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Family Nutrition Tips

Posted Jan 09 2010 12:10pm

For those of you who attended my Family Nutrition Workshop today, thanks for coming! Here is a summary of the key points we covered:

1. Eat mostly whole foods – foods that are unprocessed or unrefined or processed and refined as little as possible before you consume them. When you do eat from a package – the fewer ingredients the better and you should be able to identify those ingredients. Know and understand what you put in your body!

2. Eat more vegetables! The more the better! Vegetables have the highest nutrient density of all foods and they’re delicious if you know what to do with them

3. Beware of misleading marketing when purchasing whole grains – particularly cereals and breads. Branch out and try some new whole grains if you’ve gotten into a rut. Try quinoa for example, which contains the highest protein content of all whole grains and it’s also a complete vegetarian protein.  

4. Adolescents need lots of bone building nutrients as well as iron. Speaking of bone-building nutrients, drink milk - it’s the original sports drink, offering an ideal ratio of protein and carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores after a workout.

5. Make sure you’re eating adequate lean protein – growing, active kids need plenty of it. For both kids and adults, a simple gauge is to eat half of your body weight in protein grams.  

6. Don’t be afraid of fat – just choose the healthy kind. The beneficial fats are polyunsaturated fats found primarily in cold water fish, some nuts, seeds and oils and monounsaturated fats, found in nuts, seeds, avocados and olives and vegetable oils. Polyunsaturated fats also help decrease inflammation and can help alleviate mild depression. 

7. A healthful, easy-to-digest, low-fat snack combining complex carbohydrates, lean protein and a little healthy fat will facilitate a high-quality workout. Here are some suggested pre- and post-practice snacks or mini-meals:

 -Whole grain cereal and milk

-Plain Greek yogurt with berries and a few chopped walnuts or slivered almonds

-1/2 of a turkey or peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread

- A handful of nuts and a piece of fruit

-apple and a hard-boiled egg

-Banana dipped in natural peanut butter or almond butter

8. If you want to keep your skin acne-free, avoid eating a lot of sugar and other simple carbohydrates but do eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.

9. Eat “brain foods”, those high in Omega 3 fatty acids,  the night before a big exam. Salmon, tuna, scallops, walnuts, flaxseed, flax oil and chia seeds are all good sources. The morning of your test, eat a good breakfast containing complex carbohydrates, lean protein and a a little healthy  fat.

10. In addition to adequate nutrients, make sure your active adolescent is getting enough calories to fuel his/her growth, maturation and physical activities. Strive for a healthy weight –one you can maintain by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly, but also one that allows for indulgences. When you do indulge, do it with homemade treats made from fresh, whole food ingredients.

These suggestions are geared toward a general audience. For a comprehensive, customized nutrition plan tailored to you, your family’s or child’s needs, please visit my website for more information.

Be Well,


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