It’s Spring Break week for most kids in the Richmond area and that means lots of moms and grandmoms will be entertaining kids and enjoying some great local entertainment and eats. With the beautiful weather forecast, that means lots of outdoor activities and maybe a few trips to your favorite ice cream store or maybe even a cupcake bakery!
No worries – you can stay on track with healthy eating and still enjoy Spring Break and a few treats with the kids.
Here are some great tips and ways to help you enjoy time with the children and maintain a healthy eating strategy all at the same time.
- Make sure you do not go more than five hours without eating something healthy. Blood sugar drops, cravings begin, and you are likely to pick up something unhealthy and fattening if you go long between meals. Avoid food cravings by eating something every 3-4 hours such as fruit, popcorn, pretzels, yogurt, or something healthy and delicious.
- Don’t skimp on protein. Start breakfast with the kids by offering protein such as eggs, cheese, or even chicken! Protein keeps you full longer and keeps you going longer too. This will help you manage calories throughout the day. And remember the value of nuts too. They can curb your appetite while offering protein and many healthy benefits. Almonds, pecans, walnuts and macadamia nuts pack powerful protein – just eat them reasonably since they’re also high in fat. A small fistful of nuts (about 12-15 nuts) can be enough to sustain you until your next meal without adding lots of fat-producing calories.
- Eating also means drinking – and drinking plenty of water is not only a good appetite suppressant. It’s a great way to keep skin hydrated and hair healthy looking too. Pack a cooler of water bottles when you head out to the park or other activities. Water will also help you feel full longer.
- Watch out for artificial sweeteners and diet sodas – they may seem like a good idea, but research indicates that foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners trigger a stronger desire for sugar and this may cause you to eat more of the bad stuff that’s easy to grab. And by all means, avoid foods and drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup because it just spurs your appetite and your blood sugar!
When you stick to a diet that is focused on mostly healthy foods, it’s okay to occasionally enjoy a cupcake from Frostings, an ice cream from Maggie Moo’s, a delicious frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog’s, or an equally delicious treat from your favorite place.
Don’t let your healthy eating habits and good sense take a Spring Break this year. Enjoy time with the children and grandchildren in healthy ways. Get plenty of outdoor activity, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, add protein to your meals, and drink plenty of fresh water. Not only will you feel better, your kids will learn healthy habits that last a lifetime just by watching you.
Pack your picnic or snacks and head out to Maymont Park, the children’s garden at Lewis Ginter, Pocahantas State Park, the Richmond Zoo, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, the Science Museum, Romp ‘n Roll, or even the Picasso Exhibit at the VMFA. Wherever you go – have fun!
Enjoy the great weather and have a wonderful Spring Break this year.