Many families look to the new year as a time to reset their eating habits and focus on making healthier choices. However, adults aren’t the only ones who could use a menu refresh as children may also need to focus on healthier food choices. Consider these low-sugar ideas for meal and snack times to help control the amount of added sugar you and your family consume.
Refresh Your Child’s Diet with Low-Sugar Options
(Family Features) Many families look to the new year as a time to reset their eating habits and focus on making healthier choices. However, adults aren’t the only ones who could use a menu refresh as children may also need to focus on healthier food choices.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed children consume an unhealthy amount of added sugar every day. Researchers found nearly all of the toddlers in their study ate an average of 7 teaspoons of added sugar daily – the equivalent of a candy bar. Additionally, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, excess sugar consumption can lead to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“Small children have small stomachs,” said Courtney Hines, a nutritionist for KinderCare Learning Centers, which care for more than 165,000 children around the country every day. “You want them to fill up on nutrient-dense foods, not empty calories in the form of added sugar. When children consume lots of sugar, their palates get used to overly sweet flavors. They may not accept other, less sugary flavors or learn to appreciate the natural sweetness of a piece of fresh fruit.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against the consumption of added sugar for children under the age of 2. Children ages 2-18 should aim for less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugar per day.
For families that want to cut down on the amount of added sugar in their diets, Hines recommends cooking more at home, relying less on processed, packaged foods and serving only water or milk for beverages.
Consider these low-sugar ideas for meal and snack times to help control the amount of added sugar you and your family consume.
Swap Out Syrup
For more ideas to introduce your children to healthy habits from a young age, visit kindercare.com.SOURCE:
With school back in full swing, the days will be full, packed with classes, homework and after-school sports, music and other extracurricular activities. To make the most of all these endeavors, it’s important to eat well with snacks like this Grape Smoothie Bowl to sustain the critical energy and focus required throughout the day.
Sweet, Simple After-School Snacking
(Family Features) With school back in full swing, the days will be full, packed with classes, homework and after-school sports, music and other extracurricular activities. To make the most of all these endeavors, it’s important to eat well to sustain the critical energy and focus required throughout the day.
Smart fueling includes keeping nourishing snacks such as heart-healthy grapes on-hand – whether at home, in the car or coming off the field. Fresh California grapes – simple, convenient and nutritious – can make for a delicious snack on their own.
Available in three appealing colors – red, green and black – crisp, juicy grapes can add a tasty touch when hunger calls for an afternoon energy boost. Grapes also pair well with crackers, cheese and nuts for other snack combos.
Yet another way to enjoy fresh grapes is to blend them with other fruits and vegetables to create smoothie bowls, a nutritious option to help ensure that a variety of healthy ingredients are part of a balanced day.
Smoothie bowls work well as a snack or even a quick breakfast, and also provide a way for parents to introduce their kids to new, healthier bites.
This Grape Smoothie Bowl is fresh, flavorful and full of sweet grape taste for a quick fix that can leave bodies fueled and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Find more information and snack ideas at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
Grape Smoothie Bowl
Prep time: 10 minutes
Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories; 5 g protein; 66 g carbohydrates; 13 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 200 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.SOURCE:
California Table Grape Commission
Help your student make the grade this year with some of these top picks for everything from classroom tools like calculators and planners to lunchtime solutions like lunchboxes, water filtration systems and on-the-go snacks.
Set for Success
Back-to-school shopping essentials
(Family Features) Whether your children are entering kindergarten, starting up their high school careers or heading off to college, back-to-school season often means running from store to store in search of the necessities for a successful year. Help your student make the grade this year with some of these top picks for everything from classroom tools like calculators and planners to lunchtime solutions like lunchboxes, water filtration systems and on-the-go snacks.
Find more tips and back-to-school essentials to ensure your kids have everything they need before class is back in session at eLivingToday.com.
Send students back to school in style with a dedicated math and science machine in one of the year’s trendiest tones. “Rose Curve Gold” is now an available color option for Texas Instruments’ TI-84 Plus Color Edition (CE) line of graphing calculators. Now thinner and lighter with six times the memory, the calculator can take students from middle school through high school and into advanced college courses. For more information, visit education.ti.com.
Back-to-school season requires plenty of packing and preparing. Be ready with an option like this Freezable Hampton Lunch Bag from PackIt, built to hold containers and bottles of various sizes for easy on-the-go access. The large, redesigned shoulder tote has built-in freezable gel to keep items cool, and the interior wipes clean with its food-safe lining. The kids can have everything they need all packed in one collapsible bag made from non-toxic poly canvas. For more information and packing gear, visit PackIt.com.
America’s drinking water infrastructure received a “D” grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers in its 2017 report card. However, you can still send your preschool- through college-aged students back to school with cleaner, great-tasting water. The PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System is an on-demand filtered water solution certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Learn more at PUR.com.
The school year typically brings with it cooler temperatures. Ensure your student is prepared for the elements whether he or she has to walk across campus or wait at the bus stop with the proper outerwear, including a light jacket for fall. With a variety of styles, lengths and materials available, the right jacket can be both functional and fashionable.
Savory School-Day Snacks
Whether it’s for lunch or snacking on-the-go, an option like these convenient packs of Sabra Singles can satisfy midday cravings. Bursting with great taste and wholesome nutrition, these 2-ounce servings of Sabra hummus are packed with plant-based ingredients you can feel good about. Pair with veggies or pita chips for a nutritious lunchtime snack, and find more at sabra.com.
Help your student keep those notes, study times and test dates organized with a quality planner that also showcases his or her personality. Available in a myriad of trendy colors and patterns – like polka dots, stripes or chevron – as well as various calendar layouts like daily, weekly or monthly, the right planner can help your child stay on track, achieve goals and preserve memories in one stylish and organized place.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Children running, Jacket, Planners)SOURCE:
Every family needs the right items on hand to ensure students are geared up to succeed in the classroom and on the playing field. These supplies and handy tools are designed to make back-to-school season easy as 1-2-3 for kids and parents alike.
Best Bets for Back to School
(Family Features) Every family needs the right items on hand to ensure students are geared up to succeed in the classroom and on the playing field. These supplies and handy tools are designed to make back-to-school season easy as 1-2-3 for kids and parents alike.
A sticky solution
Organize with color
A cool way to refuel
Artwork for the senses
A bright idea
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (children at school)SOURCE:
The real new year begins when you can smell the fresh pink erasers and hear the clatter of brand new pencils on still-smooth notebook covers. Even if you don’t have kids in school, the end of summer and the beginning of fall is a great time to reassess, realign, hit the restart button and make resolutions, such as loving mornings, empowering kids, appreciating others, making fun a priority, being a team, making snacks work hard, fueling up with real food – like burritos and taquitos – and cheering on mom wins, that will help carry your family smoothly through the school year.
New (School) Year, New You
Make family resolutions that stick
(Family Features) Forget Jan. 1. Parents know the real new year begins when you can smell the fresh pink erasers and hear the clatter of brand new pencils on still-smooth notebook covers.
Here are some tips from parents about resolutions they’ve made for the coming school year:
Learn to love mornings
“It was a disaster,” she said. “There was a lot of yelling, a lot of missing socks, a lot of arguments about eating a good breakfast – it was just not the way to start a productive, happy day.”
Luther decided to turn the first – and worst – hour of her day into one of the best by waking up earlier, exercising and turning on music.
Luther also changed the way she looked at breakfast.
“It doesn’t have to be from scratch,” she said, “but it does have to have protein – and be fast. We love frozen breakfast burritos, for example.”
Empower the kids
But kids are eager to help, she said. Just like adults, they feel empowered when they can do things for themselves.
Luther decided to empower her kids and simplify her life at the same time by creating “Get Ready Buckets,” which hold everything they need to get moving in the morning, from hairbrushes to socks.
That same message of empowerment can simplify and improve other stressful times of day. Do the kids walk in the door hungry and cranky and leave you feeling the same way? Stock the freezer with hearty snacks, such as El Monterey Taquitos, that kids can heat up on their own.
“Our teachers put so much time and effort into their jobs,” Merkley said, “and we’re so grateful for that.”
While she usually gives teachers a gift card at the end of the year, she doesn’t wait until then to send notes and emails with a simple, “Thank you.” She also makes sure to say thanks in person – and in front of her kids.
Make fun a priority
“When we laugh and make things and learn things together,” she said, “we’re making memories. I want my kids to remember their childhoods as more than just getting to school on time and cleaning their rooms.”
Be a team
As their motto, the Denneys chose, “Work hard and be nice.” It’s simple, succinct and sums up what they want for their family.
Fuel up with real food
“Sometimes I’ll buy the ingredients myself to cook from scratch and sometimes I’ll look for foods I recognize on the label,” she said. “When I pick up El Monterey Signature Burritos, I see ingredients like fresh-baked tortillas, real cheddar cheese – foods I would buy anyway for my family, so I feel great about that.”
Make snacks work hard
“Protein and real food – that’s what I’m going to look for in afternoon snacks,” she said. “Something that fills the kids up and gets them ready to get back out the door and play, or buckle down and do their homework.”
Cheer on #momwins
“Checking off every last thing on my spring cleaning checklist is a win, for sure,” she said, “but so is a good, smooth morning with my family. So is a sit-down dinner that didn’t stress me out. So is feeling good about what we’re eating. So is every little hug. Those are all #momwins, and I’m going to give myself a little pat on the back for every one.”
For more breakfast, snack and dinner ideas to help you keep your family resolutions, visit ElMonterey.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family eating)
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