Helping Families Get Healthy Tip #4
By Nurse Kimberly
If you have landed on Tip #4 then you are in luck because it is a pretty simple to use and can make a big difference in your family’s health. I challenge you and your family to test out this tip for a one month. My hypothesis is that you will see a difference in everyone’s health.
Helping families get healthy Tip #4 is change the way you snack. That is change what it is you are snacking on. This means that if you have Doritos, Twinkies, Pizza Rolls, Cheetos, or ice cream sandwiches hanging out in your cabinets, pantry, or freezer THROW THEM OUT! The tricky part comes after you have thrown them out. Once their gone stay strong and don’t put them in your cart on your next trip to the grocery store.
Having foods like chips and sweets in the house available all the time is a recipe for disaster. If you are trying to lose weight they are nothing more than a temptation. If you are simply working towards creating healthier lifestyle habits for you and your family these foods also don’t belong. There are times that indulging with chips and treats is okay. If it’s your birthday or family movie night then grab your favorite flavor of Doritos and enjoy. However, don’t make it a habit and don’t keep them lying around. Snacking on these types of foods regularly can cause weight gain and provides no nutritional value to you or your family.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients listed on the packaging of Cheetos or Twinkies? Twinkies have 37 ingredients. Some of the ingredients are unhealthy oils, gums, and “Beef fat”, what is that anyway? Cheetos has over 20 different ingredients and looks like a science experiment on the label. My intention is not to single these two snacks out. When I was little and didn’t know any better I enjoyed both of these. The point I am trying to stress is that snacking on pre-packaged foods made with tons of unnatural ingredients all of the time isn’t good. Bottom line- when you are putting food in your cart take a minute to learn what it is you are putting in your body and feeding to the rest of your family.
Now what? No more fruit snacks, Ding Dongs, and Pringles. What are you and your family supposed to eat now that all of your favorite snack foods aren’t hiding in the kitchen? Don’t worry you can still have snack time in your household. Kids, especially kids who are active, need to have snacks throughout the day.
I have a few suggestions that I like to have for snacks. One of my favorite snacks is homemade air popped popcorn. It’s quick, affordable, and healthy. Popcorn is a great source of fiber, low in calories, and low in fat when prepared with a popcorn air popper.
The one I use it the Presto 114316 04820 PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper. It was inexpensive and is super simple. You can purchase it online or at Wal-mart. Once you have an air popper, the rest is easy. At the grocery store you can buy a big bag of popcorn kernels for a buck! Because you are popping it yourself with the air popper there isn’t any added fatty butter and oils to worry about. If you want extra flavor most stores sell seasonings you and your family can add after you have popped your popcorn.
Another great thing about this healthy snack is it’s quick. You can make 2 big bowls of air popped popcorn in under 5 minutes. One bowl could be served as a family snack that night. You could then take the popcorn in the second bowl and divide it into zip lock baggies. By doing this you have a healthy snack readily available for your family all week long.
If popcorn is not your thing there are other healthy alternatives to potato chips and sweets. Almonds, string cheese, homemade trail mix, fresh fruit, celery sticks with peanut butter, and many more. Start using Tip#4 today and change what your family snacks on. List different healthy snacks on little pieces of paper and place them in a hat. Each week let one of the kids pick a snack from the hat. This is a great way to get the whole family on board for making healthier choices! Most importantly be creative and have FUN! Share your snack ideas with us on facebook and if you missed out on Tip #1, Tip #2, or Tip #3 don’t forget to check them out. Happy Popping!