Thursday, December 11, 2014

Is Paleo Diet Right For Kids, Too?

I've recently discovered that the 'diet' I've been following has been the Paleo diet. Years ago I read something that said, 'eat like a caveman' as the healthiest way for deciding food choices. At the time, this healthy way of eating hadn't been labeled Paleo yet so when I heard everyone talking about it, I thought to myself, 'self, here's another fad diet that will be gone in 2 years' (yes, I refer to myself in second person whenever I'm talking to myself...).

If you are reading this post, that means that you too have assessed your own diet and further want to make sure your children are eating healthy as well.  With so many fad diets around I've tried to look at my 'diet' as not something short term but what are my long term goals. Therefore, once I realized that I was already eating close to the Paleo diet plan and my eating habits had a name and some structure which I could gather lots of information on the nutritional benefits I began to think - what would happen if my kids also adopted this way of eating. Well, of course the internet confirmed I'm not the only one who has thought this. There are lots of blogs available from others who have explored this thought further.

I encourage those who are reading this to do the same. If you read anything about the nutritional benefits of the Paleo way of eating then you will naturally wonder if all the grains and processed foods our children consume have a long term negative affect, then you will probably think twice about Cheerios in the morning too...

Please post your comments below. I'll be exploring this concept much further in the months ahead and value your thoughts.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Setting A Good Example - Early

One of the best ways my husband and I are able to demonstrate to our boys the importance of exercising and eating healthy everyday - is through our own example. We all live busy lives and finding time to be active can be challenging. But if you do it together then your children will also learn early in life how important it is to maintain a healthy life - for the rest of their life.

Here, we finished the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) walkathon around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The boys complained most of the time during the 3 mile walk but we encouraged them to continue and let them know this cause meant a lot to our family because the disease is prevalent in my husband's family. Once we completed the walk, it gave the boys a great since of accomplishment!

Today, we took the boys out along a local bike path while we walked along. It was a similar 3-4 mile ride/walk so we all got our necessary movement for the day. When you exercise together as a family, the benefits go far more than physical.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

How To Know Your Children Are Getting Enough Daily Nutrients

If your family is as busy as mine, your time is filled with sports practices, after school enrichment, swimming lessons, music lessons…. the list is endless – not to mention working a full time job and tackling homework. With a schedule this packed its hard not to be tempted by the convenience of drive thru. So while you may be putting in the effort to make sure your children are eating healthy, how do you know they are getting enough nutrients to support their growing bodies? Build Healthy Kids has an easy 5 minute online assessment you can take to help determine if your kids are getting the required amount of daily essentials

Based on the quick assessment of my younger son (age 6), his fruit and vegetable servings per day were good, but I definitely have room for improvement. Such as adding half a banana with his honey oats and ½ cup of whole milk for his morning breakfast. When packing the boys lunches (my other son is 9), I always make sure there is at minimum an apple sauce squeezer but now I’ll also add grapes, apple slices, or other fruit of their liking to the after school snack. 

Another challenge with my younger son is he doesn’t like chicken very much. He’ll eat chicken nuggets or homemade chicken strips (click here for my kid friendly recipe but any other preparation and he balks. Therefore, I’ve increased black beans and rice mixed with fresh cut corn (or canned when I’m in a hurry).

I encourage you to take the assessment as well. While we can’t obsess over making sure our children are receiving exactly 2 cups of milk per day or that they ate a rainbow throughout the day, its always a good idea to make sure you are in the ballpark of what keeps our kids healthy.  Please let us know if your kids are getting enough daily nutrients in the comments below. Create more healthy kids!