Nutrition

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Lots of Healthy Snacks

Lots of Healthy Snacks

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The Importance of Snacking

​Most experts agree that you should snack between meals; however, there are "snacking rules". Snacking on the wrong foods, incorrect portion size, or snacking at the wrong times can make you fat. Therefore, it is extremely important to educate ourselves on the proper way to snack!

​Snacking 101

​1. Avoid waiting until you are starving! A healthy snack between meals will prevent your body from entering starvation. The human body compensates for the lack of food by storing energy for later. You may know that you will be eating again soon, but your body isn''t so sure!

​2. The "ups and downs" of blood sugar. Your body converts food to glucose, the simplest form of sugar, which is then used for energy. Blood glucose levels must stay within a normal range so the body doesn''t think it''s starving. Healthful snacking helps to maintain normal glucose levels(without spikes and dips).

Fighting Childhood Obesity

​​The childhood obesity problem in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions-we''re raising a generation of obese kids and teens who are at risk for becoming the heaviest generation in history. One study found that an estimated 80 percent of overweight pre-teens and teens (ages 10 to 15) were obese by the age of 25. Another reports that 25 percent of adults who are currently obese were also overweight during childhood. Curbing childhood obesity is a fight for all of us.

10 Ways to Help the Fight

10. GET MOVING! To stay healthy and fight weight gain, you should aim for at least 60 minutes of sweat-inducing exercise daily.

9. LIMIT TV TIME! Parents are encouraged to limit the amount of their children spend playing video games, watching TV and using the Internet to 2 hours or less a day (not counting the time they spend doing homework).
​8. BEWARE OF BEVERAGES! Cutting sugary drinks out of your child''s diet (and your own) can help to significantly reduce the number of calories consumed every day.
​7. GET YOUR SLEEP! Researchers have found an association between childhood obesity and the number of hours a child sleeps each night -- the fewer hours of sleep each night increases the risk of being overweight or obese.
​6. EAT BREAKFAST! Skipping breakfast doesn''t actually help you lose weight, and it may actually make you gain weight or have trouble keeping your weight under control.
5. FAMILY DINNER! When families eat together, they tend to eat healthier meals -- less fried foods and more vegetables.
​4. HEALTHY SNACKING! Snacking itself isn''t bad for us, as long as we''re careful about the snacks we choose and how much we eat. In general, aim for snacks that are low in fat, sugar and sodium. As for snack size -- one snack should be about 100 calories.
​3. EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN! Educate your kids about the food pyramid. (MyPyramid.gov Web site).
​2. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT! Support initiatives that establish healthier lifestyles, including farm-to-school programs, local farmer''s markets and community gardens to help kids make the connection between what they eat and where food comes from
​1. FOCUS ON HEALTH-NOT WEIGHT! Creating an environment where food and weight are constantly examined, evaluated and criticized, may lead to kids developing an unhealthy relationship with food, low self esteem and poor body image. Instead of making food a battleground at mealtimes, offer healthy food choices, let kids decide when they are hungry and full, and maybe most importantly, model your own healthy relationship with food and exercise.

What is this "gluten" stuff?

​​Gluten is a general term to describe the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.

What''s the Big Deal?

When gluten enters your body, your immune system responds by attacking the gluten molecule and unfortunately, also attacks your body. When the gluten reaches your small intestine, the villi are damaged. Damaged villi prevent your body from properly absorbing nutrients. Toxins and gluten fragments can pass through the damaged intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. Your body will view these foreign substances as invaders and respond by attacking them and your cells.

Yikes-Tell Me More!

​Now What? Click here ​

Candy bars, doughnuts and regular potato chips will become scarce in schools under new federal rules released Thursday, replaced by healthier options such as granola bars, trail mix and baked chips.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture''s new "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards represent the first nutritional overhaul of school snacks in more than 30 years.

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Before you put your kids on the bus tomorrow, take tonight to rethink their school lunch. My food group image illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. It''s very easy for kids to fall into a habit where they want the same lunch every day. So if it''s processed meats and cookies, they''ll be getting extra calories and salt, which they don''t need. So what do kids need in their lunch box? Skip sodas and sugary drinks, instead pack water and milk. When it comes to your child''s sandwich, use whole grain or wheat bread, whole wheat wraps or pita. You should also be selective with sandwich meat. A0 lot of sandwich meats have high sodium and high fat. Look for low fat and leaner cut meats, turkey and hams, are better options than regular lunch meat. Along with the sandwich, The American Heart Association suggests these options instead of chips: unsalted sunflower seeds, whole-grain crackers, fat-free or low-fat cheese sticks, unsalted rice cakes. And here''s a twist that may satisfy your son or daughter''s sweet tooth having apple slices and peanut butter is a healthier snack than throwing a candy bar in there. If you don''t pack your child''s lunch, you still can have a big impact on what your child eats at school. Talk with them about healthy options, like salad bars, now offered at many schools
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