Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Smart Snacking Makes for Healthy Eating

ThinkstockPhotos-513806816Some people think that snacking can sabotage your healthy eating plan. However, snacking keeps your energy levels up and prevents you from becoming overly hungry, which can lead to poor food choices. Eating every three to four hours can also help regulate your metabolism, which ensures that you burn calories throughout the day. Strive for at least two small snacks per day, but try to limit yourself to 100 to 150 calories or less per snack.
Also, be sure your snack is balanced—that it offers complex carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and repair, and a small amount of fat for satiety. You can ensure nutritional balance and prevent snack boredom by varying your daily choices.
Best Snacks for Great Nutrition
Here are some great snack choices:
  • 6 oz Greek yogurt topped with ½ cup of berries
  • ¾ cup of whole-grain cereal, nut, and dried fruit trail mix
  • 1 apple and 1 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt smoothie made with real fruit
  • 1 oz. baked tortilla chips with ¼ cup bean dip
  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese on five whole-grain crackers
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla with 1 oz. melted cheese and ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 cup raw vegetables and 2 Tbsp. low-fat dip or hummus
  • 1 Tbsp. nut butter on a banana
  • 1 cup berries topped with ¼ cup low-fat granola cereal
  • ¼ cup whole-grain cereal and ¼ cup raisins with ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup pasta salad made with raw veggies, cheese, and low-fat dressing
  • ½ pita pocket stuffed with raw vegetables and 1 slice low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat vegetable-bean sou
  • ½ turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • 1 handful almonds and ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cottage cheese and ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ peanut butter/banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • ½ whole-wheat English muffin toasted and topped with a slice of tomato and low-fat cheese
The Benefits of Snacks
You might feel guilty about snacking, but snacks aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, mini meals several times a day can be beneficial. Here’s how:
 
Binge control. If eating several low-fat, whole-grain crackers, a few pretzels, a piece of fruit, or some raw vegetables keeps you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.
 
Extra energy and nutrients. Traditional, made-at-home meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack can be the difference between some nourishment and none at all.
 
Satisfaction for small appetites. Young children’s tiny stomachs can hold only small portions of food at a time. Older adults who are less active and who burn fewer calories also may feel comfortable eating smaller meals more frequently.
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Topics: diet and nutrition mindfulness fruits and vegetables

Motivating Your Family to Be Healthier with Nutrition and Exercise

Getty Images - family With the weather changing for the better and the days becoming longer, this is as good of a time as any to get the family up and moving. It has been a long winter, and most of us have fallen into boring routines of being indoors binge watching Netflix or playing video games to stay out of the cold. Finally, spring is here, so it’s time to break those boring routines and switch it up!

Start with Small Trips Outside

Motivating the family to be healthier can seem like a challenge. Some tricks I use to get my family back outside is just starting small. It could be walking the dog around the block. If that seems more like a chore, try making a trip to the park. Play with the kids on the playground or find trails to walk. Bike rides and participating in local 5K run/walk events can also be a great way to get the family back up and moving after long, dreary days! 

Don’t Forget Nutrition with Fresh, in-Season Produce

Getting the family to take a healthier approach is not just about physical activity; think of nutrition as well. This is a great time to restock the fridge with some of your favorite fruits and vegetables because most likely they are fresh and in season right about now. Fresh fruit and cold-cut vegetables are great to pack for family gatherings, picnics, and even school lunches. Slow approaches to getting the family into healthier habits gives them time to adjust to the changes and make them habits. A great way to change up their nutrition is trying a new fruit or vegetable at least once a week. This way everyone will be excited to try something different while also finding new foods that are nutritious.

Healthy Habits for Life

Motivating your family to be healthier does not have to be a challenge. Encourage fun activities that the whole family will enjoy. Starting healthy habits when children are young can help them keep these habits in the future. If not everyone is ready for exercise, try motivating the family to make healthier food choices. Finding common ground can be key to getting the whole family motivated. If one person gets motivated first, it could help fuel the rest of the family’s motivation to be healthier.

What are your family's favorite activities to do together,         comment below!

Topics: motivation winter exercise for kids seasonal eating fruits and vegetables