by Krista Leck Merner
Time for a Challenge…
A healthy eating challenge that is! I challenge all of us (myself included) to start our own mini-food revolution. I have been sitting here watching the sneak preview of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” show that I dvr-ed from the weekend and am feeling very motivated. (Check it out) I am so horrified at what schools are feeding kids in his show that it has made me want to jump up and spread the word, here at home.
Kudos to us in Nova Scotia, as we do have a School Food Policy in place. However, while we may be controlling what schools can feed our kids (to an extent) it does not stop us from choosing unhealthy/convenient choices at home and/or packing them in their lunches.
While I do not have kids of my own, it horrifies me that we are filling these little, growing bodies with chemicals, preservatives and things that only resemble food. We’re turning their taste buds into processed food junkies! Instead of enjoying a real chicken breast, they don’t like the texture, as they are used to only chicken nuggets! They don’t like “white milk” as they are used to the strawberry (pink) milks that are loaded with food dyes and extra sugars! Today’s generation of kids are the first to have a projected shorter life expectancy than their parents. Scary. I understand that parenting is a hard job, and I understand that we are all time pressed; however, are these really good excuses? With a little extra effort and just a tad more time, you can prepare healthy foods yourself and feel good about what you are putting in children’s bodies and your own!!!
Making it happen:
- Planning makes perfect! Take an hour of your week, sit down with your grocery flyers and make a menu for the week. Need some new ideas? Grab a cookbook or go online to search for new, healthy recipes!
- Balance out your plate! Practice the “perfect plate!” Fill half your plate with fruit/vegetables, ¼ of your plate with wholegrains and ¼ of your plate lean protein.
- Start small! Swap your fast food meal, to a healthier baked chicken strip and baked fries meal, to then cooking your own chicken strips and home-fry potato wedges! Remember…small steps lead to sustainable lifestyle changes!
- Make it a family affair. Sit down to a meal with everyone and discuss why food is important. If everyone agrees with the big picture goal, there will be more compliance with the changes you are making along the way!
- Pick one day, when you have more time, and cook in batches! Use Sunday to cook a batch of soup, so you have healthy lunches for the week. Making lasagne? Make two and freeze one for next week!
- Make it fun! Experiment with a new fruit/vegetable each week! Visit your local market to try out some local cuisine! Include a new type of bread for your sandwiches or mix up your water with a new flavour (my favourite is a combination of cucumber and lime!)
Friendly competition never hurt anyone! Share the goals you/your family set with your friends and family! Challenge them to adopt healthier eating habits! Remember, we are in control of what we put in our bodies. Of all the health situations our society is facing that we cannot control—our nutrition choices and our physical activity are lifestyle choices we can control.
Step up. It’s time to get real about food.
Want help along the way? Not sure what your next step should be? Contact me, Krista, at Bent Fork Nutrition to get started on your path to healthy eating today!