Small changes big benefits for 2017

Small changes big benefits for 2017

These changes make a lot of sense because each brings a big nutritional benefit to the diet. To build on those mealtime modifications, try some of these smart switches.

Instead of frozen French fries all the time, switch to frozen sweet potato fries:

French fries are the most popular “vegetable” among the under five crowd. While potatoes can be a nutritious addition to a child’s diet, when they are deep-fat fried the benefits are overshadowed. Consider sweet potato fries from companies like McCain’s or Woolworths. A serving has over a day’s worth of vitamin A versus virtually none in regular fries.

Instead of regular eggs, switch to omega-3 eggs:

Omega-3 fats are good for heart health, and when hens are fed a special diet including algae, fish oil, or flaxseed, they lay healthier eggs that contain some omega-3 fats. These super eggs each contain anywhere from 100 to 200 milligrams of omega-3 fats — 10% to 20% of what’s recommended daily.

Instead of vegetable oil, switch to canola oil:

Vegetable oil is fine for cooking but canola oil is even better. Canola oil is rich in good-for-you monounsaturated fat as well as omega-3 fat (both have been shown to lower cholesterol levels). Canola oil holds up well under high heat and has a mild flavour that works well in stir fries, baking, and salad dressings.

Instead of table salt, switch to Himalayan sea salt.

Regular iodised table salt has 2,325 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Certain brands of Himalayan sea salt have half that amount at 1,120 milligrams. Consider that experts advise kids and adults to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Himalayan salt is light and flaky and has a clean crisp flavour. Sprinkle a pinch or two (and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil) on plain vegetables to kick up the flavour.

Instead of an apple a day, switch to an orange, an apple, and some melon:

Only four percent of children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables a day. The fallout: lots of kids don’t get enough fibre and vitamins such as immune-boosting A and C. So while “an apple a day” is great advice, you can’t stop there. No one fruit provides the wide spectrum of nutrients important for good health. For example, apples are a pretty good source of fibre (one medium-size apple has 3 grams). One orange contains almost a day’s worth of vitamin C and melon rocks when it comes to vitamin A with more than half the daily requirement in half a cup.

Breakfast buzz

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It has many big benefits for both adults and kids including higher test scores, greater alertness in the classroom, a healthier body weight, and a more balanced diet rich in calcium, iron, fibre and vitamins A and C. But some people, especially kids and teens who have to get up super early for school, tend to skip breakfast. Here’s how everyone can make breakfast a priority:

Streamline the Morning Routine:

Set the table the night before to reduce the stress that chaotic mornings can bring. If a bowl, spoon are laid out ahead of time, you’ll be more apt to eat.

Tantalise the Taste Buds:

Kids get bored with the same old foods day after day. To shake things up at breakfast, stock a supply of three or four different options . That way, each member of the family can pick and choose their favourite kind, or mix a few options together.

Heat Things Up:

There’s nothing like a bowl of stick-to-your-ribs oatmeal for breakfast topped with maple syrup, chopped nuts, and blueberries … or an egg scrambled up and served with whole grain toast and slices of fresh fruit.

Eat With Your Eyes:

Imagine a pretty glass filled with layers of fruited yogurt, sliced strawberries or blueberries, and crunchy cereal. “Parfaits” are easy to prepare and fun to eat.

Think Outside the Box:

While ready-to-eat and hot cereals provide a bowlful of good nutrition (especially when they’re made with whole grains), your kids might enjoy last night’s dinner leftovers for breakfast! A bowl of bolognaise may not appeal to moms, but if it gets kids in the habit of eating breakfast, be flexible and enjoy.

Grab and Go:

Talk about portable! Apples, bananas, and grapes are some of the easiest and healthiest grab-and-go foods that fit into busy schedules, so keep plenty on hand. Other grab-and-go options: granola bars (preferably those made with whole grains), low-fat cheese sticks, and sweet potato bread with almond nut butter.

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