Healthy eating for kids on the run
(NC)—Much of life with kids seems to be spent on the run. And the older they get, the busier they get. How do you make sure you have healthy meals, snacks and drinks for your kids to get them through a busy day – or a busy week?
Samara Foisy, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian, offers the following advice to help families get from point A to point Z, with nutritious stops in between:
• The best way to ensure your kids have healthy options all day long is to provide them yourself. Before you do the groceries for the week make a list based on how many meals and snacks they will have outside the home during their busy schedules.
• Keep things on hand that are easy to grab and eat such as bananas, apples, and baby carrots. Keep a supply of cut–up fruit and vegetables in reusable containers in the fridge for fast, bite–sized snacks on the go. Stock your pantry with dried fruit, unsalted nuts, low–fat granola bars, and unsweetened apple or other fruit sauces. Bake and freeze low–fat muffins. Have ingredients for sandwiches, salads and other packable meals on hand.
• Schedule a time at night to pack lunches together. This way everyone has a say in what goes in the bag, and it is ready to grab in the morning.
• When eating out, ask if nutrition information is available to help you and your kids make healthy choices.
• In the morning order a low–fat muffin or a whole grain bagel with peanut butter. Oatmeal or yogurt and fruit are also good choices.
• For lunch or dinner suggest pizza on whole grain crust with lots of vegetables. Avoid high fat toppings such as bacon, sausage and pepperoni.
• At the sandwich bar suggest whole grain bread or wraps and load up on vegetables. Instead of processed meats, look for lean sliced meat and poultry or tuna and vegetarian fillings, such as hummus or lower–fat cheese.
• Order any dressing or sauces on the side, and that way you can control how much is added.
• Beware of cooking methods such as frying. Opt instead for dishes that are grilled, baked, poached or steamed.
• Order a small plain burger or grilled chicken sandwich with no coating, and little or no mayonnaise or other sauce. Ask for extra tomatoes and lettuce, and salad instead of fries.
• Send them off each day with a bottle of water in their knapsacks. Remind them to skip the pop when they are out and order water, low fat milk or 100% fruit juice instead.
• Check for Health Check. The Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check logo on restaurant menu items means they have met criteria developed by the foundation's registered dietitians based on recommendations in Canada's Food Guide. Learn more about making healthy choices at healthcheck.org