Healthy Breakfast Foods

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But many of us skip this important meal giving the most ultimate excuse, ‘I haven’t got time’. A good breakfast not only rejuvenates your body to start a new day, but has several health benefits as well. Scroll down to know about the healthy breakfast foods list.

I am sure all of us are aware of the fact that we should not skip breakfast as it keeps our energy levels up to remain active throughout the day. But how many of us follow this? In fact excuses for not having time to have breakfast are many. We prefer to spend more time dozing in bed, thereby getting late or even if we have time, we just don’t bother at all to eat a healthy one. Some of us feel, a few cups of strong tea or coffee is the best way to start a day, but we forget that there are better choices to these beverages to begin afresh a new day. Breakfast is a must for good health as it aids in giving a nutritionally complete diet.

Before we know the healthy breakfast food products, it is necessary to know ,’why breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. In the morning, after a gap of 10-12 hours after the last meal (dinner), the glucose level of our body drops. So breakfast is important because it breaks the fasting period, refills the glucose levels in the body, and provides essential nutrients to keep us active throughout the day. For people who are always on the go and do not have time to prepare a breakfast, these quick breakfast ideas can help them start their day with a nutritious and filling meal.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Preparing a breakfast is not at all time-consuming if we can plan well. Given below are the different types of food to give you strength, concentration, improved performance and also maintain a healthy weight.

Cereals
Wheat or whole grain cereals like muesli or bran, whole grain rolls, wheat biscuits, bagels, low-fat bran muffins, crackers or melba toast. Whole grain waffles, with fruit toppings and yogurt or ricotta cheese and cinnamon is also an ideal breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal is also a good breakfast idea. You can either have the instant oatmeal or cook oats and milk. To make it yummy, add fresh fruits like pears, blueberries and peaches. You can even add sliced almonds. According to your taste, add sugar, little honey and cinnamon. This is tasty and healthy as well, as it contains complex carbohydrates, fiber and proteins.

Brown Rice
A bowl of brown rice is quite filling and contains fiber and essential nutrients. For this delicious item you need, brown rice, honey, soy milk or almond milk, water, nutmeg, fresh fruits and cinnamon. Put all the ingredients except the fruits in a medium-sized pan and cook, while stirring continuously till the mixture turns creamy. Serve it hot topped with fresh fruits like sliced banana or apple.

Dairy Products
Milk is a good source of protein. Some prefer to have full-fat milk, but the best choice is to have skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. Other dairy products include low-fat yogurt, cheese (cottage or natural cheese).

Fruits and Vegetables
The benefits of fruits and vegetables are numerous. The antioxidants present in them help prevent diseases like stoke, heart attack, vision problems, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc. It is a good idea to start a day with a glass of fresh fruit, herb or vegetable juices. Eating a whole fruit is more beneficial due to the extra fiber in the skin. Fruit salad with honey or a few spoonfuls of low-fat yogurt and fresh and raw vegetables with flavored yogurt are other options you can include in your list. You can even add grated or chopped fruits to your cereal.

Sandwich and Toast
Sandwiches are healthy and filling. For a healthy sandwich, choose breads which have high fiber content and are low in calories. In case of regular breads, whole wheat varieties are the best choices. For sandwich spreads, you can opt for mayonnaise, salad dressings, salsa, horseradish, and vinegar. There are various choices for making sandwich fillings. Some of the healthy options include turkey, salmon, shrimp, tuna, canned chicken and veggies like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mushroom, sprout, spinach, etc.

For those who prefer to have toast for breakfast, it’s good to have wholemeal bread instead of the white one. Use thin scraping of butter, margarine, or healthy toast toppings such as peanut butter, low-fat cheese, etc. You can try other alternatives like rye bread, pita bread, granary bread, as well.

Eggs
Egg is the most nutritious protein breakfast. You can have eggs in various forms; poached, scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, hard-boiled or an omelet. Egg whites are more healthier. You can make scramble eggs tastier by adding a little olive oil, and pepper. It goes well with a slice of toast.

Soy Products
Soy products like tofu or soy milk, soy dogs, soy bacon, soy burgers are good choices as they are cholesterol-free and are good sources of protein too.

Fruit Smoothies
Fruit smoothies require minimum preparation time and are very nutritious. Here are some healthy fruit smoothie recipes and protein smoothie recipes for you.

Breakfast Ideas for Children

Breakfast is particularly necessary for children and adolescents. If the habit of eating a breakfast, is inculcated in kids in their formative years, it will help them in the long run. Studies have shown that, the benefits of a healthy breakfast for children and students are numerous. Children who eat breakfast regularly have better concentration and performance levels in their daily tasks, are active and alert, have the power to withstand stress and engage in physical activities. According to researches, children who skip breakfast weigh significantly more than those who eat breakfast. Moreover, eating a nutritious breakfast, means children would not indulge in unhealthy snacking during the day.

Kids are more likely to eat breakfast on a regular basis if easy-to-prepare food are available at home. Besides, you can even engage your children in making simple recipes. It’ll be a fun experience for them, and they will also enjoy eating it. Here are some easy-to-make food for kids, which they will love.

  • Porridge (use quick oats)
  • Muffins or crumpets
  • Cereals such as wheat biscuits, muesli or bran cereals, with low-fat milk, topped with fresh fruits like banana, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit salads
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothie
  • Homemade French toast
  • Whole grain pancakes or waffles
  • Brown rice cakes with toppings of fresh fruit slices

In adults, eating a breakfast on a regular basis keeps them physically active, controls weight gain, lowers cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that people who skip breakfast are more resistant to insulin, which in the long run increases the risk of diabetes.

Healthy Breakfast for Weight Control

As mentioned above, the benefits of eating breakfast are closely related to weight control. So for all weight watchers out there and those on a diet to shed those extra pounds, check out the importance of breakfast for weight loss.

  • Breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than breakfast eaters
  • It cuts down on your cravings to eat unhealthy mid-day snacks
  • It boosts up your energy levels to remain active
  • Eating a breakfast assists in making healthy choices in your diet throughout the day
  • Skipping breakfast is linked with low energy levels, lesser physical activity, eventually increasing the risk of weight gain

Knowing the healthy breakfast food products is not enough. Develop the habit of eating a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast in the morning, to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Diet Snacks

These days, you hear people saying that it is good to consume some healthy snacks in between meals to prevent binge eating. But what qualifies as healthy snacks while being on a diet?

It is said that the secret to a healthy diet is having a healthy snack that keeps you full, and controls binge eating. By eating some low-calorie food between meals, you can avoid feeling the need to hog during meal times.

A snack that keeps you full, gives your body the required nutrition, and does that without adding too many calories through unnecessary fat, is a healthy snack. So, high-fiber cereals, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods fit the bill. You could also try something that has a high protein content, but does not add too many calories. Remember to lay off anything that is fried or high in sodium. Chips are not healthy snacks!

Healthy Snacks While on a Diet

Whole-grain Snacks: Simply put, if you eat a brown variant of something that is originally white, you’ve started eating healthy already. So, you can swap the white bread with the brown, and the white pasta with brown pasta. There are also special whole-grain pretzels and crackers that are both, tasty and healthy. Whole-grain foods have a high fiber content, and do not add unnecessary calories to the body. Other whole-grain food items could include, granola bars and high-fiber cereals. Oatmeal is a good option for snack-time eating as well.

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables also offer the same advantages as whole-grain snacks. However, make sure you’re eating the right ones! What you need is, fruits and vegetables with a high fiber content. So, tailor-made to suit these demands are leafy vegetables, like, spinach and celery. Carrots are a good diet snack too! Fruits include oranges and apples (don’t remove the skin of apples, as it is the main fiber source). These, not only are low-calorie foods, but they also fulfill the requirement of essential minerals and vitamins of your body.

Nuts: Nuts are another great option for a healthy snack-time food. Nuts add a great deal of proteins to your body. However, you will have to be a little frugal while eating nuts, as they are also a big source of fat. Yet, they are acceptable, as they contain mono-saturated fats, which are considered lesser evil. Besides, a limited amount of fat is required by the body to fuel its daily activities. So, why not eat nuts! Nuts like almonds and chickpeas can be eaten, but in moderation.

Other Unclassified Foods: While other foods can be grouped into categories, these are the ones that couldn’t find a group. A list of other healthy foods, include, air-popped popcorn (with low sodium and no butter while popping), yogurt (made from low-fat milk), white meat fish, like, tuna and salmon (which are boiled/roasted), and chicken (again preferably boiled/roasted).

Remember, a healthy diet snack is one that optimizes calorie consumption. One gram of protein has lesser calories as compared to one gram of fat or carbohydrates. So, it is a good idea to substitute the fats with proteins. However, while you optimize this, you have to keep in mind that all the nutrients are required by the body for its daily processes. So, it is not advisable to go completely off fat or carbohydrates, and eat only proteins.

 

Healthy Recipes for Pregnant Women

There are no special diets for pregnant women, but following a well-balanced, healthy diet is always recommended. Take a look at some healthy recipes for pregnant women that are beneficial for the growing baby, as well as the mother.

Staying healthy during pregnancy is not just a doctor’s recommendation, but a necessity. The choice of foods a mother-to-be makes affects her health and the health of her unborn baby. There are many people who advice mothers on what you should and shouldn’t eat, the exercises you should follow, and the kind of lifestyle changes you’ll require to implement. Every expecting mother searches for healthy and nutritional recipes that is favorable for her baby and herself. And we all know that at times, they get irresistible and strange cravings for certain kinds of food. When you’re pregnant, it is possible that you might start liking the foods you once used to hate. The recipes for pregnant women mentioned below have staying power, as they are adaptable to all types of foods you may want to consume, at any given time of the day. These recipes will aid you in staying on track to eat wholesome foods that are nourishing for you and your baby.

Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean you should eat for two. Consuming adequate nutrients for you and your baby is what is essential. So if your balanced diet is lacking crucial sustenance, you may be left depleted. The gynecologist will recommend you include lots of protein, iron, folate, carbs, and calcium in your regular diet. Along with that, you will require to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and also drink lots of fluids (water and milk). You will have to cut down on aerated and caffeine drinks. Following a proper diet chart for these nine months and after that are very crucial. Which is why, if you wish to find some healthy recipes, then you’ve come to the right place.

Healthy and Delicious Recipes
Breakfast Recipes

Lunch Recipes
Snack Recipes
Dinner Recipes
Dessert Recipes

The recipes which are mentioned below, are categorized for an entire day ~ breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. There are times when the entire table will be filled with delicious treats and you must be having a hard time deciding if you should or shouldn’t eat them. No matter what your dilemma is, these recipes can be balanced in all the stages.

Breakfast Recipes

Start your day with a hearty and nutritious breakfast or brunch. With these recipes, you will satisfy yourself and the little one inside you. Also, the most wonderful part about breakfast is that you avoid munching on unnecessary snacks during the day. You will have more energy and will have the right balance of nutrients too.

Bulgur Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients
20 dried figs, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup 2% milk
¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
¾ cup coarse bulgur cereal

Directions
Take a pan and fill it with water. Boil it over high heat. Add the bulgur and cook it till it turns tender. This will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Take another small bowl of hot water and soak the figs so that it gets soft. Drain the bulgur and keep the pan back on the stove. Take the figs, squeeze the water out, and whisk it into the cereal. Pour the milk and sugar in it, and keep stirring. Cook it till the sugar melts and pour the hot cereal out in a bowl. Add walnuts on top and serve hot.

Strawberry French Toast

Ingredients
6 slices whole wheat bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup milk

Salt for taste
Sliced strawberries and confectioner’s sugar, for serving

Directions
Warm the jam and mix it till it gets loose. Add the milk, eggs, and salt in it as you keep stirring everything in. Take a deep, large pan and place 2 – 3 slices of bread dipped in the egg mixture. Make each sides moist and place them in the pan. Cook both the sides of the French toast till it turns golden brown. Finish making all the French toast and cut them into triangles. Serve with sliced strawberries on top and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar.

Lunch Recipes

If you’re not going to be home in order to cook your lunch, prepare lunches beforehand. You can even try some packaged lunch (only if your gynecologist agrees) and fix your hunger pangs. However, if you do have time to cook lunch at home, help yourself with nice, crunchy salads, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch.

Crunchy Pear Salad

Ingredients
4 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ripe pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup walnut, chopped

Directions
Take a salad bowl and mix the spinach and slices of pear together. Take another small bowl and whisk in vinegar, mustard, olive oil, shallot, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing in the spinach-pear mixture and coat evenly. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and walnuts on top. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Basil Turkey Burger

Ingredients
3 scallions, chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
Lemon zest

Directions
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients together. Mix it properly and divide into 4 even parts. Make thick patties according to your liking. Take a nonstick pan and cook the patties over medium heat for about 10 – 15 minutes. Cook all the sides completely and season with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup of water in the pan, cover it, and let the patties cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Place them between the hamburger buns and serve it with mustard and ketchup.

Snack Recipes

Take a look at these two delectable and irresistible smoothies that will make your mouth water. Both the recipes have good amounts of proteins, fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, carbohydrate, and around 320 and 346 calories, respectively.

Ginger-Peach Passion

Ingredients
1 cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup peaches, peeled
¼ cup mango juice

Directions
Cut the peaches into small slices. Add all the ingredients into a blender and mix it until it turns smooth. Have the smoothie while it’s fresh. You can also opt to refrigerate the leftover and have it later in the day.

Banana-Berry Smoothie

Ingredients
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small banana, peeled
1 cup frozen mixed berries
½ cup vanilla soy milk
½ cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt

Directions
Cut the bananas into small slices. Add all the ingredients into a blender and mix it until it turns smooth. Have the smoothie while it’s fresh. You can also opt to refrigerate the leftover and have it later in the day.

Dinner Recipes

Dinners shouldn’t be too heavy. However, once in a while indulgence is fine. But do remember to take a nice walk around the block. And who says you can’t have pasta when you’re pregnant? You sure can and a delicious recipe awaits you. Here’s a quick way to enjoy some fettuccine with Parmesan cheese.

Fettuccine with Turkey and Wild Mushrooms

Ingredients
3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
3 cups shiitake or Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ lb whole-wheat fettuccine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ lb boneless, skinless turkey breast, thinly sliced
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper for taste

Directions
Cook the fettuccine as per the directions on the box. In a large pan, heat olive oil, add turkey to it and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Incorporate the mushrooms, shallots, and thyme and cool for another 5 minutes. Add the yogurt and dill in it. Once the fettuccine is ready, drain it and toss it with the turkey-mushroom mix. Add the Parmesan cheese to it and mix properly. Season the fettuccine with salt and pepper, and sprinkle some pine nuts on top.

Lentils Salad

Ingredients
1 cup lentils
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons shallot, diced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup scallions, sliced
Salt and black pepper, for taste

Directions
Rinse lentils and place them in a bowl with clean water. Bring them to a boil on high heat. After 5 minutes, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook till lentils turn tender. Drain them and keep the water for later use. Next, place lentils in a bowl. Add in red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Mix properly and leave the lentils to soak. After a few minutes, do a taste test to check if you need more salt or vinegar. Take another small bowl to mix extra-virgin olive oil, shallots, scallions, and parsley together. Add this mixture to the lentils and toss properly. Add a little bit of lentil water, which we reserved earlier, if needed. Serve immediately. You can even add diced cucumber, carrot, celery, feta cheese, and sweet peppers in.

Dessert Recipes

My favorite time in the day, as I get to eat yummy treats to satisfy my sweet tooth. You can do so as well with these simple and tasty recipes. But remember, everything in moderation.

Fruit Salad

Ingredients
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1 ripe pineapple, cored and peeled
1 ripe pear, cored
1 banana, peeled
1 pink grapefruit, skin and pit removed
1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions
Cut the pineapple, pear, banana, and grapefruit into small bite-size pieces. Take a bowl and add all the ingredients in it. Mix the jam properly and refrigerate it for an hour or so before having it. The fruit salad can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Rice Pudding

Ingredients
1 quart whole or reduced fat milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar to taste
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup white rice, steamed
Ground cinnamon
Your choice of chopped fresh fruit

Directions
Take a heavy pan and warm the milk, steamed rice, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Keep the heat at medium and when the mixture starts to boil, reduce it to low, and keep stirring from time to time. Do this for half an hour and then take the cinnamon stick out. Whisk the beaten egg in and stir for another 5 minutes over low heat. Add the vanilla, salt, and sugar if needed. Let the mixture cool down and then refrigerate it. Serve the rice pudding chilled with dusted ground cinnamon on it and your choice of fresh fruits.

You can also read the article on high protein recipes for more information. Here is a detailed chart of an entire day on what can be some healthy recipes for pregnant women. Apart from that, you should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid eating junk food and fast food as they don’t offer any proteins, vitamins, and other important nutrients for your baby. Engage in non-impact exercises daily to help keep the muscles strong during the birthing stage. May you have a hassle-free pregnancy and birth time.

Healthy Diet for Athletes

A healthy diet is essential for an athlete. It’s not the quantity of food intake, but the quality and selection of food that matters, and there are some basic nutrients to be taken regularly. Read on to know more.

Athletes are people with tough physique. We consider them strong, but seldom realize the hard work that has been put, to build those biceps and muscles. Athletes can endure through tough situations. A.C. Green, a former American NBA basketball player, rightly said, “Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”

What matters most to athletes is a careful and planned intake of various nutrients like vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates. An intelligent athlete should know the importance of balanced workouts with proper stretching exercises, and of course, the intake of right nutrients. The reason why athletes need a good diet is that they burn and lose sweat more than any normal person.

Diet of athletes differ according to the sports they are involved in. A diet for sprinter is different from the diet of a weightlifter. An athlete should know what food and drink items he needs to avoid, as wrong intake of nutrients restricts the growth of body tissues. During a workout, there is wear and tear of cells in muscles. To build these muscles, adequate nutrients in the diet are required. Some important nutrients for athletes are:

Proteins
Protein is very vital for athletes, however, the focus should not be on protein alone. Excess protein in the form of complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables must be avoided, because it puts more pressure on kidneys and may also lead to dehydration. Proteins help in building muscle tissues. The main source of proteins should ideally come from lean meat. 15-20% of protein intake in a day is sufficient for an athlete.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide quick and long-lasting energy, but too much of the same can slow you down. 40-50% of carbohydrate calories should come from whole grain pasta, cereals, and breads. This type of diet is rich in fiber. Carbohydrates also increase the stamina and ability to work.

Fats
Active young athletes require fat in their diet. Their body needs unsaturated fat, e.g., nuts. When the body runs out of energy from carbohydrates, it relies on long term energy provided by fats. Fish is a very good source of fat.

Vitamins
Exercising produces some free radicals which can damage our cells. Hence, to minimize this damage, we need to take Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. These vitamins are antioxidants and neutralize the free radicals.

Minerals
Minerals like calcium and iron are good for health. Calcium strengthens the bones, thus, preventing stress fractures that are common in athletes. Skimmed milk, milk products, and eggs are rich in calcium. Iron produces oxygen in the body. Deficiency of iron leads to fatigue, and hinders the ability to perform for longer periods.

A basic table for the amount of nutrients to be taken is given below.

Nutrients Amount, (of total calories), Source
Carbohydrates, 50-60%, Whole grains, whole wheat pasta, potatoes and beans
Proteins, 15-20%, Fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds
Fats, 25-30%, Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, meat and eggs

Dos and Don’ts for Athletes

  • One of the biggest nutritional concerns for athletes is water depletion, which occurs due to heavy strenuous training, and causes dehydration. Dehydration leads to weakness. Drinking lots of water is the only remedy.
  • Athletes need more calories than people who do not exercise. Intake of healthy snacks before a workout will provide the required energy. Some people feel very hungry after a workout, and hence, eating a good snack will not only provide necessary nutrients but also keep you from overeating during the main meal. Some healthy snacks are apple and banana slices, peanut butter, dry cereals with dry fruit, vegetable juice, whole grain and low-fat milk. Junk foods and fast foods are a strict “NO”.
  • Eating regularly is very important. Athletes should take 5 small meals rather than 2 or 3 heavy meals. They should avoid snacking during day time, especially during an event or a workout. First two meals of the day are very crucial and should be large as compared to other meals of the day.
  • Meal planning, for example, timing of meals should be taken care of. If one is having a heavy meal, then it should be ensured that the meal is taken at least 4 hours before the workout. And if the meal is a lighter one, it can be taken 2 or 3 hours before the workout.
  • Vary your diet every week. Never stick to a particular diet. Sometimes, the athletes prefer a particular food and stick to it. This has two demerits: Firstly, you get bored of the diet, and secondly, eating the same diet will devoid your body of the various nutrients it needs.
  • Last and one of the biggest concerns of athletes today is alcohol consumption. Nancy Clark, founder and CEO of WomensMedia, says “You can’t be sharp, quick and drunk.” Alcohol, a depressant, contributes about twice as many calories as equal amount of carbohydrates and proteins. It is needless to say, that calories in beer are fattening. If taken in large amount, alcohol can drastically decrease the level of serum testosterone, which results in decrease in muscle recovery and athletic performance. It can cause testicular shrinkage and reduce the sperm count in males. In female athletes, it may raise the production of estradiol, a form of estrogen, which can increase the chances of breast cancer.

Athletes require more nutrients than any other person. They lose a lot of nutrients when they sweat. Taking food which has empty calories can deprive the organs of vital vitamins and minerals. This can increase the risk of heart attacks in athletes. Hence, just as crude oil is to motor vehicles, good diet is for athletes. A good diet should never be underestimated.

How to Eat Healthy in College Dining Halls

Students do not always make the correct choice when it comes to having their meals at college dining halls. Let us look at what you should, or should not eat to remain fit and healthy once you are at college, away from home.

Starting college opens up a new chapter in a teenager’s life. With a whole range of new things to adjust to, from signing up for new classes to finding the ideal roommate, it can seem a bit overwhelming. What you eat in the college dining hall is of utmost importance. The right choice of food will give you the energy you need to pull through the day and to sustain you during those extra hours of study. Parents must often be wondering what their children are eating once they are at college. With no one to monitor mealtime, no access to home-cooked meals, and a packed schedule, students are bound to resort to munching on prepackaged food. It’s very easy to form unhealthy food habits. Parents must counsel their children on the risks of unhealthy eating habits before they leave home for college. Food served in college dining halls can be a source of concern for most parents.

Eating Healthy in the College Dining Hall

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Do not skip it. It gives you the energy to kick-start your metabolism. A dish piled with hash browns, bacon, and pancakes and a glass of smoothie can seem very tempting, but try to avoid it. Instead opt for egg whites, a bowl of oatmeal liberally sprinkled with fresh fruit pieces, and a glass of milk. This will give you all the carbohydrates and proteins you need as part of the first meal of the day. This does not mean never having your favorite pancakes drizzled with maple syrup on top. But do not get into the habit of eating it every day.

Cut down on too much cheese and avoid generous use of creamy salad dressings high in fat content. If you prefer a grab-and-go meal, opt for whole grain sandwiches filled with vegetables and grilled chicken breast, instead of a bacon and mayo sandwich. If the dining hall has a salad bar, visit it often! Eat loads of veggies. If you are averse to the taste of raw vegetables, use seasonings and low-fat dressings like vinaigrette. You may not always get time to enjoy a lazy lunch if you have classes lined up in the afternoon; so be all the more careful what you eat. Picking up a plate of fries and chicken nuggets can be so alluring, and it’s alright if you eat it every once in a while, but do not over-indulge. If you love mac-n-cheese, eat a healthy portion of steamed or stir-fried vegetables along with it.

Dinner time? Opt for brown rice or pasta instead of white rice or white bread. Check if the dining hall serves grilled, baked or steamed meat dishes instead of deep-fried. Whole grain pita bread filled with humus, raw veggies, and low-fat salad dressing is a good option. Avoid late dinners. Munching on pizzas at midnight is common amongst college kids, but that’s a very wrong time to gorge on food. Have dinner at a reasonable hour. Eat desserts in moderation. Do not have ice cream and cake every night. Have smaller portions instead. Have yogurt and fruit as a change from the routine.

Pick up a couple of fruits to snack on in between meals. Having a bar of candy is perfectly alright, but substitute it with a granola bar every now and then. Munch on dried fruits like plums, prunes, cranberries, and apricots. Eat almonds, walnuts, and raisins. Soda and beer should be a strict no-no. These are drinks with zero nutrition and excess calories. Gulp them down with your meals and you will soon realize you have piled on extra pounds in no time, inching your way towards the dreaded Freshman 15. Avoid sports drinks. Stick to water and fresh fruit juice. Drink enough water during the day. Refrain yourself from going to the vending machine for a soda and a bag of peanuts. Eating an apple and having a glass of water instead is so much more healthier! Do not spend a lot of time in the dining hall. If you linger on, you are susceptible to continue eating even after your stomach is full.

Most colleges nowadays offer detailed information about the food being offered in the dining hall. Check out the nutritional information, look up on the college website or talk to the diet and nutrition staff on what all food services are offered so you can make the right, healthy choices. Most dining services also have special meal plans for students if they happen to be vegan or vegetarian, have special dietary requirements or are allergic to certain foods.

To sum it up, your body needs a balanced diet which includes a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A diet rich in all these is vital for the body and brain to function optimally. So the next time you reach for fries and a can of soda, think of what combination of food items is ideal for your body and choose accordingly.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet fulfills the nutritional needs of the body and in general, helps in keeping the body functions on track. The facts pertaining to benefits of following such a diet can be found in the information given below.

A healthy diet plays an important role in the proper development of our body. The phrase ‘You are what you eat’, is quite simple to grasp yet, gives a deep insight into how our body responds to the various foods we consume. It is not just the body but also the mind that gets affected by our diet. It is quite common for a person with spicy and specially pungent foods to get irritated/agitated easily with common problems. The food we consume has multifarious effects on our body.

Healthy Diet Benefits

A healthy diet is good for nourishing the body and preventing the diseases. Healthy body is the biggest wealth that one can have. Supplying the right quantity of good food to the body and at the right time should strengthen it. Understanding the benefits of a healthy diet for children is important as it is of vital importance for their growing body from the point of proper development. Incorporating a healthy diet menu and few changes in the lifestyle are a must for everyone.

Bone Health
In addition to giving structural strength, the bones of our body (marrow) are responsible for generation of blood cells. Nourishing the bones with calcium-based and other healthy foods has many positive effects on the body. Those people with unhealthy bone marrow find it difficult to produce blood cells (white and red) in the required quantity. A healthy diet strengthens the bones and avoids the possibility of osteoporosis in old age.

Weight Control
Obesity, in young as well as in adults, is one of the biggest health issues in countries like USA. Excess weight gain that takes place beyond a limit is not considered to be good from the point of maintaining health. Intake of a healthy diet helps in keeping a check on weight gain in a positive manner. The deposition of excess fats results into development of lipid layers. Heart diseases and many other complications result from excess fats.

Feeling of Well-being
A feeling of well-being comes from the intake of a healthy diet. The consumption of healthy diet clears off all the impurities and allows the body systems (blood circulation, digestion, nervous systems) to function efficiently. When all systems in the body function properly and work in unison, it is but natural that one feels enthusiastic and ready to face life with a positive frame of mind.

Pregnancy
This phase is important from the point of maintaining the health of the fetus and mother. Benefits of a healthy diet during the period of pregnancy need to be understood and appropriate actions taken. It is with the help of a nutritious diet that one can expect to have a healthy baby.

Prevention of Diseases
A healthy diet is said to play an important part in preventing the occurrence of diseases. Various heart diseases can be prevented with the intake of a healthy diet. It is possible to reduce the sugar levels by taking in a healthy diet and keep the diabetes at bay. People suffering from diabetes are greatly benefited by such changes in the diet. Unnecessary intake of salt is one of the causes for increase in blood pressure. Dietary changes for a hypertensive person helps in controlling the levels of blood pressure.

Immune System Improvement
The ingestion of vegetable-rich diet is important from the point of improving immune system. The ingredients such as iron, vitamin C, vitamin B, folic acid, etc. present in healthy foods are responsible for this improvement. In this age of fast pace life and deadlines, we tend to eat junk foods and fast foods. Eating this food to satisfy our hunger rather than to maintain our body is a shortcut taken by many and the worst affected are the teenagers.

How Do You Eat Healthy

The health of a person depends largely on what food is supplied for nourishing the body. But, how do we make these changes in our diet. Consulting a dietitian or nutritionist is the best way of getting an idea about what to eat and what to avoid. Based on the specifications provided by the dietitian, necessary changes should be made to the diet. It is a general misconception that intake of fatty foods like ghee, butter and other dairy products have to be reduced to zero. The fact however, is that dairy products act as lubricants in the proper functioning of the body systems. Taking appropriate steps to keep these nutrients up to a desired level in the body is necessary. Consulting a medical practitioner should help in obtaining the desired results.

Benefits of Healthy Diet and Exercise

Exercises and diet are the two important things which drive our body systems towards a state of good health. It is not possible to rely only on either of these to attain a healthy body. Regular exercise maintains a balance between the nutrients consumed and those used up by the body. Exercise helps in making the best use of nutrients by converting some part of it into muscles which are most needed for strength and by preventing your body from being obese.

It is said that the human body is very much like a machine which needs lubrication and proper care. The way machines need to be kept in a proper manner, the body too should be maintained with a proper lifestyle, and following a healthy diet. Taking all the appropriate steps should allow us to avail the benefits of healthy eating.

Healthy Meals for Your Kids

Kids are too ignorant about eating. Their liking about particular food may lead them to deficiency diseases. You need some simple and easy healthy meal ideas for kids.

There comes a time in every mother’s life when she will have to deal with the fear of her kids taking to junk food or becoming picky eaters. And since it is pretty obvious that every mother wants her kids to have healthy meals and build a good immune system so that there are no deficiencies, the ever present conundrum will always put her on a quest to find healthy meal options. Then that is exactly what this piece is all about. It will give you some basic ideas on how to plan meals for kids and what to include in the same.

Planning for Kids’ Meals
Timings for Having Food Should be Fixed

Make sure that you keep a check on the kind of food kids are eating and the meal times as well. If you do not feed them at a time when they are hungry, they will end up stuffing on unhealthy food. Which is not something you want.

Kids Should have Breakfast

Make sure that you include breakfast in your kids’ diet. If this habit is inculcated from the very beginning then the kids will not have a problem following it throughout their lives.

Include Variety in the Kids’ Food

Kids need variety, so aim to mix up the foods and do not stick to the same menu all through the week.

Presentation of Food is the Key to make the Kids Eat

Kids don’t know the importance of eating their greens and the like, so chances are they’ll refuse to have them. That is why it is your duty to make those dishes interesting for them. Make sure to include a small treat or a favorite food in most meals. This will make them feel motivated to have the food. Telling them about how the food will help them get energy like their favorite cartoon character or the like. In this manner you can make sure that the kids eat well and right.
Quick and Healthy Meals

Sandwiches and Tortillas

Sandwiches are one of the easiest and convenient to make dishes for kids as they provide high nutrition. The trick is to make it interesting with ingredients like chicken, eggs, ham, and beef and include colorful vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Change the tastes by adding different sauces and spices. Include side dishes like boiled vegetables with it and you’ll have some of the best meals on a budget.

Rice

Rice is another favorite among kids. Make it more interesting and healthy for them by changing the way in which you make the rice. Add ingredients like chicken, seafood, and vegetables to the rice or make it a simple form of cumin or saffron rice. Simple, tasty, and nutritious. Provide a side dish of mashed potatoes and you’re good to go.

Soup

Variety upon variety of choices are available for this one. Chicken, mushroom, and vegetable soups are always a favorite. Make use of healthier ingredients like spinach, carrot or beet soup when kids don’t like it in any other medium. Once in a while also include alphabet and macaroni soup and you’ll have happy troopers at that table.

Noodles and Spaghetti

Simple noodles, or spaghetti and meatballs―these traditional recipes make for some interesting choices as well. Use a variety of ingredients and spices to make them more interesting.

Fun and Healthy Foods

Beans and toast

Jam/marmalade/peanut butter and bread

Hummus and pita

French omelet

Fruit dish spiced with pepper

Salads with assorted salad dressings

It might seem like planning healthy meals for kids is a gargantuan task and no mean feat to achieve, but now that you have been given an idea of how to go about it, as well as have a few recipes for the same, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble coming up with some healthy and tasty meals.