around for yourself and others like raw vegetables, string cheese, energy bars, or a cup of yogurt.
  • Talk to your family about healthy eating habits. It's good for your kids to know from the time they're little why they're eating each particular thing and how food “fuels” their bodies.
  • On the weekends, make food for three or four days and include chicken or other lean meat that you can use to put together different meals, just varying the side dishes.
  • Try to make side dishes that are mostly fresh vegetables.  Use colorful mixes of vegetables to keep the meals attractive and tasty.
  • When it's time to eat, remember that portions will vary for each individual. Allow kids to serve themselves. Kids have the instinct to stop eating when they are full. 
  • Cooking ahead of time for a few days will help you with making lunches for your kids.
  • Take turns with members of the household in planning meals for the week. Older kids may be able to help with this, and it will teach them good habits. Spouses should share this responsibility whenever possible. 


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