I hope this finds you all feeling well! The semester is in full swing and classes are going great. I have started research for my thesis, which is very exciting. My focus will be on childhood obesity, this is an epidemic that will affect the health of our youth for years to come. The statistics are staggering: according to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are obese. Studies have shown that children and adolescents that are obese in youth have a greater likelihood to remain obese as adults. This also puts these children at increased risk for developing chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure both in childhood and adulthood.
What makes writing this blog so wonderful is those of you accessing this website are concerned about your health and searching out methods to improve it. In light of March being National Nutrition Month and the worrisome statistics of our nation’s youth, I would like to offer some ideas that could benefit not only your health but the health of your family as well.
- Try planning meals for the week. Preparing foods on the weekend to have throughout the week might give you a respite from cooking when you get home from work. If you decide to prepare foods on the weekend you could consider making a double batch and freezing one for another time.
- Once you have established the meals for the week, create your shopping list. It makes it easier to maneuver the grocery store when you know exactly what it is that you will need.
- Try preparing meals from scratch. While this might seem daunting with full time jobs and keeping up with other activities and responsibilities, with some practice and planning you will find this will help with eating healthier and saving costs as well. A couple of ways to approach this may be recipes that you can prepare in 30 minutes or crockpot dishes that you start in the morning and are done when you walk through the door. Chef Piet and I have talked about this topic often and I know he will be working on tangible ideas for you to try at home.
- On days that you have more time, bring your children or grandchildren into the kitchen with you. Kids are more willing to try new foods if they have an active part in preparing it. This could be a great opportunity to add in a new vegetable or dish for the family to try.
I hope that these ideas might help a bit. Please don’t feel you have to tackle everything at once…small changes have the potential to provide large benefits so even trying one of these ideas could benefit you and your family. I will be in touch soon!
Angelina M, MS, RD, LDN