Healthy Diet for You Results in More Energy and Healthy Children Too!
Healthy eating gives you the energy you need to be a Mom!!
Being a Mom takes a lot of energy. Not telling you anything you didn’t know, right? One of the most common complaints of Moms is feeling tired all the time. I can’t promise you that you will not be tired after a long day, but I can give a few tips that may boost your energy and even set a good example of a healthy lifestyle for your child! After all, that is one of every Mom’s goals, a healthy and happy child.
Much of our energy depends on what we put in our mouth. When my kids were little, I must admit that many days I couldn’t even tell you half of what I put in my mouth! A bite of PBJ, a cookie, maybe the last of a yogurt someone didn’t eat, and then chocolate when I would crash in the afternoon. That type of eating did not help my energy level. With just a few changes I learned that I felt better.
Moms need protein.
- Protein gives us sustained energy that won’t crash in the afternoon.
- We need 8-12 ounces of lean protein a day. It is best to have 3-4 ounces at every meal especially at breakfast…think the size of a deck of cards.
- When you crave sweet, try a little protein instead.
- Easy protein sources include peanut butter, eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy products, nuts, soy, humus, protein shakes, beans and soy.
Moms need 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits a day.
- Vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins and minerals, are low in fat.
- Think rainbow colors, eat a variety.
- Prepare several days’ worth of vegetables and fruit and store in containers in the refrigerator, grab and go!
Moms need healthy fats.
- Stay away from refined or hydrogenated oils and trans fat. Most packaged foods have these types of fats. (Yes Oreos have them, darn)
- Unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the types of fats that are good in a diet
- Monounsaturated examples: olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, avocado, and nuts.
- Polyunsaturated examples: corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, soybeans, and seafood.
- Omega 3 fats are shown to lower blood fats (triglycerides) which improves heart health. It is also needed for brain development in children. Salmon is a good source. Your body can make this good fat from walnuts and flax too. 3 grams a day is best!
Moms need whole grains.
- Refined grains have less fiber and nutrients and your body will convert them to sugars.
- Try eating oatmeal for breakfast, switching to whole grain pastas and breads and trying some new grains…there is more than just brown rice!
Moms should try more organics and fresh foods.
- Avoid foods with a lot of artificial ingredients. Keep it simple! The more words on the label, probably the less healthy it is!
- Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to eat strictly organic, fresh is best! But remember, even lunch at a fast food place occasionally is fine; it is how you eat over the long-term that makes the difference. (so an occasional Oreo is fine!)
Moms need vitamins.
- Start taking a multi vitamin with iron and a calcium supplement with vitamin D. Women need extra iron and calcium and most of us don’t get enough in our diet.
Moms need less refined sugar and salt.
- Sugar is something that many of us crave when we are down; want some comfort or a little energy. The spike in blood sugar will give you short-term energy, but you crash quickly.
- Try to eat less than 48 grams of sugar a day which equals about 12 teaspoons. The average American eats 30 teaspoons of sugar per day.
- Cut out soda and drink only 6 ounces of juice a day.
- Read labels, try to keep sugar out of the first 3 or 4 ingredients on food. Anything that ends in “ose” is a sugar!
- Limit sodium to 2400 mg a day. Do not add salt to your food and cut back on canned and processed foods.
Moms need more fiber.
- We need 25 grams of fiber a day. The average American eats about 12 grams. Increasing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help you eat more fiber!
Just a few changes every day will make a difference. Slowly the changes become a lifestyle and your child will adapt to the same lifestyle too! Just think fresh…that will keep you on track. Little changes bring big differences in your health. Here is to enough energy to keep up with your little one, so put away the Oreo and pick up that tangerine….you will be happy you did!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.