Thursday, September 1, 2011

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month!

With a new school year started it's easy to choose items that may save time but are ultimately less nutritious. Well the month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and it's even more important to make sure kids have access to healthy food, undrstand the foods they eat, and get in on the action of making healthy meals.

One of the best ways to help your children learn about nutrition is to cook with them! Spice up dinner time by serving breakfast for dinner. Why not seve a Canadian Breakfast Pizza and swap out whole eggs for just the whites. Using egg whites lowers the meal's calories, fat, and cholesterol content and is still packed with protein that growing kids need. Sprinkle in reduced fat cheese and opt for margarine with low trans- and saturated fats and volia! You have an easy and fun meal for dinner. How simple is that?

Before stocking up for school, make a meal plan with your family. This will not only save you time at the supermarket but also keep you from being overwhelmed. Sitting down with your children gives them a choice in what they eat (which they will love!) and also gives you time to plot out smart choices to help navigate the store. All too often, kids are rewarded after school, dance class, or a soccer game with sugary, full-calorie foods and drinks. Make sure you keep in mind that there are lots of choices that not only taste great, but are better for them too! One way to cut back on calories and fat is by keeping in mind these healthy alternatives when packing lunches or serving after school snacks.

Instead of:         
Sugar-sweetened beverages   
100% fruit juice
Fat-free or 1% fat milk
Low sodium vegetable juice 
Water with sugar-free flavoring

Instead of:
Full calorie chips and crackers   

Unsalted sunflower seeds
Unsalted rice cakes
Carrot or celery sticks with CHI-CHI's Snackers

Instead of:
Sweetened cold cereals     


Instead of:
Traditional pre-packaged deli lunch meat   

100% natural Hormel Natural Choice deli sandwich meats with zero preservatives

Check out this Shop Smart Guide from Hormel Natural Choice on for more tips on how to shop smart and find nutritious food options.

So, why not get your family involved and start planning healthy nutrious meals! What better way to help cut down on childhood obesity!

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