Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't Blame School Lunch Lady

I read an interesting article in the newspaper today about childhood obesity. Did you know that 27% of all Americans ages 17-24 are too heavy to join the armed services, according to a new report by the retired officers.

Now that I have your attention, our kids spend about 180 days in school. Most kids have school lunch, and some eat breakfast there as well. If our kids eat 3 meals a day, for 365 days in the year, that is a total of 1,095 meals. If all our kids are eating is hot lunch all 180 days of school, then that leaves us with 915 that they eat at home. That means that the majority of our children's food is being fed to them at home. That leaves us as parents with a huge responsibility to feed our children healthy foods.

"The EarlyBird Diabetes Study looked at 226 British families and found that :

  • Obese mothers are 10 times more likely to have obese daughters
  • Obese fathers are 6 times more likely to have obese sons
  • There is no association between obese mothers and obese sons, obese fathers and obese daughters"

"A Greek study conducted by Harokopio University in Athens has confirmed the belief amongst health professionals that child obesity risk is much higher when parents themselves are overweight.

Over 2300 pre-school children, attending 105 nurseries around Greece, were recruited into the study during 2004. Researchers collected data on weight and height and used this to calculate body mass index (BMI). Children were then classified as ‘normal’, ‘at risk of overweight’ or ‘overweight’ depending upon their BMI. At the same time, parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their age, educational level and weight and height. Parental BMI was then estimated.

The results showed that 32% of the children were overweight, which is much higher than the 21% expected using international predictions.
Children with 1 obese parent were almost twice as likely to be overweight than children whose parents were of normal weight. Children with two obese parents were 2.4 times more likely to be overweight.

The authors concluded that parental BMI strongly influenced whether or not a child was overweight."

Our children typically eat what is given to them, and over time they will like the food that is most often fed to them. If you are making and eating healthy foods yourself, and you do not provide the junk food in your home, your children will learn to like the foods that are given to them. This is just my opinion as to why parents who are overweight tend to have children who are overweight. I do understand that genetics also has a role in being overweight, but considering that childhood obesity is on the rise, that tells us that we are doing something with our environment, not genetics.
So lets all start right now.

Let's get started today. I made a list of my TOP 5 worst foods. Look down the list and pick one thing that is currently in your house, and change it! One simple step.

  1. White Bread. We all need more fiber! - Do 100% whole wheat flour bread.
  2. Fruit Snacks. They are not fruit! - Try dried fruit or fresh fruit.
  3. Hot Dogs. They might as well be made of dogs! - try nitrate/nitrite free deli meats
  4. Trans Fats. Any thing that has the word "partially-hydrogenated . . . .". - most organic crackers/snacks are trans fat free
  5. High Fructose Corn Syrup. - If you cut out the amount of processed foods your family eats, this will go away on its own.
Good luck! Feel free to leave a comment on what your goal is, or what you have already done. We will help keep you motivated.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Motherhood is Rewarding

I wanted to start off this post with a little oxymoron. Motherhood is Rewarding. I think it is rewarding in the long run, but for now it is not so much. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got an "award". A blog I follow called Being LDS- We talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ nominated me with an award of one of her favorite blogs. I was very surprised because I didn't even know she knew about my blog. It was nice to be recognized for something different. Don't get me wrong, I am the one who chose to have kids and stay at home with them, and I do love them dearly, but as with any job, their are parts that I like better than others.

As part of this award, I am supposed to list 10 things that make me happy, and then pass the award onto someone else.

Dark Chocolate
Doing Fun things with my Kids
My Husband
Sisters/Sister-in-Laws/Friends that you wish you were related to
Family Vacations
Eating Good Food
Flowers (cut, fresh, garden . . .)

Now I am supposed to pass the award on to others.

Jouneyings by Diane

Yummy Fun by Jen


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home of Bulk Shopping

I shop at Costco at least twice a month. I think most people with kids shop at Costco, or a place like it. When you think of Costco, you think bulk, and you also think about snacks, candy, soda and so on. My favorite part of Costco is the fresh fruits and vegetables. When I saw my friend Claudia at Costco a couple of months ago, she suggested that I post about all the healthy things you can buy at Costco.

Here is what I buy the most often at Costco

  • Lettuce (6 heads of romaine for $4)
  • Carrots (individual snack baby carrots-even organic)
  • Hummus- see my previous post
  • Eggs
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas- Don't talk to my oldest sister about bananas at Costco
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Asparagus
  • Dark chocolate (the kids don't like it, but Mom does!)
  • Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Olive oil
  • Bread- most of the bread at Costco now does NOT have HFCS in it
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Cheese
  • Organic Pop Tarts (kids love them, Mom thinks they are gross)
  • Quakers instant Oatmeal
  • Canned Beans
  • Frozen Strawberries, Blueberries, and other frozen fruit for smoothies
  • Frozen Green Beans, Peas, and corn
  • Fresh already cut up Broccoli
  • Baby spinach
  • 100% Real Maple Syrup
Words of advice when shopping in any grocery store

  1. Go with a list- this makes you plan out healthy meals for your family and keeps you from buying as much junk
  2. Shop in the fruit and Veggie section first- This does make it harder to fit things when you get to the canned food, but it fills your cart up with fresh and healthy things and makes it less tempting to buy junk.
  3. Shop the perimeter of the store. That is where they keep all the fresh non-processed foods. Shop the perimeter after the fruits and veggies
  4. Next shop the frozen food section- Frozen fruits and veggies are great for you and don't go bad as quickly. There are also a lot of things like frozen burritos that have ok ingredients for a quick snack for your kids.
  5. Shop the inside of the store last. This has all the processed food in it. You will end up in the middle for bread, cereal and canned beans, and canned tomatoes, but most of your cart should be full by the time you get to the middle.
  6. Think before you put it in your cart. DO NOT buy bulk of any kind of treat or junk food. Feel free to get yourself or your child a single item junk food item like A candy bar, but if you don't buy the junk, you will not have a chance to eat it at home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Healthy Muffins

It is spring break for us, so I have more time in the mornings to make breakfast. I used to love making breakfast, and then I got pregnant with twins. It has been down hill from there. Just to show you how much I dislike making breakfast now, I just had our microwave lowered so that my kids could microwave their own oatmeal (and anything else that needs to be heated up :).

My favorite breakfast muffin is one that my mother-in-law found . . . . Sunshine muffins! Doesn't the name just put a smile on your face? They only take 15 minutes to bake and about 10 minutes to make (don't quote me on the prep time . . . I have twins at my feet and I ground my own wheat this morning, so I am not totally sure). I make them with white whole wheat (see this blog post for more on that). They only have 1/4 cup of fat, and they have an entire orange in them.

Sunshine Muffins

orange (including the peal)
1/2 c orange juice
1 egg
1/4 c oil
1.5 c flour (whole wheat is best of course, but
white will do)
3/4 c sugar (you can use less if you’d like)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c raisins (optional
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 c chocolate chips (optional)

Quarter Orange. Put orange and orange juice in blender and blend up until smooth. Add egg and oil and blend until just mixed. Put the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix. Add wet to dry ingriendients. Add chocolate chips and mix. (I never do the raisins or the nuts, but my husband has done the chocolate chips and the nuts and that was good). Put in muffin tins filling muffin liners almost to the top. bake at375 for 12-17 minutes Makes about 12 muffins.

I like to double the recipe.