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Showing posts from tagged with: food health

How to choose healthy school lunches and snacks

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How to choose healthy school lunches and snacks healthy school lunch Students have been back to school for a little while now, but families may still be discussing whether children should take a brown-bag lunch to school or purchase a meal at the school’s cafeteria. School lunches, have improved over the past few years, especially with the decrease in sugary beverages and emphasis on fruit and vegetables, but they may still offer some not-so-healthful options. Given the choice, many kids will choose the latter – like pizza every day, no veggies and high-sugar chocolate milk, etc. It’s really important to stay ahead of those choices and make sure your children have a healthy option. Homemade lunches are usually a better choice because a parent can tailor the meal to the child’s needs and tastes. If your child has a food allergy or dietary issue, for example, you can address that. School lunches also generally tend to be repetitive. School cafeterias have a rotating calendar of meals and generally serve the same thing each week. With a homemade lunch, you can have variety and make it healthy and what your child likes and will eat. Ideally, a healthful lunch – one-third of your child’s daily intake of nutrition – should include some form of lean protein, a whole grain, a vegetable, fruit, and a source of calcium, like milk, yogurt or cheese. The same dish served at school may not be nutritionally equivalent to the one made at home. Mac and cheese, for example is likely made from white pasta and processed cheese at school. At home, she uses high-protein pasta and natural cheese. Homemade lunches don’t have to be that elaborate. There’s nothing wrong with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread if you don’t have time to make something fancier. And all kids love sweets, so it’s OK to throw in a bit of sweet, such as a chocolate kiss or a mini candy bar as long as it’s in moderation. Sandwiches and wraps with whole-grain bread or tortillas, lean meat and veggies are a good standby. Raw veggies, such as carrots, celery, jicama and grape tomatoes are always a good choice. Or consider looking for baked veggie straws or baked potato chips in single serving pouches as a side to a sandwich. There are so many options for healthy simple lunches for your children. Consider packing it for them and making them as healthy as they can be.

Have a healthy holiday season!

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healthy happy holidays Have a healthy holiday season! In lieu of the upcoming holidays, here are a few general tips from the CDC to keep them merry and bright.

  1. Stay warm! Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
  2. Wash your hands. Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs, Especially with flu season starting to pop up. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Stress Management for Your Holiday Season Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
  4. Be Smart and Don’t Drink and Drive! Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but non-smokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
  5. Practice Seat Belt Safety. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
  6. Healthy Holiday Screenings. Get exams and screenings. Ask your healthcare provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
  7. Vaccinate for your safety and others. Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
  8. Keep them safe too! Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
  9. Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
  10. Food Safety for Family Meals Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly. Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
  Happy Healthy Holiday from all of us to you!