How can you make eating healthier a habit? Are there easy things to do that can help you and your kids eat healthier? A recent article Place Your Order In Advance has some great tips. Suggestions have been modified to include those I teach in my nutrition classes.
1. Put healthy foods in front of you: studies have found that if it is easy to get to, you may eat that food first. So make the healthier foods ones that are easy to get to.
- Keep healthy foods on the counter – a bowl of fruit, a pitcher of water
- Cut up veggies like green pepper, carrots, celery and have them in the fridge for a quick snack
3. Eating out? Read the menu ahead of time: check out the online menu before you go. Plan healthier options before you even enter the restaurant.
- Read the online menu. Look for and choose healthier appetizers, entre and beverages.
- Check out the online nutrition information for the foods you want to order. How many calories and how much fat is in the food? Are there menu options with less calories and less fat?
- The article also suggests choosing 3-4 healthier meal options from restaurants you frequent. Before you go, decide on which of these healthier menu choices you will order. Deciding ahead of time helps you focus on eating healthier in the restaurant.
- Split it – want the higher calorie menu item? Split it with your partner and cut the calories in half. Ask them to choose a lower calorie option you can share.
- Choose healthier drink options. Fast food, choose milk. Most fast food restaurants offer low fat milk as an option. Fast food places also offer 100% juice such as a juice box as an option or orange juice. Water is always a good choice, or unsweetened ice tea, black coffee, hot tea.
- Running errands with the kids? Pack some healthy snacks. I was at a car wash and a young girl told her mom she was hungry. There were snack machines loaded with unhealthy options. The mom reached into her purse and pulled out orange slices, whole grain crackers and asked her daughter which one she wanted. Impressive!
- Going to work? Pack healthy snacks to munch on rather than the snack machines. Yogurt, a handful of nuts, a small box of raisins, a granola bar.
- Going on a road trip? Pack some healthier snacks. Besides fresh fruit and vegetables, have whole grain crackers, popcorn, hummus, and juice boxes of 100% juice. Bring a cooler and bring yogurt, low fat cheese sticks.