By Kim Ratcliff | March 16, 2021 at 5:00 AM EDT – Updated March 16 at 10:31 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – During the pandemic lots of folks have said they aren’t eating right and have packed on a few extra pounds.
So we decided to focus this month’s Get Fit With 6 segment on eating healthy. Most everyone knows a healthy diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables which sound easy, but for some reason it’s not.
We tend to crave comfort foods like breads, pastas, and sweets. While it’s a good idea to eat less of those feeds, you don’t have to completely rule them out.
“Everything is okay once in awhile in moderation because if we start putting thoughts in our heads that that was bad then you start beating yourself up and it’s just really a spiral down,” said Sonia Kennedy, Registered Dietitian Nutrition In Motion.
One of the best ways to eat healthy and still enjoy some of your favorite foods, Kennedy says pay attention to portion size and try to include something from each food group.
Instead of eating that huge porterhouse steak or even a huge piece of chicken think smaller portions. “You measure meat like the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. A deck of cards is actually a perfect replica of it,” said Kennedy.
Getting children to eat healthy can be a struggle. Kennedy suggests giving them a voice, let them make choices on which foods they eat. “Offer them a choice of green beans or cooked carrots but don’t say you have to eat this particular food. Nine times out of ten a child will go towards one or the other, they’re not going to defy it forever,” said Kennedy. By getting your children involved you’re also helping them learn how to eat healthy for life.
When it comes to snacks try not to let your children grab the whole box of cookies or bag of chips. “Pre-portioning things because that’s a lot of times the problem. There’s nothing wrong with a kid who wants to have a little bag of chips every once in a while but it’s better to have those little packs,” said Kennedy.
Ideally if you can get the entire family involved it will be easier to make changes. Get everyone together and over a weekend come up with a meal plan. Star wit dinners and you can add breakfast and lunch later. It’s also important to go thru the pantry.
“If the family doesn’t go into this together then all of the tempting things are still around the house and so let’s all agree that we all want to eat healthier, get rid of the junk together. Start with a fresh, clean slate,” said Kennedy.
There are also things you can do when going out to eat. You just have to ask. Can you please cook my meat with no added oils or butter? Can you please steam my vegetables with no added oil? Can you put the dressing on the side? Can you put any sauces, gravies, condiments on the side?,” said Kennedy. Getting sauces and dressing on the side allows you to control how much you eat and you’ll probably notice you’re eating less of them.
Even busy families can quickly grab something health to eat. “Saying hey we were super busy tonight we grabbed a rotisserie chicken and threw some pieces in with some frozen vegetables and at the end of the day that’s not a horrible choice. I’d say that’s a way better choice than giving into fast food,” said Kennedy.
Be careful not to make too many changes all at once. “Don’t offer five new things at dinner so if you’re going to the milk instead of the soda let’s not rock the rest of dinner that night. Making too many changes to quickly has never proven to be a long term, good choice. People usually aren’t successful long term,” said Kennedy.
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