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How to Encourage Good Eating Habits for Children

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Having troubles with your child's eating habit? Well, you're not alone. Most of the parents today are having the same problem like you have. Toddlers nowadays are picky when it comes to food. They always have their favorites, which usually doesn't supply the proper nutrition that their body needs.

If your kid does not eat sufficient calories for their body in a day, well don't panic. Instead, consult your doctor to start developing a healthy eating habit for your child.

Here are some tips to help you encourage your child's good eating habits:

1. You can start by giving your child three regular meals and three snacks in a day. Being consistent with meal and snack times makes a child less likely to try to tell you when they will or won't eat.

2. In choosing the right foods in each meal or snack, try giving them a variety of foods. Offer foods that your child likes, but also some that they haven't tried or liked yet. Usually, your child may not show interest eating those foods, but there's no harm in trying. You can always try several times, maybe even ten times, offering the same foods they initially rejected because high familiarity with the food may increase your child's interest on the food.

3. Play with food, in a good way. Sometimes, playing with foods will make your child more interested in it. Some children form faces with their meals, some form animals. Children can be creative with their meals, so let them enjoy it--as long as they're eating it eventually.

4. Adding some salt, sugar or cheese works most of the time. Cheese could be added to vegetables. Some likes to have it melted as toppings. Of course, you'd want to use these ingredients in moderation.

5. Watch the liquids. We all know soda pops are not healthy. But too much of milk and juice may not be good, either. Limit those fluids to a few cups a day. It's best to get fruit juice from whole fruits, anyway. Encourage the drinking of water, since it is so good for the body, and is a great habit to develop. And remember, drinking liquids before a meal will make one feel satiated, and likely to eat less food.

6. Forcing your child to eat their whole meal was once the norm, but it's been a long held belief in modern times that this practice is not healthy. Children always know if they're hungry or not. If they insist upon not eating dinner but prefer to eat snacks, then cut down on the size of snack portions so they'll be hungry at meal times. You can also offer them a deal or bargain. For example, if they eat a set amount of their meal, they get to eat a snack afterward. But forcing children to always clean their plate discourages them from learning to stop eating when they're full.

7. If you have a malnourished or underweight child, adding dry nonfat milk into their milk, soup or even on pudding could help them get some extra calories. Some of these other tasty, calorie-rich foods may help: margarine, cream cheese, peanut butter and syrup. Just make sure they're not allergic to any of those ingredients, of course.

8. Eat together. Eating is a social event. Studies have shown that eating alone is bad for the digestion. So if you're so busy that you plop your kid down at the dinner table to eat by themselves while you do dishes or get your office work together, you may want to rethink that lifestyle. Much quality time and conversation with family and friends occurs during meal times. Use this rule of eating together as an opportunity to force yourself to stop being busy for a few moments so you can enjoy the company of others. Eating together not only will make meals more pleasant for your child, but for yourself, as well.

If all else fails, never hesitate to consult your doctor. If your child is excessively overweight or underweight, trying to determine the best way to get your child to eat nutritiously is like taking medicines: never self-medicate. Always consult the experts.

Eating Healthy for a Shapely Body

Written by Lisa Jillanza

How many times have you heard your teacher or health professionals in your entire life telling you to eat a balanced diet?  What is a balanced diet anyway when we do not have the same built?  How much should you eat?  What should you eat in order to get that perfectly toned body?

Until recently, I had never been into a fast food restaurant to eat those fast food meals they offer.  Fast foods are something that I have avoided not because I am not a food fanatic.  If I want a perfect body, I must eat only the good stuff.  Fast foods are filled with sodium, high in sugar, rich in fat, and abundant with chemical additives.  Everything that is in it is just not for a perfect body.

First of all if you are planning to have that perfect body, it is important that you take note of your calorie level.  Will the diet you are considering is nutritionally balanced?  Will it be easy to follow?

When taking a look at the calorie level, your intake should just be at the right amount.  If you are trying to lose weight, eat foods that are low in calorie level and if you are trying to gain, then eat those that are high in calorie.

Also, consider that your diet is getting all the essential nutrients.  The food guide pyramid and that box on processed foods containing the nutrition facts can help you achieve a healthy diet.  Your diet should have the following.

  • Vitamins and minerals.  It should be adequate enough in order to have properly nourished body parts such as the muscles, skin, blood, and bones.  Also, it aids in the metabolic processes which is very important fat burning.
  • Right protein.  Consume the right amount of protein to prevent muscle tissue from breaking down and also it aids in the repair of body tissues.  55 grams per day is recommended for men and 45 grams is ideal for women.
  • Carbohydrates.   100 grams of carbohydrates is needed to maintain fluid balance and prevent fatigue.
  • High fibre foods.  This will allow proper elimination.  Toxins that are left in the intestines are gets eliminated along with the fibre making absorption of needed nutrients highly efficient.
  • Water.  It is very important to include water in your diet.  An average of 8 to 10 glasses of water per day is enough to sustain fluids lost during the day.  Of course you will need more during an exercise.

The key here is to eat a variety of foods to maximize the nutrient you can gain from them.  Avoid the unhealthy stuff and you can get the perfect toned body you want.

Researching about protein myths has given me a more enlightened view.  While others might say that too much protein intake is not good for the kidneys, I say that there is no need to worry about kidney failures as long as you do not have any kidney dysfunctions in the first place.  Also, it does not cause weight gain if you are not increasing your calorie intake.  To the vegetarians, there are plenty of protein sources that can give you the same quality as to those who consume meat as a source of protein.  But my advice is that you must vary your sources to maximize the amino acids and here are some of the best and well-known protein sources that has been a part of my diet for years.

  • Red Meat.  This is the most common source of protein.  Ground beef, extra lean, broiled, sirloin steak, choice cut, trimmed, lamb, or pork. Red meats should be eaten in limited amounts because of the saturated fat that it contains which is the culprit for many cardiovascular diseases.
  • Poultry.  Chicken and turkey are the best poultry protein sources.
  • Fish.  Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, or tuna.  These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good amino acid for protection against cardiovascular diseases.
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, low fat yogurt, whey.
  • Eggs.  Boiled, whole, scrambled.  It contains all the eight essential amino acids making eggs as the best source of protein.  If you will only consume eggs to get the protein you need, you should at least eat eight eggs per day.
  • Nuts.  Almonds, cashew, walnuts, pistachio.

To get the right amount, health professionals say that men should consume at least 55 grams of protein and 45 g for women per day.  Eating them in the right amount can give you all the protein your body needs.  It is wise that you choose the sources that are called low-fat protein foods to keep your heart healthy, have low bad cholesterol level, and to avoid cardiovascular disease.

Proteins are the building blocks of our body.  Almost every part of our body from the hair, skin, up to the muscles are all made up of protein.  For the muscle, eating enough protein will ensure that your body has a back up when it needs a new one.  It will maintain your muscles in terms of recovery and prevent breakdown from exercise.  Also, it aids in fat loss due to its high thermic effect as the body tends to burn more calories digesting proteins than carbohydrates and fats.

You are what you eat as they say.  If you eat junk, then you are garbage.  There are so many articles written about food and diet but still many are still confused as to what the right diet means.  There have been many kinds of diet from Atkins to South Beach diet.  How will you know that right diet and how will it give you a perfect body?

The Perfectly Picked Plum

Written by Lisa Jillanza

If you are looking for a delicious fruit that is chock full of nutritional value and taste absolutely divine, then plums are just what you need!

Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.

Eating plums, which come from the same fruit family as cherries and peaches, helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.

Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections. Researchers have also found that plums contain anti-cancer agents that prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.

Because plums contain blood cleansing agents that help keep the blood pure, plums can help you reduce the risk of contracting heart disease.

 

Plums are also high in vitamin C, meaning they help to protect the body against conditions like asthma, colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Vegetarian Lifestyle : Things you should know before turning Green

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Before you consider jumping into the vegetarian bandwagon, there are several things you should first consider. Turning a new leaf entails some sacrifices but can be very rewarding once these changes become second nature. Going cold turkey and switching to a vegan lifestyle may not be for everybody. Becoming a vegetarian is a life changing decision. But before you make that all important decision.

Vegetarians and Vegans

A pure vegetarian also termed as a vegan, is a person who only consumes fruits and vegetables. They have made a conscious decision to exclude meat, fish and poultry from their diet. Becoming a vegetarian started to become popular in the 90's and has shed its image as a fad diet for the rich and famous to one of the healthiest diet being used today.

Upsides

Eating vegetables drastically lowers a person's risk for cancer. Compared to the preparation and cooking of meat, vegetables require less or no cancerous elements during its preparation. Simple grilling and smoking : two of the most common ways of preparing and cooking meat produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines which are said to be carcinogenic.

Vegetarians are also less likely to be overweight compared to their meat-loving counterparts and are more likely to be energetic during the day. A higher intake of dietary fiber is also observed with vegetarians while people who shun from vegetables have greater chances of suffering from micronutrient deficiencies.

Downsides

The advantages of being a vegan and having a vegetarian diet are well-documented. However, the disadvantages of vegetarianism should not be taken for granted either.

  • Protein deficiency

Meats are our body's primary sources for protein, essential building materials for our body. If you're shunning out meat entirely from your diet, include legumes, poultry, soya beans, nuts and seeds. Rich sources of protein include dairy products such as milk, egg, yogurt and cheese.

Vegetable based meat alternative don't only look the part but also contain good amounts of proteins. Tofu for example is rich in proteins making them a healthy option for vegetarians.

  • Mineral deficiency

There is a chance that a vegan might suffer from mineral deficiencies so it's important that you consult with your doctor or a dietician to keep your diets truly healthy. Restrictive diets run the risk of shunning out limited sources of important nutrients and minerals needed by the body. Taking in natural food supplements is a simple way of supplying yourself with much needed minerals and vitamins.

  • Food Preparation

Many restaurants would label themselves as Vegan-friendly but are unaware on how to properly prepare vegan dishes. Take for example restaurant that cook using meat based oils in preparing their dishes. Dining out could be a challenge as Vegan restaurants are hard to come by.

Three Simple Steps to Becoming a Vegetarian

Discipline and sacrifice are two of the most important attributes for those planning to switch to a vegetarian lifestyle. Lifelong eating habits could not be changed overnight. Going cold turkey is highly discouraged. People who suffer from the unpleasant psychological side effects of the experience might not continue

It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice to embark on this vegetarian journey and avoiding the stress of completely overhauling your diet overnight can be really helpful. Allow your body to be acclimated with a plant-rich diet for at least a month or two before shifting full gear into a vegetarian lifestyle. Here is PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) guide to becoming a vegetarian.

  1. For the first two weeks, be vegetarian three times a week
  2. For the next two weeks, try being a vegetarian five times a week
  3. You've been nearly vegetarian for almost a month : congratulations!

Meat Alternatives

Tofu

First used in ancient China around 200 B.C., tofu or sometimes called us bean curd has long been used in Chinese cuisines. Tofu is made up from soy milk and has a subtle flavor, making it a perfect partner for dishes that require strong meat flavors.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans and other grains. Unlike tofu which is made from soybean milk, tempeh contains whole soybeans, making it a lot denser. Because of its density, tempeh should be braised in a flavorful liquid for at least an hour prior to cooking or preparation. Doing so softens the tempeh and makes its flavor a lot milder.

Seitan

Seitan or wheat gluten is derived from wheat and is a great source of protein. Seitan can be used as a chicken substitute in all-time favorite chicken-based meals like curry, chicken soup or the Spain's paella and picadillo.

Some other vegetables that can be used to substitute or totally remove meat from your diet include nuts, wheat and bread : all of which are great sources of protein and calories. Similarly, fresh fruits and their juices can also be incorporated into a healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetables versus Meat

Declaring vegetables better than meat or vice versa outright is arguable. Labeling certain food group as being unhealthy is unjustified. Even your average burger with all its fat and cholesterol plays a vital role in supplying our bodies with much needed energy.

However, this doesn't mean that we should ignore the benefits of eating vegetables over meat. Research reveals time and time again that being a vegetarian or consuming a plant-rich diet can help you in more ways than you can imagine.

Coconut Water: Why this drink is more FAB than FAD!

Written by Lisa Jillanza

You have seen people drinking it on the subway, in the elevator, at the gym and maybe even in those posh cafés and grills, but what's the big deal about coconut water?

Well, that's easy, coconut water is incredibly healthy and one of the best drinks to hydrate the body.  And besides aiding in digestion and helping to remove harmful toxins from your body, coconuts have anti-viral, anti-microbial, AND anti-fungal properties that can help cure disease!

Coconut water is low in carbohydrates, low in sugars and is 99 % fat free.  Many nutritionists are calling coconut water the “sports energy drink” of today's day and age because it is naturally good for you and full of the vitamins we need to ward off fatigue.

When compared to sports drinks, coconut water:

  • Contains more potassium, about 294 mg.
  • Has less sodium, at about 25 mg.
  • Has 5 mg of natural sugars.
  • Is very high in chloride at 118 mg.

(Data based on a 100 ml size coconut water drink.)

Because coconut water contains organic compounds possessing healthy growth promoting properties, drinking it has been known to help the following:

  • Raise your metabolism.
  • Boost your immune system.
  • Promote weight loss.
  • Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
  • Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  • Naturally replenish your body's fluids after exercising.
  • Detoxify and fight viruses.
  • Boost poor circulation.
  • Control diabetes.
  • Cleanse your digestive tract.
  • Treat kidney and urethral stones.
  • Balance your pH and reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu, herpes and AIDS.
  • Orally hydrate your body; it is an all natural isotonic beverage.

Still not sold on the amazingness of coconut water? How about these little known facts,

  • Coconut water is much healthier than orange juice because it has much fewer calories.
  • Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk because it has less fat and no cholesterol.
  • Coconut water is better than processed baby milk because it contains lauric acid, which is present in mother's milk.
  • Coconut water is a universal donor and is identical to human blood plasma.
  • Coconut water is naturally sterile.
  • Coconut water is a naturally isotonic beverage; the same level that we have in our blood.
  • Coconut water has saved lives in Third World Countries through Coconut IV.