today versus 20 years ago

today versus 20 years ago

Monitor Portion Size– As the fat content of many foods have gone down, the portion sizes have been growing steadily larger without anyone seeming to noticed. Todays supersized popcorn or French fries would have fed three to four hungry kids 20 years ago.
Learn what a portion size is and use this portion size:
1 portion of pasta or whole grains is ½ cup or size of a half a baseball or a half of a cup
Waffle portion is the size of a CD
3 ounces of meat is equal to a deck of cards
Peanut butter- 2 tablespoons, or size of a golf ball
Rice- the size of a light bulb is 2 oz
6 ounces of fish is equal to the size of a check book
A portion of cheese is one slice or two small dice cubes.

Add fiber to meals– Fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains add fiber to meals, fill you up and are low in calories- Fresh fruits and vegetables when bought in season are less expensive than you think. Also, cookies and chips do not have the nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables, so while they may be cheaper, you are getting less for your money.

Drink water instead of soft drinks– Sports drinks, fruit drinks, and even 100% real fruit juice, have little nutritional value and are high in calories. A 8 ounce serving can have 150 calories, which would be equal to two fresh fruits.

Variety, moderation and balance– If you say that your child only eats fries as his vegetable, try a variety of vegetables, even if they push it away. Sometimes it will take up to 10 tries for a child to develop a taste for a healthy fresh fruit or vegetable. You can have the child help you prepare the meal and add a vegetable to a pasta dish you are preparing. When eating out- expose them to the salad bar and to vegetables they might not eat at home- so they are exposed to a variety of foods.
Parents are the role model, if the child sees a parent eating vegetables, he is more likely to try them. Have your child get used to the idea that vegetables are a part of every lunch and dinner. Your child will need to have at least one fruit and vegetable at each meal to meet the required 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Scale back on fast foods- a person can spend a day’s calories on a single fast food meal. One double burger with a supersized fries and large soda is 1400 calories and 50 grams of fat.
As long as a person eats 1200 calories or more a day, including five servings of fruits and vegetables, supplements should not be necessary.
If concerned about calcium, zinc, iron, and folic acid- see your physician for a nutritional analysis of your diet.

Become physically active- Activity needs to become a priority. Exercise wins out over video games and TV, or surfing the web. A 20 minute walk is a good place to start. Physical activity promotes motor and mental development and coordination. Physical activity can include straightening out the room or helping with chores around the house.


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