Discussing Healthy Lunches for your Whole Family
Sandwich or salad? Juice or water? A cookie or two? If you’re wondering what to pack your kids (and yourself) for a healthy lunch, Nancy Glaser, registered dietitian and diabetes educator at GBMC’s Geckle Diabetes and Nutrition Center has some great advice. She shares how to build a healthy, tasty lunch that your kids will actually eat, how to get breakfast into the breakfast hater, and options for healthy dinners on busy evenings with April Watts at Magic 95.9.
“The key to healthier eating is planning ahead,” Nancy explains. “I know that plan is a four-letter word, but it’s one we should use more! When you’re rushing to get out the door in the morning or have busy evenings packed with activities, having a plan for what you’ll eat can go a long way and keep you from relying on fast food and less than healthy takeout. You can prepare meals ahead of time and just heat them up or use a crockpot. And remember, you’re a role model for your kids. If you make healthier eating choices, they will too eventually.”
Nancy answered listeners’ questions about healthy options for snacks (fruits, veggies, cheese sticks, low-sugar cereal, and a small serving of nuts are all on her list), how many calories and grams of sugar are really in that juice box or “natural” iced tea, and how to get your child off the X-box, computer, or phone to make sure they’re getting at least an hour of activity each day.
The two things she recommends you and your family avoid are sugary drinks and processed foods, which are high in calories and very low in nutritional value. “While water is the best drink option, followed by low-fat or skim milk, not everybody likes those choices. Check the nutrition label of your drink to make sure it’s low in calories and note whether it contains artificial sweeteners,” she adds.
Nancy is not anti-snack, she just reminds us that snack should be a noun, not a verb. “Of course you can have a snack, even a cookie or two now and then. If you completely eliminate treats, you crave them more. But you shouldn’t be snacking, that is, going back to the fridge or pantry over and over. That’s where we get in trouble.”