Thursday, December 20, 2012

Steps for a Perfectly Healthy Lunchbox:

1. Start with a PROTEIN . Make sure your selection provides at least eight grams of high quality protein -- protein can help stabilize your child's blood sugar level and keep them feeling fuller for longer periods of time. The following are some popular kid-friendly ideas:
* Turkey roll ups
* Cheese pinwheels ( low-fat sliced cheese rolled in whole wheat tortillas)
* Part skim string cheese
* Low-fat or non-fat yogurt with a small bag of whole grain cereal
* Soy nuggets
* Vegetable bean or chicken noodle soup in a thermos
* Turkey              
* Peanut butter and jelly sandwich(use low-sugar jam and whole wheat bread)
* Grilled chicken and vegetable wrap
* Pasta salad with vegetables and shredded chicken (tossed in light Italian dressing)
* Scoop of chicken salad made with low-fat mayo plus whole grain crackers or mini rice cakes
* Turkey or bean chili in a thermos

2. Always include PRODUCE. When it comes to veggies, anything goes! The most popular kid-friendly raw varieties include baby carrots, celery, pepper sticks (especially red), cherry tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers. Favorite cooked veggies include sugar snap peas, string beans, broccoli, and corn on the cob. For fruit, toss in easy-to-pack, hand-held selections such as apples, bananas, peaches, plums, clementines, or grapes that are naturally low in fat and chock-full of nutrients and fiber.

3. Avoid CALORIC BEVERAGES. Don't let your kids drink their calories -- instead, save them for food. Pack appealing bottles of plain old water... Consider freezing their bottles the night before, so that they are still cold and refreshing by lunchtime.

4. Don't forget the FUN FOOD. If your child craves a sweet or salty treat -- throw one in. As long as snacks are portion appropriate and no more than 150 calories, anything can work (really). In fact, provide a variety of options and let your child select his or her daily fun food. Of course, shop for brands that avoid trans fat and high fructose corn syrup when you can. Try low-fat granola bars, 100-calorie packs, baked chips, soy crisps, 2 cookies, 4 Hershey Kisses, a Rice Krispie Treat, container of low-fat pudding, or even a fun-size chocolate bar.

5. Be CREATIVE. Put a smile on your child's face with a note from mom or dad, a temporary tattoo, or a fun riddle to figure out.

Fruits and vegetables

All fruits and vegetables—raw, cooked, fresh, frozen, canned—belong on the Picture Perfect Anytime List. Avoid any packaged fruits that have added sugar. Otherwise, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better.
Soups
You've heard of value for your money. Soups give you very good value for the calories. They are filling; a bowl of soup can be an entire meal. They are satisfying.
Cereals
# Kellogg's All-Bran with Extra Fiber: 50 calories and 15 g fiber per 1/2 cup
# Fiber One: 60 calories and 14 g fiber per 1/2 cup
# Wheaties: 110 calories and 2 g fiber per cup
Spreads
# Peanut butter
# Low-sugar or sugar-free jams and jellies with 10 to 40 calories per tablespoon
Breads
# Light breads with 40 to 45 calories per slice: oatmeal, premium white, wheat, rye, multigrain, sourdough, Italian
# Whole grain regular breads or rolls
Rice and Pasta
# Whole wheat/whole grain pastas
# Brown rice
# whole grain cornmeal, kasha, bulgur, millet.
Frozen Meals
# Low-calorie frozen breakfast foods such as those from Kellogg's, Aunt Jemima, and Pillsbury—and a special mention for the low-calorie, whole grain offerings from Van's
# Low-calorie, vegetable-focused frozen meals in the 150- to 350-calories-per-package range, especially the Amy's brand
Beans
# All beans, dried or canned
# Low-fat or fat-free refried beans
Snacks
# Make it a point to eat starchy, crunchy snacks only in conjunction with a food from the Anytime List. For example, have fruit with popcorn or soup with crackers. Fill up on the former, and go easy on the starchy snack.
Protein Foods
# Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas
# Soy products: bean curd/tofu.
# Seafood: fresh (do not fry!), smoked, canned, frozen

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What is Omega -3 Fatty Acids ?

It's already been established that omega-3 fatty acids are important nutrients for a healthy body, but they can also promote healthy hair. The addition of omega 3 can prevent hair loss and help hair grow faster.
Fat
1. Fat isn't all bad, and omega-3 fatty acids come under the good fat category. Nutritionist Samantha Heller from NYU Medical Center believes good fats like omega 3 can help promote "healthy hair."
Anti-Inflammatory
2. Omega-3 fatty acids have properties that act as an anti-inflammatory. This can open up the hair follicles, allowing them to grow.
Omega 3 in Foods
3. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish (fatty fish like salmon and mackerel have the most), oatmeal and oils like canola, safflower and flaxseed. It is also in oatmeal and walnuts.
Supplements
4. If you don't think you are getting enough omega 3 in your diet, nutritional supplements are available containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Precaution
5. Consult with a physician before taking omega 3 fatty acids. It can be dangerous if the dose is exceeded or when mixed with certain medications (like anti-inflammatories) as it acts as a blood thinner.

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