How hard is it to add fruit to your child’s diet? Are your children having a tough time trying different fruits? Have you recently found out that your child has an allergy to dairy and cannot have ice cream?(what’s that got to do with fruit, you’ll see shortly) Remember your parents saying, “please eat your fruit”, well I do. Both fruit and vegetables seem to be hard for a child to accept but I found a way around the ‘fruit’ part and an idea for getting them to eat their vegetables. It is important that we establish healthy eating habits at an early age. In general, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Refer to the chart below for daily recommendations for both children and adults.

Fruit Chart

These portions work for those of you that get fewer than 30 minutes on a daily basis of moderate physical exercise, over and above normal daily activities. Children who find themselves more physically active might be able to consume more while remaining within calorie requirements.

Now the fun part, my first the fruit trick! If you haven’t found out about this product yet, let me be the first to introduce you to it, ‘Yonanas.  Our six year old grandson has an allergy to dairy and as a result cannot have ice cream, even soy based. What is beautiful about the ‘Yonanas’, you fill the chute with frozen fruit; bananas, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, apple slices and more. The machine processes the frozen fruit in such a way that when it discharges down the chute, the fruit now has the consistency of ice cream! It also comes with a recipe book. You can freeze it into ice cream pop molds and serve it. Now your child has their daily portion of fruit in a way that’s healthy, no added sugars, preservatives, and any possible allergens.

What about vegetables? Yea, what about them. Vegetables as well as fruits are a very important part of your child’s daily intake. Refer to chart below for daily recommendations for both children and adults.

Vegetables

 

One trick we found to work is to add vegetables into various blends. Mix cauliflower with mashed potatoes. In fact you can mash the cauliflower itself, add a little margarine and salt, and serve it as ‘mashed potatoes’.  Take spinach, finely chopped and make small bite size meatballs (try with turkey meat). Be creative and your child will never know the difference.

          This post is for mom’s who are concerned about those extra pounds that were put on during their pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and should happen, with most of the weight gained in the last 3 months. Many doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 1 to 4 pounds total during the first 3 months (first trimester)
  • 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters)

The total amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight when you became pregnant.

 Women whose weight was in the healthy range before becoming pregnant should gain between 25 and 35 pounds while pregnant. The advice is different for those who were overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant.

 If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, it can be hard to lose the weight after your baby is born. Most women who gain the suggested amount of weight lose it with the birth of the baby and in the months that follow.

 Breastfeeding for more than 3 months can also help you lose weight gained during pregnancy. If you gain too little weight during pregnancy, you may have a higher risk for a premature delivery and a low birth weight infant.

 Follow your MyPyramid Plan for Moms to choose the right amounts from each food group. In addition, visit your health care provider regularly so they can check on your weight gain. If you are gaining weight too slowly or too fast, change the amount you are eating:

  • If you are gaining weight too fast, cut back on the calories you are currently eating.
  • The best way to eat fewer calories is by decreasing the amount of “extras” you are eating. 
  • “Extras” are added sugars and solid fats in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Look for choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no-added-sugars. They have fewer “extras.”  You need a certain number of calories to keep your body functioning and provide energy for physical activities. Think of the calories you need for energy like money you have to spend.  Each person has a total calorie “budget.”  This budget can be divided into “essentials” and “extras.”With a financial budget, the essentials are items like rent and food.  The extras are things like movies and vacations.  In a calorie budget, the “essentials” are the minimum calories required to meet your nutrient needs.  By selecting the lowest fat and no-sugar-added forms of foods in each food group you would make the best nutrient “buys.”  Depending on the foods you choose, you may be able to spend more calories than the amount required to meet your nutrient needs.  These calories are the “extras” that can be used on luxuries like solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol, or on more food from any food group.  They are your “discretionary calories.”Each person has an allowance for some discretionary calories.  But, many people have used up this allowance before lunch-time!  Most discretionary calorie allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active.  For many people, the discretionary calorie allowance is totally used by the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher fat meats, cheeses, whole milk, or sweetened bakery products. You can use your discretionary calorie allowance to:
  • Eat more foods from any food group than the food guide recommends.
  • Eat higher calorie forms of foods—those that contain solid fats or added sugars.  Examples are whole milk, cheese, sausage, biscuits, sweetened cereal, and sweetened yogurt.
  • Add fats or sweeteners to foods.  Examples are sauces, salad dressings, sugar, syrup, and butter.
  • Eat or drink items that are mostly fats, caloric sweeteners, and/or alcohol, such as candy, soda, wine, and beer.

For example, assume your calorie budget is 2,000 calories per day.  Of these calories, you need to spend at least 1,735 calories for essential nutrients, if you choose foods without added fat and sugar.  Then you have 265 discretionary calories left.  You may use these on “luxury” versions of the foods in each group, such as higher fat meat or sweetened cereal.  Or, you can spend them on sweets, sauces, or beverages.  Many people overspend their discretionary calorie allowance, choosing more added fats, sugars, and alcohol than their budget allows.

  • Alcohol is also considered an “extra,” but you should not drink at all while pregnant.
  • If you are not gaining weight, or gaining too slowly, you need to eat more calories. You can do this by eating a little more from each food group.