HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
Back to School Healthy Lunch Guide
It's that time of the year again: students are heading back to classrooms and you're probably back to business. Yeah, we're all getting busy after a relaxing summer but this doesn't mean we have to sacrifice eating healthy. Before you start stressing out because you're on lunch box duty again, check out these tips.
1.Plan in advance: this will ensure you pack a healthy lunch.
Sure, you know you should include some veggies and a fruit in your kids' lunchbox and your own but with the maddening morning rush, who has time to cut up veggie sticks or saute some greens?
So, on Sunday, jot down what salads or veggie combo you'd like so that you can prepare your veggies one day ahead. You can also boil some eggs, pre-portion yogurts; fill in the water bottles and pack healthy snacks in advance.
2.Involve your kid when planning: that's a great way to inculcate healthy eating habits.
What's the point of packing the healthiest lunch ever if your kid won't eat it? To avoid seeing an untouched lunch box when you get back home, discuss with your little one what she'd like to eat. And if it's plain unhealthy, don't just say NO, explain that she needs healthy foods in order to perform at school.
3.Cook in bulk to save time and add variety to lunches.
Got some extra time this weekend? Make a big batch of oat cookies; whole grain muffins; oven baked chicken, roasted meat or grilled fish and freeze in small daily portions in the freezer. You can also make some extra homemade vinaigrette for your salad and some trail mix or hummus for your snacks.
Don't know what to pack for lunch tomorrow? Why not have what's left of your evening meal? And if you don't feel like having the same roast beef and salad, turn it into a tortilla.
5.Don't forget food safety!
Cold Food: Keep it cold by using an insulated lunch bag or ice packs.
Hot Food: Having chilli or soups for lunch? Remember to heat both the food and the thermos you'll be using.
Discard perishable food: Junior didn't eat yesterday's leftovers or his scrambled eggs? Throw it away: the last thing you want is a kid with food poisoning!
Quick and easy lunch ideas
1.Burritos, tortillas, whole grain buns & sandwiches
- Mashed spiced black beans and guacamole or salsa
- Kidney beans and grated cabbage and pepper
- White beans mashed with ripe avocado and onion with some sharp Cheddar
- Sliced berries and natural nut or seed butter
- Monterey Jack cheese and some tomato and lettuce/cucumber slices
- Tuna salad served on tangy pumpernickel bread
- Smoked salmon, crispy cucumber, tomato and avocado slices
- Turkey/chicken, red bell peppers and sauteed baby spinach
- Roasted beef/lamb with balsamic vinegar, artichokes, grated red cabbage, English cucumber
2.Whole grain pasta (decrease your pasta portion by using more veggies)
- Tortellini salad with chopped red, green, yellow bell peppers, cucumber, red cabbage, some vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
- Macaroni and steamed broccoli (use less cheese and more natural seasoning)
- Spaghetti Bolognese with extra veggies in the sauce and a side of greens
- Whole wheat penne pasta, cherry tomatoes, pitted green olives and chopped hard boiled eggs
- Fettuccini with chicken, bell peppers and broccoli
3.Pizza (make your own to cut down on chemical additives and trans fats)
- Pesto, tomatoes, feta and bok choy
- Broccoli florets / spinach / arugula with tomato wedges, yellow bell pepper tossed with coconut oil, basil and a little bit of cayenne pepper
- Black beans tossed with diced tomatoes, corn and avocado
- Grilled eggplant, Reggiano cheese, salsa, onion rings and fresh basil
- Add in some pre-cooked chicken or sirloin strips to the above or serve the meat on the side. Avoid using processed meats like salami as these are high in chemical additives like nitrates and trans fats.
- Tip: You can also make your own gluten-free dough using coconut or teff flour; gluten-free pizza and pastry flour or a blend of gluten-free flours (brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum).
The list of healthy, easy lunches is endless: you can refer to this guide from the Dietitians of Canada to help you pack healthy lunches everybody will love.
Submitted by: Shari