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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Healthy food talk with my friend AND guest - McKenzie

 I would like to introduce my friend McKenzie.  She always has such great advice and yummy recipes which are also good for you!  I recently asked her for some smoothie recipes to have for breakfast and they were yummy!  I will have to have her on here again to talk about that.  A lot of people might have made New Year's resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier (myself included).  Well, I thought that it was only fitting to have McKenzie guest post on here with some really good advice for eating healthier by eating the right foods.  She doesn't talk about any diet plan (Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slimfast, NutriSlim, etc).  So, read and enjoy and I hope this encourages you to have a healthier new YOU for the New Year!  

Hi Everyone!  My name is McKenzie.  I’m a registered dietitian with the WIC program.  I’m lucky enough to get paid to talk about food all day, while being surrounded by tons of cute little kids!  In addition to nutrition education, I also write a monthly newsletter for our program that focuses on nutrition & wellness and daily, I update the Scott County WIC Program Facebook page with health & nutrition news, parenting tips and healthy recipes! 

I’ve known Bekah for several years and our husbands have been friends for ages!  I feel so privileged to get the chance to guest post today and hope you enjoy! 

Michelle Obama has done an amazing job promoting healthy eating & physical activity.  Today I thought I’d share with you some strategies from to help you create a healthy home environment in just a few easy steps!  Since children do not usually choose what to eat and have to rely on what parents purchase, surrounding children with healthier options ensures they will eat healthier food.  Small changes in five key areas can make a huge difference and add up to real results: eat more fruits and vegetables, consume less sugar and fat, eat healthier snacks, watch portion size, and eat together as a family.

Fruits & Vegetables
              Kids (and adults) should eat five fruits and vegetables a day
              Serve fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables; they all count
              Provide fruit or carrot sticks as snacks
              Offer 100% juice, with no added sugar
              Mix vegetables into dishes, like adding peas to rice, or cucumbers to a sandwich

Healthy Choices to Reduce Fat and Sugar
              Switch to low- or non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese
              Choose lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken or extra lean ground beef for burgers or pasta sauces
              Bake or grill instead of fry
              Substitute olive or vegetable oil for butter
              Substitute water or low-fat milk for sodas or sweetened beverages
              Drink less soda or sugar-sweetened drinks
              Switch to lower sugar breakfast cereals
              Switch desserts like ice cream and cake for fruit based desserts

              Reduce the number of snacks served each day
              Leave a bowl of fruit or carrot sticks on the kitchen table
              Differentiate between snacks that require permission (cookies), versus snacks that kids can take freely (fresh or dried fruit)
              Have kids drink water at snack time
              Save "treats" for special occasions

Portion Size
              Kids are smaller than adults and should eat smaller portions
              Use smaller plates for kids
              Don't force kids to clean their plates if they are full
              Portions should be about the size of the back of a fist—a child’s fist for a child’s portion
              Start with a small portion. Children can have seconds if they are still hungry

Eat Together
              Family meals focus on eating and enjoying food and each other
              Eating together is a chance to model good behavior
              Regularly scheduled meal and snack times help kids learn structure for eating

I encourage you to start small.  Make it a goal to have your family make one small change every week.  I promise small steps add up to big change!  And if you want more information, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter (give Bekah your email address) or “like” Scott County WIC Program on Facebook!

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