Tips for Parents
It's National Nutrition Month!
Is your student eating enough fruits and veggies and drinking enough water? These nutritional goodies can fill them up and keep them healthy. And this month you have an excuse for reminding them so! March is National
Nutrition Month. Here are some quick tips and suggestions you can offer your student this month:
Fruits & Veggies
Not only will fruits and veggies fill up folks, but heart disease and strokes may be warded off by these high-fiber items too. So, encourage your student to eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies every day:
- Eat a Vitamin C-rich selection each day — this may include grapefruits, oranges, blueberries, cabbage, peaches, cucumbers, apples and potatoes.
- Eat a Vitamin A-rich selection each day, too, such as chili peppers, spinach, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots or cantaloupe.
- Eat veggies in the cruciferous cabbage family a few times a week.
- Shop for seasonal items to cut down on cost. Choices such as grapefruits, squash, apples and oranges are in season during the winter.
- When combining your veggies in a salad, be sure to ask for dressing on the side.
- Don't hesitate to ask for steamed vegetables at a restaurant or in the dining hall. Or make your own!
Drinking eight glasses of water a day (64 ounces) will keep your student hydrated and healthy. Some experts even suggest that it will make people look better. Here are a few tips to share regarding water:
- Definitely drink before you exercise. You'll be sweating away valuable fluids and need to replenish regularly.
- Drink before you get thirsty because thirst is typically an indicator that you're already dehydrated to a certain extent.
- Drinking more water helps to control your appetite because it fills you up.
- People who are sick should increase their water consumption.
- Beverages such as tea, coffee and alcohol can have a diuretic effect so, for every cup you have, drink a glass of water.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a variety of tips to follow when it comes to healthy eating. They include:
- Vary what you eat because the variety will ensure that you take in different minerals and vitamins on a regular basis.
- Eat slowly since this triggers the enzymes that let your brain know how full your stomach really is.
- Start each day with a healthy breakfast. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more fats and more calories throughout the day.
- Try snacks such as sorbet, gingersnaps, bagels, fruit, non-fat yogurt, popcorn, soup, cereal, graham crackers, low-fat chips and salsa when you get a between-meal craving.
- Eat small portions so your stomach doesn't expand. Your appetite will increase if your stomach does.
- Get used to steamed, roasted, baked, poached or broiled items instead of fried or sauteed.
- When you're out to eat, try tricks such as eating a healthy appetizer before the big meal, drinking lots of water and asking for rich sauces on the side. This makes a big difference in your calorie and fat intake.
- Listen to your body. Don't just eat because it's a "meal time." Eat when you are hungry. Chances are that you'll put down on those items that are bad for you and get into healthier eating patterns.
Reminding your student about some of these nutrition basics this month will help them get on the right track in time for mid-terms and finals. By adopting even just a few of these tips, they'll feel better and be healthier too!
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