Being a grandparent is a wonderful thing. Seeing your own children grow and bring a child of their own into the world is amazing; you see your family grow and your legacy live. Along with seeing them grow, you have the ability to help teach your grandchildren how to participate in green-living and eating healthier.
Being a grandparent gives you the perfect opportunity to help your grandkids eat better because they will listen to you better than they will ever listen to their parents.
So how do you make sure your grandkids are green kids, eating healthy and not becoming a US statistic of childhood obesity?
There is no sound way. Taking away snack packs will just make them want them more. Kids are the same as adults and any diet where we think we are being denied a food makes us crave it.
Instead of taking away the snack pack, think of adding something just as delicious to your grandkids diet. Adding healthy and organic food will help guide them to green living. Here are some not so common rules to help your grandkid’s nutrition.
Rule #1: Never skip breakfast. Ever!
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. It’s hard for parents to enforce a good breakfast in hectic mornings, so it’s up to the grandparents to ensure a healthy breakfast when the grandkids come to visit! People who skip breakfast are actually more likely to follow fad diets, exercise less, take up smoking or drinking, and/or complain about body weight.
Eating breakfast gives you the energy you need for the day. Breakfast foods also tend to have fiber, calcium, and other micronutrients that most people don’t get in the right amounts they need. Eating breakfast also stimulates something in our brain that makes us consume less soda and French fries, and eat more fruits, veggies, and milk.
Of course, there are bad breakfast foods (Reese’s Puffs cereal, donuts, scones, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast from any fast food restaurant, and even bagels with cream cheese have loaded calories and extra fat), but kids who eat breakfast are actually 30% less likely to be overweight or obese.
Rule #2: Snack with Purpose
Snacking is not bad. In fact, it is actually good for your metabolism to eat healthy snacks in between small meals throughout the day. When giving snacks to your children, make sure they have a purpose.
We all know an occasional cookie is bound to happen, but choosing foods at strategic times of the day can keep your child’s metabolic rate high which gives them the good kind of energy.
Some good snacking with purpose ideas include popcorn, unsalted nuts, dark chocolate, and of course, fruits and veggies. The point is not to deny them the snack foods they want to munch on, but in making sure what they munch on is healthy for them.
Rule #3: Beware of Portion Distortion
Portions have increased dramatically in the US in the past few decades. Larger portions mean more calories, and more calories usually mean more fat. However, taking away food and leaving empty space in plates and bowls will mentally keep your grandkids wanting more. Try buying smaller bowls, plates, and cups to make it seem like you’re still getting the same amount.
Rule #4: Drink Responsibly
Watching what you eat is a no-brainer for older individuals, but watching what you drink? Not so well known a concept. Even green kids have a tendency to reach for the Sunny D juices that are packed with unnecessary sugars. To prevent this, try the following:
* Always keep a cold, filtered water pitcher in the fridge
* Keep milk in an easy-to-reach area of the fridge and serve it at as many meals as you can
* Drink healthy yourself – kids learn by example
Rule #5: Eat More Whole Foods
A fantastic mantra at the grocery store is “the shorter the ingredient list, the healthier the food”. Sodium and saturated fats are staples of processed and packaged foods. Whole foods can taste just the same as some regular foods, and if the kids don’t see the packaging, they won’t even be able to tell the difference! This is not only a good idea for green-living for kids, but for you as well. Incorporating organic food into your diet keeps out unnatural ingredients that are bad for your body.
Rule #6: Set the Table
It sounds odd, but kids who experience more structured eating times develop better eating habits.
With soccer practice, ballet, day-trips, going to see the school play, and helping out your children think of Halloween costumes, this idea seems more like a dream that died in the mid-90s.
However, there are ways of adding just enough structure to make an impact on green kid’s nutrition. Make one night a week a sit-down dinner night; no social plans allowed!
If you live far away, just try to make sure whenever you do see your grandkids to incorporate a sit-down dinner. Also, try to include the kids in the cooking process.
Studies show kids who are encouraged to eat more fruits and veggies by giving them goals and allowing them to help in preparation eat healthier.
Rule #7: Kick the Sugar Habit
We’ve all heard it before; high-fructose corn syrup is bad for us. No new information there. However, what may be news to most of us is that bread, snacks, ketchup, almost everything we eat has corn syrup in it. The actual intake of a little HFCS is not bad, what is scary is that it is turning up in everything we eat and therefore adding empty calories to what we eat.
To totally avoid HFCS, a family would have to completely stop eating packaged foods. Whereas families trying to live green do eat less packaged food, cutting it out completely from a child’s diet is unlikely. Instead, become an avid reader of nutrition labels and stay away from foods with any form of sugar on top of the ingredient list.
Nutritional Points Of Confusion For Weight Loss
Obesity isn’t contained to the western world, the rest of the world is also gaining weight at alarming rates. And being overweight is correlated with the top causes of death in the United States and by extension, other western countries.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on how to manage your nutrition for optimal fat loss.
So here are some overlooked aspects of fat loss nutrition:
1. Meat can be stored as fat in your body: Just because sources of protein have high thermogenic values does not mean they can’t be stored as fat. In fact, your body is very efficient as storing protein as fat. So make sure you don’t overdo it here.
2. Eating lots of meat won’t magically spare your muscle tissue: In fact, eating carbohydrates is the best way to spare your muscle tissue. So make sure you have a hefty intake of carbs if you want to maintain your muscle mass and physique while dieting.
3. Protein powders are worse than whole food: The only exception here is right after your workout, otherwise always get your protein from whole food sources. You see, your body does best with slow digesting protein from whole food.
4. Carbohydrates don’t prevent fat loss: In fact, it’s easier to lose fat when you eat carbohydrates because you can exercise with intensity. And intense exercise increases caloric burn for days after your workout. The real focus here needs to be on total caloric intake.
5. Large fruit intakes are not healthy: Modest fruit intakes can improve health, but excessive fruit intakes can decrease health substantially. The issue here is that fructose (the sugar in fruit) causes your liver to produce triglycerides and cholesterol. I recommend having fruit for breakfast and before working out.
6. Plant saturated fat is healthy for you: Not all fats are created equal, and saturated fats are no exception here. You see, animal saturated fats are structurally different from plant saturated fats. In fact, coconut, a plant saturated fat, is considered a superfood by some medical experts.
Eating the right way to lose weight doesn’t have to be super complicated. In reality, if you stick to what is proven by research, it can be easily manageable.
How To Lose Weight Properly
Due to the millions of overweight people the weight loss industry is growing bigger every year, there are billions of dollars being spent and made in this industry.
Unfortunately, too much of this money is not well spend since most people don’t buy the right and proper weight plans, what they do buy are false hopes.
Big claims that buzz off hope to people, misinforming advice and scams brought into the marketplace by well thought out marketing plans from big companies are being bought by many overweight people.
Almost all of those overweight people are really desperate to burn their fat of, probably you as well, that’s why all those people always buy into those new lose weight scams that come each which makes you “burn your fat of overnight”.
But that just isn’t possible, you can’t lose weight overnight with some kind of miracle weight loss supplement or abdominal belt or whatsoever. There’s only one way for you to lose weight and that is by eating healthy, no low-fat or low-carb or any other famous fad diet, and of course working out.
The good thing is, it doesn’t have to cost you that much time for the exercises. 45-60 minutes for ¾ days a week is more than enough as long as you do the proper exercises. Too many people are misled by so-called fitness or weight loss experts and they keep on doing the wrong exercises.
All that you need to do with your exercises is boost your metabolic rate and thus burn more calories, of course, you need to eat fewer calories as well and make sure your calories come from protein foods.
The best exercises for real and fast weight loss are weight lifting exercises. Weight lifting exercises train large muscle groups in your body which increases your metabolic rate high enough to burn calories for up to 2 days and of course you still need to eat healthily.
Eating 5/6 small meals a day and making sure your calories come from protein-rich foods is necessary for proper weight loss. Fish, organic meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grain is where the real magic weight loss is.
You don’t need to go on a diet. When the diet tells you that you have to starve, or you feel like you’re starving you’re on a bad diet and you will never lose weight long term.
Long-term weight loss is only conceivable if you eat right and eat healthy foods and do the right exercises. If you neglect one of those two or don’t want to do them don’t even try to lose weight because it just ain’t gonna happen.