I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately and totally out of my blogging mo-jo so while I was talking to my sister Liz the other day she mentioned doing a blog post about healthier and frugal snack options for lunches. Being in my ho-hum mood I said “ooook” but she really did have a great idea. I almost hate the beginning of the year because ALL around you in stores and online (and your friends!) are all starting their fabulous weight loss routines, etc. etc. You can’t walk in a store without a weight loss display screaming at you “BUY ME!” Perhaps I’m a bit cynical but I prefer not to join with the masses and spend oodles of money on something that I know I personally will put aside quicker than most!
With that being said, however, I am VERY adament about our family making healthier choices – not just because it’s the new year, but because this is our lifestyle. Sure my husband and I have a few pounds to lose, but my children most certainly do not – and that I am happy for. It makes me so sad to take my children to the playground and see kids show up that stay for 5 minutes but then have to leave because they are so overweight they can barely climb the stairs to make it to the slide, and even then they have to sit sideways just to fit their bodies down the slide. I’ve seen it – and it made me want to cry.
But I don’t want our family to eat healthier snacks so we don’t get fat. Not that we want to purposefully get fat, excuse my bluntness, but my decision for our family to eat healthier is simply – I want my kids (and us) to BE HEALTHIER! And I’m not talking about fat healthy, I’m talking about keeping your insides good and healthy. A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend the Body Works exhibit (absolutely INCREDIBLE!) and I’ll NEVER forget seeing this slice of a real human body.
Yes – those are REAL humans – you can quite obviously tell which cross-section has more fat. But don’t just look at the fat on the outside of the section look at the organs and spine on the INSIDE. That CANNOT be healthy! Still not convinced – look at the BRAIN differences! Pretty incredible when you can see a physical difference huh? And I would venture to say that the “fattier” section is perhaps about the average person in America! Gross you out yet? Seeing a picture like this can turn your insides – but imagine seeing it in real life – it hit me pretty hard!
The big complaint about eating healthy? “It’s too expensive!” Sometimes yes, this is true, but not all of the time and to be frank, a little bit of investment in your body can literally extend your lifetime and your quality of life.
Check this study out which was posted in the New York Times:
Last year, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported on a study of 97 obese women, all of whom were avoiding high-fat foods. Half the women were instructed to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. By the end of a year, the women who were focused on adding vegetables lost an average of 17 pounds, 20 percent more than the women who were just paying attention to fat consumption.
Our family is NOT trying to lose weight! We are trying to EAT HEALTHIER! My rule of thumb – if I want to eat a snack or junk food – ALWAYS modify my choice by something – anything – that is a little bit healthier. So if I’m dying for some greasy chips I choose baked chips or find a different snack. If I want a big chunk of chocolate fudge I go for chocolate covered nuts or hot cocoa. Here are just a few good items to start incorporating into your snacks and lunches – for YOU AND YOUR KIDS!
grapes (frozen or thawed), carrots, walnuts, peanut butter, apples, pomegranates, smoothies, bananas, brocoli, flax seed, Wasa crackers, granola, hard boiled eggs, olives, sunflower seeds
How are YOU going to help your family make better choices? I deliberately go to the grocery store and look for something new to try. It’s a great way of getting your kids to try new things and finding even more options to keep your family healthier!