Presented by Herbalife - Official Nutrition Advisor to AYSO
Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.
Busy work schedules and pressures of schoolwork put a squeeze on time, making it more difficult to plan and prepare meals or exercise regularly.
As adults, our lifestyle choices - what we eat, how much activity we get, how we handle stress and whether we smoke or drink alcohol - can all have a huge influence on OUR overall health. And the way we take care of ourselves is something we pass along to our kids.
When the whole family is on the same page when it comes to diet and exercise, it's easier for everyone to support one another in their commitment to better health.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, but it's often skipped. Try a smoothie made with milk, fruit and protein powder. It takes just a minute to prepare and provides a full serving of fruit and dairy and enough protein to keep hunger at bay until lunch.
Provide kids with healthy after-school snacks so they don't just graze until dinnertime. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, and easy-to-eat cartons of plain yogurt, cut up veggies, sticks of string cheese and whole grain crackers around for healthy snacks. Healthy cereals with milk and fruit make a great snack, too.
When you have more time on the weekends, prepare ahead for weekday meals. Cut up veggies for recipes in advance, and wash extra salad greens, wrap in a towel, and refrigerate. Double your recipes for freezer-friendly entrees like soups and stews so you'll have a few dinners put away.
Aim for a few family meals per week. Studies who that children who eat regular meals with their families have healthier diets and perform better in school, and it's a great time to talk about the day's events. And it doesn't have to be dinner. What about a family breakfast on the weekend?
Make exercise a family activity. Instead of watching television, be a role model for your kids and encourage regular exercise. Take a walk after dinner, or try a family hike or bike ride on the weekends.
Susan Bowerman is a paid consultant to Herbalife.