Many families are hitting the beach or the slopes for some quality time. If your vacations are usually filled with junk food, here are some simple strategies to upgrade your travel food game.
School lunch success
School lunches get a bad health rap, but they may be getting better. A new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, indicates that the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, a 2012 federal law that aims to nutritionally boost school lunches by making whole grains, vegetables and fruits more available and requiring students to select one fruit or vegetable portion per meal, has prompted kids to consume more essential nutrients and fewer calories. The study’s lead author, Donna B. Johnson, a professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, told The New York Times that the study proves the policy has “improved the quality of meals served to millions of children every day” and that “kids are healthier because of it.” Read more
Feeding your kids is always a challenge. Feeding them healthy food that’s easy for you to make and fun for them to eat is the Holy Grail of parenting. Luckily, the top five food trends for kids this year fit all of those criteria. “These foods are fun, but not because they have tons of sugar or artificial fluorescent colors,” says Kate Geagan, M.S., RDN, author of Go Green, Get Lean.
Hide the Leftover Halloween Candy
Cutting back on sugar consumption can dramatically improve the health of obese children in only 10 days, even when they remain at the same weight, a new study has found. Foods with added sugar were eliminated from the diets of the children who participated in the National Institutes of Health-backed study and replaced with other carbs to maintain calorie intake. The children’s weight was deliberately kept stable; nevertheless, all 43 children in the study showed improvements in blood pressure as well as cholesterol and blood sugar levels. “We can turn a child’s metabolic health around in 10 days without changing calories and without changing weight — just by taking the added sugars out of their diet,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Benioff Children’s Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco, told The New York Times. “From a clinical standpoint, from a health care standpoint, that’s very important.” Read more
Do you struggle with what to pack for snacks and lunches in a nut-free school zone? Here are some practical tips to help make it easier. Read more
Hands up if PB&J is a lunchtime staple for your family. Mine! If so, you know how simple, quick and delicious the classic PB&J sandwich can be. But sometimes even a classic needs jazzing up a bit, and that’s where these five fabulous spins on PB&J come into play. Lunch is served! Read more
Now that the kids are back in school, making sure they have plenty to drink is always on parents’ to-do list. Juice boxes are a popular beverage to pack into your little ones’ lunchboxes, but are they really a healthy choice? Read more
It’s back-to-school time, which means your kids are likely getting off the school bus tired and hungry. Before you reach for the box of Goldfish, consider this: Kids need the same combination of fiber, protein and fat in a snack that you do. This winning combination will keep your child full, focused and filled with energy. Here are seven healthy snacks guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters; some even let your kids join in on the fun! Read more
Cutting Carbs Not So Key
Attention, carb cutters: A new study has found that, contrary to the belief of die-hard Atkins fans, it is not necessary to cut carbs to burn fat and lose weight. According to researchers at National Institutes of Health, who published their findings in the journal Cell Metabolism, those who cut an equal caloric amount of fat from their diet are just as, if not more, likely to burn fat as those who cut carbs. “Our study suggests it’s probably the calories in a diet that matter much more than the carbohydrates or the fat,” lead author Kevin Hall, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, told the Los Angeles Times. The key to losing weight is to reduce calories and keep them down over the long-term, Hall said.
If you sent your little ones to camp this summer — be it a day camp, a weeklong skill-growing intensive or the full-fledged sleep-away experience — you likely relinquished control of their diet to the cafeteria gods. Your diligent meal planning and healthy eating lessons gave way to fried finger foods, endless carbs and thrice-daily snacks and sweets — which your kids easily burned off by running in circles all day. But now that they’re back home and preparing to start school, you’ll need to transition your happy campers back to normal eating habits. Rather than rip the bandage off all at once, we suggest trying out better-for-them versions of typical camp foods — so they won’t even notice they’ve crossed the bridge back into healthy eating land.
Sloppy Joes (shown above)
This meaty mess of a sandwich is probably the most-iconic cafeteria food, ladled from a giant vat onto a hamburger bun. Ellie Krieger uses extra-lean ground beef for these Joes and relies on fresh ingredients (onion, garlic, peppers) and a handful of sauces and seasonings to imbue the meat with that deep, indulgent flavor.