Mindful Eats … for YOU

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Seven smart tips for being a better eater with all of that kid food around.

Do you eat in a frenzy? You are not alone! Moms often forget the basics of healthful eating because they put everyone else first. As a registered dietitian and busy mom, I try to be mindful about good food choices. Try these 7 tips to become a more mindful eater:

1) Wake up, Drink up
Did you know dehydration can lead to fatigue? You have many things zapping your energy, so it’s important to stay hydrated to help keep your energy up. Before reaching for that cup of joe, drink 10 – 12 ounces of water (you can flavor it with a twist of lemon or lime). Hydration fights fatigue!

2) Breakfast Break
In a rush, skipping this meal is easy, but that will leave you feeling cranky and tired. Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast to keep you satisfied and focused all morning. Try six ounces of Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and granola; scrambled eggs with cheese and fresh spinach; banana slices and one tablespoon of nut butter on one slice of whole wheat toast; or frozen fruit blended with Greek yogurt and milk for an on-the-go smoothie.

3) Snack Smart
Keep your metabolism humming and energy up with healthier snacking. Try hummus and veggies; fresh fruit and a handful of nuts; or popcorn topped with parmesan cheese.

4) Milk It
Kids need milk, but YOU do, too, for vitamin D, potassium and calcium. One cup of milk has eight grams of protein — as much protein as an egg! Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide a powerful package of nutrients that’ll improve your diet.

5) Mindful Bites
We eat while driving, folding laundry, at a desk. Try to take time to slow down and enjoy each bite, taste and texture. Allow at least 20 minutes to refuel. This awareness will increase meal enjoyment.

6) Size it Up
Our portion-distorted society often tempts us to over indulge. Use small containers to prep on-the-go healthy meals at home. Also, consider sharing an entrée at a restaurant or asking for a to-go box before starting to eat if you order a full entrée. Put half the meal right into the box so you’re not tempted to overeat!

7) Cook Once, Eat 2 – 3 Times
Given all that motherhood requires, try recipes you can revamp during the week to take the stress out of dinner time. For example, turn lean chili into whole wheat burritos; use left-over meat or veggies in a soup or stew; get your crock pot going in the morning and come home to dinner ready … YES PLEASE!

BY JENNY BETH KROPLIN, RDN, nutrition affairs manager with Southeast United Dairy Association.

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