It seems we all have more demands on our time and attention than we used to. I’m certainly not judging those that have difficulty making family dinners happen. I know how hard it can be to get a meal on the table while also coordinating everyone’s schedules, and when I was a single parent it all seemed even more difficult. Here’s the thing, though: research shows there are some benefits to sitting down at a meal together—for both children and adults—that might convince you that making the effort to have family meals together is a trade-off that will pay off for everyone.
The pandemic has changed so many facets of our lives that it sometimes seems like everything is getting revamped, revised, or reconstructed. That most certainly goes for school, too. If your child’s school is opening for in-person learning this fall, you no doubt have lots of questions about what the day will be like for your child. Your child will, too. One thing that will likely be very different is the school lunch experience.
Did you ever consider how nutrition affected your brain when you were younger? I didn’t think so! But does this sound familiar to you? You walk into a room and can’t remember why you’re there. Or you need to make a hair appointment but can’t recall the name of the salon. Even the “Where are my glasses? Oh, they’re on my head!” cliché rings true to life for lots of people around the age of 50 or so. Taken alone, none of these “senior moments” is too upsetting, but when they become more frequent, it dawns on you that your brain isn’t working quite like it used to. When these incidents start to interfere with your daily life and functioning, it’s called dementia. Dementia ranges from mild to severe, and is generally more common as people get older. Wouldn’t it be great if making some pretty simple dietary changes could help keep our brains healthy as we age?
Maybe you’re a creature of habit. Or maybe you just adore certain summer fruits and veggies so much that you find you’re getting the same three or four produce items each week. If you’re ignoring everything else out there, you could easily up your nutrition game by branching out in the produce aisle. And if there ever was a time to do this, it’s summertime! Here are a few ideas for how to dig yourself out of the summer produce rut…..
One of the oft-claimed benefits of choosing locally-grown foods is that they are nutritionally superior to foods that have to travel a distance to reach the consumer. This seems logical, but let’s take a closer look at this idea…
It probably comes as no surprise that children don’t even come close to eating the recommended amounts of vegetables (actually, neither do the vast majority of adults, but that’s a post for another time). Maybe you have an anti-veggie kid living with you right now and know first-hand that getting vegetables off the plate and into the child can be a daunting task. But take heart, parents! With your help, your child can learn to enjoy at least a few different vegetables—do not give up!
Ahhhh summertime eating…there seems to be a level of food freedom that accompanies the summer months, and lots of us welcome that newfound meal flexibility. The longer daylight hours are one reason that mealtimes may shift in the summer. (Why yes, I’d love a late dinner on the deck!) Another reason for the varying summer meal times is the lack of a strict schedule—something that we may find ourselves experiencing more than ever these days—for a variety of reasons. Loosey-goosey meal times are not automatically problematic. There are, however, a few things to consider if you notice that your general meal and snack schedule is has gone out the window.
When sitting down to start this post, I figured it would make sense to reference the fact that I’m one of the “newbies” on the Guiding Stars team—and I joined in the summer of 2012 (I just checked). Eight years of working with these smart and talented folks has passed by so quickly! And boy, has the food landscape changed during the past 8 years—not to mention how much has changed since Guiding Stars was created in 2006.