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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

One of the challenges we all face is how to keep our kids and family eating healthy, especially for those of us always on the go. Here are some tips we have found that can make staying fit and healthy fun and convenient:

  1. 1. Start the day right. When you know you are going to be on the go all day, be sure to start with a healthy breakfast. Avoid sugary cereals. Eggs with an additional protein are great. Try cooking up the ingredients for breakfast burritos the night before. This way you can just warm up the tortillas and put them together first thing in the morning. Ideally, be sure everyone has at least 20 grams of protein for breakfast before they head out the door. The protein will help family members feel full longer and avoid morning sugar spikes and cravings.
  2. 2. Pack healthy snacks to take with you. Keep a cooler in the car filled with bottles of water, protein bars, nuts, carrots, peppers or other healthy vegetables. Bring along sandwiches so you can have a picnic on the go. Families get hungry, especially running from place to place, so make it fun and have pre-made snacks with you. It will cut down on fast food and save you money.
  3. 3. Don’t over-schedule yourself or the kids.  It is okay to say, “We just can’t make it.” Too often we get caught up in trying to do everything. Reduce the stress by saying no to some activities so you can enjoy the activities that you do choose.
  4. 4. Have your kids help with the cooking. At first you may feel this will add more stress. Yet cooking with your kids gives you a great opportunity to teach them how to make healthy substitutions to lower the calories and fat in some of their favorite foods. Try using skim milk instead of whole milk, chicken broth instead of oil and egg whites instead of whole eggs.
  5. 5. Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Too often we overeat because we are not sure when the next meal will come. Teach your kids about portion control. And enjoy the social aspect of eating together without overindulging.

Following these tips can help make planning and preparing meals and snacks a family activity. Your kids will remember these times together, and they will learn skills they can use to stay healthy and share with their own families when they grow up.

About the Authors: Husband and wife fitness experts Dave and Carrie Woodward are creators of BodyEvolution.com, a holistic system available for $37 online to help people make lifestyle changes to lose weight and keep it off. Carrie, 40, is an Elite marathon runner who has run in the Boston and New York marathons. As a group exercise instructor she teaches everything from Yoga to kick boxing, step cardio, spinning classes and a host of others. She holds a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. Dave has a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. He completed his master’s thesis on hydrostatic weighing and body composition, minored in psychology and loves to teach. He has taught everything from college level courses in anatomy and physiology to working with youth football and soccer teams teaching the fundamentals of the sports and the importance of sportsmanship. A self-described “adrenaline junkie” Dave enjoys skydiving, scuba diving, rock climbing and anything fast or exhilarating. Dave and Carrie are the parents of four boys and live in Southern California. Learn more at www.BodyEvolution.com. Contact them at dwoodward@gspLLC.net.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to eat healthy, even on the run.