Saturday, November 17, 2007

December Poll: How Healthy Does Your Family Eat?

I admit that I used to eat pretty much whatever I wanted. I've always led a pretty active lifestyle. I played sports in high school and college and have held jobs that required a decent amount of walking, lifting or other physical activity. But when my first child was born, I wanted the baby weight gone and I wanted it gone yesterday, if you know what I mean. In addition, once we introduced solid foods, I wanted to be sure that I fed my baby the healthiest foods available. I started reading food labels and cutting unhealthy choices out of our diets.

That baby turned three a couple of months ago and his sister is about to turn one. I've maintained my label reading and nutrition and nutrition science have become a personal interest. I credit my interest in nutrition for an easier recovery period.

One of my favorite magazines has an occasional feature where a registered dietitian goes shopping with families and critiques their choices, then helps them make better choices for those areas they fall short on.

I think my family would do well. We eat a lot of fresh and frozen produce, avoid white flour and trans-fats, buy organic when we can and watch the sugar and salt contents of our meals. We use a lot of low-fat or fat-free products and eat lean meat and fish, and well as vegetarian meals once or twice a week. However, I have a pretty hefty diet soda habit that I'm working on quitting and I have a bit of a sweet tooth. My husband has the willpower to eat a handful of chips and put the bag back, but I don't. To get around the temptation, I buy chips in flavors that I don't like, and I try to buy treats that give me more bang for the calories. Strawberries with a squirt of fat-free whipped cream, for example, instead of a candy bar. And although I read a lot about nutrition and try new foods often, the amount of information out there is staggering, so it can be hard to remember all those facts when I'm grocery shopping with two little kids.

If a dietitian went shopping with you, how do you think you would do? Overall, how healthy does your family eat? What are your downfalls?


Jen said...

Our meals are healthy, little to no trans fats & processed foods, lots of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and moderate amounts of lean meat.

Our downfall is the treats-I'm hopelessly addicted to sugar, so we often have candy, cookies, or other goodies around. We do typically avoid sodas, chips, and most processed cookies.

Maureen said...

Our family eats healthy as much of the time as we can. We, too, avoid trans fats (check your labels carefully), added sugars and artificial sweeteners, and artificial food dyes. We make fresh-as-possible, organic produce our focus at meals with the addition of lean meats and dairy. We incorporate foods high in good fats (Omega 3's) like raw nuts, grains, olive oil, and avacados.
However, our kids, 7 and 11 live in the real world and like to eat like their peers on occaision and to have things that kids like.

For that reason, we have done our research and found a high quality, whole food supplement that is backed by medical research and was introduced to us by our physician. It comes as a gummy for the kids which they love and we know that they are getting all of the good nutrition their bodies need even when we can't be there to help them make the best choices.

If anyone is interested in learning what we have found, let me know. I am a teacher at a Southern CA school and love to help families with nutrition.


Erin said...

We'd do pretty well for the most part. I always fill the cart with lots of fresh fruits because it's the one thing my son is guaranteed to eat. Unfortunately, I have a weakness for ice cream and usually pick up whatever is on sale if it is a really good sale. I do try to buy the lighter stuff-Edy's is really yummy, but still not good for you. We also never buy white bread or pasta, opting for whole wheat instead. My new favorite grain is quinoa. We use it in place of rice because its loaded with fiber and other good for you things. I even saw quinoa bread in the store the other day but I haven't tried it yet. I also have a snacking habit so I try not to buy any junk food because I have a hard time limiting it and it's much better for my son to snack on strawberries than cookies. The other thing I try to do when I do buy that kind of stuff is hide it from myself-out of sight, out of mind. There is definately some room for improvement though. I think it would be very interesting to have a nutritionist to shop with.