It’s here! – Eat right, your way, everyday, the 2013 National Nutrition Month (NNM) theme! NNM, a campaign from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, focuses on education to improve our nutrition and physical activity habits. Every March, dietitians unite to create a uniform message to collectively teach the public. This year, it continues – how do our own culture, family traditions and even health affect what we eat?? Food is not just for nutrition…it is a part of much more.
Here are some of my thoughts of how we eat in our home:
How does our lifestyle affect our tastes? Being a mom of 3 boys – we get busier and busier. Running and juggling the kids, activities, work, volunteering, school, and our family needs – and, we know the business will increase! How we try to keep a handle on healthy eating:
- Stocked freezer: with already made meals, cooked meats, and frozen vegetables.
- Stocked pantry: includes many grab and go’s – full with fruit cups, Grahamwiches, microwave popcorn. Also, in the pantry: oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, natural peanut butter and canned beans and canned tomatoes.
- Stocked refrigerator: fresh fruit and vegetables, Greek yogurt and Dannon yogurt drinks, Capri Sun Super V, low fat cheese, small tortillas, low fat veggie dip and leftovers – including extra cooked vegetables.
- Planning: packing sandwiches, pretzels and bottled waters for longer days away from home. The boys now enjoy Subway and can share a foot long sandwich. Often, homemade soup or a crock pot meal is waiting for us at home.
How do our traditions affect our tastes? Like many, our holiday celebrations leave us surrounded by food. We learned survival tips and to bring kid friendly food to gatherings. Also, we make sure the boys eat substantially during the day leading to the gathering. We know they will also eat chips/cookies, etc but going well-fed gives them a chance to stick to moderation. The boys do well with non-food activities while at these gatherings – they love playing outdoors with their cousins!
How does our health affect our tastes?
We are blessed with good health in our house. Alex and I committed to mindful eating – starting with breastfeeding each of our boys for 12-13 months. Even so, we feel challenged with what to feed a picky eater and to change our own lifestyle to focus on kid friendly and healthy meals. We choose moderation and balance in our house. Yes, we give the boys cookies and candy in addition to their very healthy daily diet. In this way, they get to learn how foods can help them feel good and energized. We continue to increase our family activity times with biking and hiking – teaching the kids that, in our house, health does not stop at the kitchen table!