Survey the Pantry
Throw out or donate food made with white flour or white refined sugar. These add calories without fiber, and fiber is the number one thing you can add to your child’s diet to help them get to a healthy weight. Keep an eye out for these specific ingredients: enriched wheat flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, honey, molasses and sucrose.
Add Fiber-Filled Foods
Fiber makes you feel full faster and helps the body digest food. Snack on whole pieces of fruit or carrots and celery sticks. Buy 100% whole grain bread. Children need at least 25 grams of fiber a day.
Make your own dressing of olive oil and vinegar. Bottled dressings have added sugar and salt and can quickly sabotage your healthy salad. Avoid croutons and other crunchy salad toppings that may add lots of simple carbs.
Limit food that comes in a box or wrapped in plastic. Replace with food that’s as close to its natural and whole state as possible. Remember: “Eat plants, rather than food made in a plant.” Replacing processed foods will cut down on added sugar, salt and carbohydrates that manufacturers add to food, which add pounds on you.
Avoid high-calorie soda and all fruit juices, even if 100% juice. If your child won’t drink water, try making unsweetened iced tea. You can also make a healthier version of soda for a treat – mix one part 100% juice with one part seltzer for a fizzy treat that’s half the calories of juice.
Don’t forget, the fight doesn’t stop at home. Feel free to reach out to your child’s school. Click here for strategies on how to start this conversation.
Are you concerned your child may be obese? Click here to learn about the main warning sign to watch for.