We had a great session this month! Our nutritionist, Linda, and the SMArt Kids started the session prepping some yummy after school snacks laden with healthy veggies. Think about how easy it is to spread guacamole on rice cakes!
The group also created a delicious smoothie that was shared by all. Try this at home:
1 cup of frozen cherries or strawberries
1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt
1 cup of pomegranate juice
1 eight ounce can of crushed pineapple, in its own juice (no syrup!)
Put all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. (140 calories/serving, loaded with nutrients.)
At this November session, we focused on our goal of eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Buying pre-cut, pre-washed veggies makes it easier for parents and makes them more accessible to kids. Place a glass bowl on the counter or in the fridge to remind kids that a healthy snack is readily available. No more out of sight, out of mind.
During our SMA, we discussed the importance of fruits and vegetables in regard to longevity, overall health, and specifically for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as their protective effects for the eyes and digestive tract. We learned that eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is the healthiest way to eat. Eating an array of colors ensures a wider range of antioxidant phytochemicals, natural substances that keep us healthy. Think about starting a chart on your fridge to record the colors you eat during the day.
We also discussed the significance of eating more foods from nature and foods with a short shelf life (in other terms, foods that rot!) Consider the mantra from author Michael Pollan, “If it‘s from nature eat it, if it’s not…don’t.” When shopping at your local grocery store, do your best to shop on the perimeter in order to avoid the aisles with processed foods (long shelf lives) and instead focus on the natural foods (short shelf lives).
Also, here’s a quick update from October’s session on limiting sugary drinks: there may now be even more reasons to drink more water. A recent study of 21 overweight Israeli children found that drinking 2 cups of ice cold water while lying down and watching a movie increased the children’s resting energy expenditure or REE. This technique may make under-hydrated muscles more metabolically active and in turn, burn more calories. So this Saturday night, when that DVD goes on, consider providing your kids with some cold water.
SMArt Kids: keep up the good work, and we’ll see you in December. I hope you kept your personal goals and all of your recent hard work in mind through the Thanksgiving holiday! The holidays can be challenging, so think about having a glass of water before dinner, using smaller plates, cutting dessert portions in half, and getting a walk in after dinner.
And keep working on your goals!
See you soon!
Brittanny Boulanger, MD
Check out these books for more ideas about reaching the goal of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day: