Fri, Apr 6, 2012
Candice McQueen, of National Fitness Center, and her mom share a passion for teaching young mothers how to launch healthy habits in their homes.
Your 2 year old said what?
“Your 2 year old asks you for avocados and black olives?” I asked my friend.
“Yeah, he eats a lot of rice and tofu, too, and absolutely loves his broccoli.”
This statement astonished me in blatant contrast to most of the diets forced upon our country’s freshest generation. I see families all the time adopting a regular routine of McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets and French fries for their precious cargo because it’s “more convenient,” and “I just don’t have the time.” Sound familiar?
Most moms I talk to have the preconceived notion that in order to implement a more healthy eating pyramid for their family, they would have to give up their careers and start plotting gardens and raising their own chickens in the back yard. Although that is not a bad way to go, and I’ve certainly considered it myself, there is a plethora of time-sensitive options you can fit into your busy lives. As an added bonus, many will actually save you money and make you proud of the healthy habits you are instilling in your little astronauts and princesses.
A Habit A Day
Habits, whether good or bad, are what we are armoring our children with to carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. If we give them a fresh perspective on food from the very beginning, they will be equipped with a very valuable shield to help them fight and ward off many diseases, even diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. A child, already overweight between the ages of 5 and 10, has at least one risk factor for heart disease, like raised blood pressure or insulin levels. The Center for Disease control and prevention shows that this is likely for at least 60 percent of children in this category.
“I wish I knew then what I know now,” my mother said many a times in reference to the struggles with ongoing weight loss and management my brother deals with every day. Having been overweight since the age of 9, he is privy to the kind of emotional battles that accompany the physical challenges of carrying an extra 100 or so pounds. Now at the age of 23, and about half-way to his goal, our mother has always held some of the guilt of responsibility. It’s always much easier to aim for prevention with preparation and knowledge than it is to try to right the wrongs of years of unhealthy habits.
The More You Know, the More You GrowThe wealth of knowledge and accessibility to a healthy way of life is much more readily available today than it was 20 years ago. My mom, now a holistic health consultant, shares with us an abundance of ways to implement healthy living and wiser food choices, that are convenient and affordable. There are many simple ways that you can start to make changes for the better in your little ones’ lives, teaching them tidbits of information they will carry with them for years to come.
Here are some ideas:
- Take them shopping with you and make it a color game. The more colorful your edible creations, the more variety of vitamins you are nourishing their little bodies with. Think veggie stir-fry, fruit salad or a stack sandwich.
- Lean towards a vegetarian-based diet. The more you can structure your diet around these groups, the more you can dramatically lower incidences of heat disease, cancer and stroke and control and maintain healthy weight numbers: whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruit.
- Shy away from fried foods, heavy meat consumption and dairy products. A serving of broccoli has more calcium in it than a glass of milk.
- Go to www.kidsgethealthy.org and check out great recipes and sample diets for kids of all age groups.
Recipes from Candice McQueen
1/2 cup shredded Carrots
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
2 green onions thinly sliced
4 oz shredded low fat Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup nonfat ranch dressing
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 7in whole grain tortilla shells
1 cup baby spinach leaves (whole or chopped to preference)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and onions with cheese, dressing and chili powder.
- Lay tortillas flat on a plate and spoon about 1/2 cup vegetable mixture and 1/4 cup lettuce down the center. wrap.
Nutrition per serving
7g fat (3 sat)
Apple Tuna Sandwich
Makes 3 sandwiches
1 6.5oz can tuna, drained
1 small apple chopped small
1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp honey
6 slices whole wheat bread
Romaine lettuce or spinach leaves to top
1. Mix tuna, apple, yogurt, mustard and honey.
- Spread 1/2 cup of mixture on bread.
- Top with lettuce and enjoy!
Nutrition per serving
21 g protein
4 g fat (1.3 sat)
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Makes 4 servings
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp carob powder or cocoa powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
- Mash together
- Mix well & Chill
1 1/4c water
1T apple cider vinegar
1/4 c oil
1 1/2c flour
Preheat oven to 350. Mix vanilla, oil, sugar, together. In separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake approximately 16-18 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 block reduced fat cream cheese
1t pure vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Beat all ingredients until smooth.