Top Ways to Help Your Family Eat Healthy Over the Summer
In the summer, it’s sometimes difficult to stick to a healthy diet. Backyard barbecues, holiday celebrations, vacations and picnics will derail your healthy eating habits if you’re not careful. Although it’s OK to enjoy your summer by treating yourself once in a while, that doesn’t mean you should eat like that all the time. Overindulging leads to weight gain and a host of illnesses associated with obesity. So if you want to learn how to help your family eat healthy over the summer, read on!
Load up on vegetables. According to Choosemyplate.gov, “people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.” Vegetables provide you with essential nutrients that work to keep your body strong. Try eating salads with just a couple of tablespoons of dressing. One cup of green and red peppers provides you with up to three times the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C. These mild peppers fight against stress hormones that cause belly fat to accumulate. Broccoli and spinach are tasty veggies that provide health benefits, too.
After you load up on veggies, load up on some fruit, too. Fruit is a natural source of vitamins and minerals that give a huge health boost to your body. Eating fruit provides you with energy, a healthier heart, and lower blood pressure. Incorporate fruits into your summer diet by eating fresh fruit salads or fruit smoothies. Add chopped bananas or strawberries to your oatmeal. Snack on apple slices or toss raspberries and blueberries into a cup of Greek yogurt.
Woman’s Day reports that oranges are comprised of 80 percent water. So eating orange slices during the summer will keep you feeling fresh and hydrated no matter how much you sweat in the heat.
Lean protein helps you feel full. So go ahead and eat chicken, turkey, beef and fish. Just make sure the meat is lean. Boasting fewer calories and a lower amount of fat than other types of meats, lean proteins allow you to enjoy that grilled burger without worrying about jeopardizing a healthy diet.
Backyard Barbecues and Picnics at the Park
Are you invited to a picnic or barbecue at the neighbor’s house? Offer to bring a dish to the party and make it a healthy one. At least there will be one nutritious entree or side dish you can count on. Don’t eat meats and carbohydrates first. Instead, start your meal with vegetables. This will help fill you up faster, making it less likely for you to overindulge in unhealthy options. Select smaller helpings of the more fattening foods. It lets you enjoy the meal without overeating.
Many times, you think you’re hungry when you’re really just thirsty. According to Nutriliving.com, “the same part of the brain that interprets hunger interprets thirst, leading to some confusing signals.” You don’t want to reach for that second helping of steak when what your body really craves is some good, old-fashioned water. So guzzle it down to prevent overeating.
Mental Health Benefits
Eating healthy doesn’t just maintain a healthy body, it also maintains a healthy mind. For example, if you have a habit of constantly eating sugary, fried or high-fat dairy foods, you have a greater chance of suffering from depression. But if your diet consists of whole grains, nuts, fish, fruits, and vegetables, you have a lower risk of developing depression. In fact, your diet, the beverages you drink, your personal relationships, and the way you deal with stress all play a part in the state of your mental health.
Summer is here, which means time to enjoy food and fun with family and friends. But that doesn’t mean you should throw good eating habits out the window. By loading up on fruits and veggies as well as choosing lean meats, you can enjoy good food and eat healthy at the same time.