The availability of different spices to season our food provides a useful analogy to help answer the question, “What are artificial sweeteners?”, since just as all spices are not the same, all artificial sweeteners are not the same, either. Artificial sweeteners (also known as sugar substitutes, low-calorie sweeteners, or high intensity sweeteners) come from different sources, have different sweetening powers compared to sugar and have different properties depending on what foods or beverages they are added to. Recognizing the different features of these sweeteners makes it much easier to understand what they are and how you can use them, which is also true for peppermint and paprika!
Do you ever wonder what people will think about the youth of today when they look at archived YouTube videos 50 years from now?
Sadly, what they will see is that about one-third of American children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese, as reported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The only thing sadder than that statistic is the one that predicts 80% of these teens will become overweight or obese adults. The single most important step we can take to reverse this trend is to prevent excess weight gain right from the start in childhood. And if excess weight gain begins in adolescence, the next step is to stop or slow down the rate of weight gain during the teen years. Tackling that problem is important for health, much more so than body image, and is the focus of this blog.
I remember when the only “tailgate” we knew about was the hinged back of a pick-up truck that could be lowered for easy loading (I learned how to drive in a pick-up so of course I know what a tailgate is!). Then came “tailgating” as it related to driving, when someone is following you much too closely. You know what I mean – it has happened to all of us.
But let’s get real. We are here to talk about the fun kind of tailgating since it’s September, a time when tailgating is synonymous with falling leaves, football and food. Yes, food and all kinds of it!
The days of chowing down on lots of not-so-good-for-you foods is no longer required or even fun in my opinion. Be it in the parking lot at the game or in the comfort of your living room, it makes no sense to overindulge with your guests to have a great tailgate party. That’s why I’m suggesting some tailgate recipes that are healthier alternatives to more traditional tailgating food.
One of the best things about going on vacation is the chance to interrupt the monotony of our weekly routines. Whether we use our time off to sleep in and eat a picnic lunch in the park or fly to another time zone where we have breakfast in the middle of the night, the change of scenery and scheduling helps us to recharge our batteries.
Another way we switch over to vacation mode is to adopt the mindset that “anything goes.” I know I have a tendency to stay up later, spend more money and splurge at meals to get the most out of my time off. And there are endless ways to splurge! From big breakfast buffets to lavish lunches and multi-course dinners, the calories do add up. Even when traveling with children and dining in family-friendly restaurants, the large portions and irresistible side-of-fries that seem to come with every meal can dismantle our best intentions.
If you’ve ever experienced vacation weight gain, then you know what I’m talking about. It may only be a few pounds, but if you don’t make a conscious effort to lose them after vacation they can lead to “creeping obesity.”
Research shows kids are snacking too often and the foods they choose are too often salty snacks, candy, sweets and sweetened beverages, foods with too many calories and not enough nutrients. Pair this with the knowledge that children need to eat more fruit, vegetables, legumes, low fat dairy foods, and substitute whole grains for refined grains. Unfortunately too much snacking and too many calories from less-than-healthy snacks is one reason that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese.
It’s time to get a knack for healthy snacks. Here are some tips for healthy snacking for kids, smart snack ideas and recipes to whet your kids’ appetites.