DEAR GOOD SENSE EATING
How important are snacks in my child's
Active children need to adequately fuel their bodies and a good
way to supplement their meals is by supplying them with nutritious
snacks. Try offering your child "good stuff" like fruit and veggies
with dip, yogurt, smoothies, cheese, oatmeal cookies, as well as
popcorn and nuts (if age-appropriate.)
Face it-if you're a parent, you're busy. Some days are so
jam-packed with everything you need to accomplish that your
well-intentioned healthy diet takes a hit. Big time. Those
hoped-for nutritious meals are often replaced by meals you'd be
embarrassed to show your in-laws. Or you're eating out ...
Dallas-based registered dietitian and culinary expert Robin
Plotkin understands. "The challenge is great for most working
parents to put a meal on the table, much less a healthy meal, even
with the best of intentions." The number one reason she hears is
"no time," which she says translates to "lack of planning."
Other excuses include:
Although health and nutrition may be important to you,
convenience often wins. Surveys show even though fewer people are
eating out during this recession, they're not necessarily cooking
at home more. Instead, they're bringing in prepared food and
warming it in their microwave ovens. What's the problem with this?
Total strangers are preparing much of our food, and we lose the
control of the ingredients used and its nutritional value.
Home cooking is a catalyst that brings family together.
A Cornell University study last fall found that being employed
can result in unhealthy eating habits. Lead researcher Carol Devine
found that long hours and shift work were associated with mothers
and fathers depending on mealtime coping strategies. Fathers tended
to skip family meals, eat while working or feed their families
take-out meals. Mothers were more likely to skip breakfast and buy
restaurant or prepared entrees instead of cooking. Overeating after
a missed meal and eating in the car were two additional
Watching your weight? Late last year, a study found that
well-educated women too busy to focus on food, as well as
guilt-ridden dieters and impulsive eaters, are the most likely to
show signs of obesity. Enough said.
Plotkin, who is a mother of one, has some simple tips for busy
parents to put a nourishing, yet inexpensive meal on the table for
Juggling work and family life can challenge even the most
nutritionally aware parents to provide healthful meals to their
families and themselves. By investing a little time and effort,
your family will eat better now and enjoy health benefits in the
Prep time: 5 minutes
Heat oven to 425°F. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet; bake
crust 7 minutes.
In small bowl, combine pizza sauce and Tabasco.
Spread pizza with sauce; top with chicken, avocado and
Bake until crust is crisp on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes longer.
Nutrition facts:247 calories, 13 grams protein,
26.5 grams fat, 10 grams carbohydrate
Courtesy of Avocados from Mexico, available at theamazingavocado.com
Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RD, is a mother of three from
Naperville. She is an adjunct faculty member of Benedictine
University. She swears by meal planning and keeping her pantry
stocked with staples for those busier-than-normal days. She
can be reached at (630) 369-8495 or ChristinePalumbo.com.
Christine M. Palumbo, RD, is a nutritionist living in Naperville.
See more of Christine's stories here.
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