The Food Marketing Institute promotes September as Family Meals Month and uses it to remind us of the importance of gathering family around the table to connect, chat and enjoy a nutritious meal. But, let’s be honest, September is also all about busy evenings, trying to grasp a new, demanding school schedule, and realizing that you only thought you were done back-to-school shopping. So how can we manage all that and still get dinner on the table every night? It starts with choosing a protein that will carry you through for a few meals. It ends with you not cooking every day.
A vegetarian middle schooler? An adolescent who only wants to eat “natural foods.” Neither is rare. Both can be frustrating for caregivers who want to be supportive, but see their adolescent’s food choices as limiting, inconvenient, or sometimes unnecessary. While a young person’s desire to control their diet may seem out “of the blue,” it’s quite common and not always a bad thing. Done correctly, a shift in food preference gives an adolescent an opportunity to consume a balanced diet, understand where their food comes from, and possibly learn a bit about the food industry. There may even be a chance that the rest of the household can learn from their young family member.
It’s easy for nutrition to go out the window when life gets busy. With a schedule that’s packed with commitments, which seem to have you running from the moment you wake, it’s hard (seemingly impossible) to also get into the kitchen to prepare a balanced, nourishing meal. Turn this trend around with a bit of strategizing and a lot of making nutritious meal planning an important part of your all-too-busy life
It may not be for everyone, but my family loves a fun road trip. Of course, keeping it fun isn’t always easy. Sometimes we get bored or let’s just say “less than nice” along the way. When restlessness rises it’s easy to turn to snacks to fill the void. Before long, our eating can go downhill quickly. Keep your snacking on track with these tips and a menu designed to get you to your “nutrition” destination.
Summer is all about being outside. Whether it’s gearing up for a strenuous hike, enduring a seemingly endless road trip or just enjoying a long day at the beach, warmer weather and later sunsets call for doing as much in your day as possible. If you’re like me, it also means a lot of packing snacks and making sure they match the summer scene you’re taking in.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming fish at least twice per week, while the Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls for weekly consumption of about 8 ounces of a variety of seafood. At a quick glance this guidance seems aligned, but considering it more deeply, it’s important to note the use of fish versus seafood. Is this simply a different choice of words or an intentional, but significant nuance in the guidance? As you may assume, food policy isn’t written on the fly and goes through many revisions before being shared with the public. That being said, does it matter if we aim to regularly consume fish (fatty fish specifically) or seafood in general?
I spent one college summer working at a bustling seafood restaurant in coastal Maine. While most guests came for the mountains of fried clam strips, there were a handful of customers that would make the most out of the menu to create a better meal for themselves. This often included passing on the fried food and opting for the broiled fish filet instead. Recognizing (and silently applauding their effort) meant that I didn’t have the heart to tell them just how much butter went on that filet before it was broiled. Ultimately their “better” choice wasn’t much improved at all.
We can likely recall early experiences with food, but not how we learned to eat. These early lessons and food connections, however, shape how we eat as adults, and in turn influence the way we communicate messages about food to others, including our own children. When we care for a growing infant, our personal experiences […]