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1 in 5 Parents Too Busy to Cook During Pandemic: Fast, Healthy Options

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Share on PinterestA new study found that many parents say their children were more likely to eat fast food during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, health experts say there are alternatives to eating that are quick, easy, and nutritious. mixetto / Getty Images

  • According to a new survey, one in five parents said they were feeding their children more fast food than before the pandemic.
  • Parents of overweight children reported eating out at least twice a week.
  • The reasons given were being too busy or too stressed.
  • However, experts say that having a healthy meal at home doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
  • They suggest that working on healthy behaviors rather than dieting is the best approach for children.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families found options for healthier diets and more physical activity.

For others, however, it meant more stress and less exercise as the home shifted to school and work.

This has also made it difficult for parents to find the time or energy to prepare always nutritious meals at home.

According to the University of Michigan Health’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital national child health survey, roughly one in five parents said their children had started eating fast food more often than before the pandemic.

The survey, which included responses from 2,019 parents of children aged 3 to 18, found that roughly one in six parents said their child eats fast food at least twice a week.

Parents who reported their children were overweight also reported their children ate fast food twice a week, compared to parents who reported their child was a healthy weight for their age and height.

When asked why they couldn’t prepare meals at home, around 40 percent of parents said they were just too busy.

About a fifth of parents said they felt too stressed.

These barriers to eating healthy have been most commonly reported by families with overweight children.

However, nutritionists say putting together a healthy meal at home doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. It doesn’t necessarily have to be cooked once.

Dr. Mary-Jon Ludy, Chair of the Department of Public Health and Associated Health at Bowling Green State University’s College of Health and Human Services and Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition, suggests using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a starting point for planning your meals.

“In summary, half of our plates should be filled with fruits and vegetables, half of our grains should be whole, proteins should be lean, dairy products should be low in fat, and variety is encouraged,” said Ludy.

Some of the simple meal suggestions Ludy offered included:

  • For breakfast, low-fat natural yogurt with fresh or frozen fruits, chopped nuts and whole grain muesli.
  • For lunch, a nut butter sandwich on wholemeal bread filled with sliced ​​apples or bananas, with baby carrots or cucumber as a side dish and a low-fat milk to drink.
  • For dinner, whole grain tortillas with black beans or shredded chicken, brown rice, avocado puree, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and grated cheese.
  • As a snack between meals, hummus with sliced ​​peppers or whole grain crackers.

“These are great options,” said Ludy, “because they require minimal prep time, healthy carbohydrates and lean proteins are balanced, have a variety of fillings / additives, and are simple enough to involve children in prep.”

Therese S. Waterhous, PhD, RDN, CEDRD-S, an in-house eating disorders expert in Corvallis, Oregon, said the best way to lose weight, especially in children, is to take a nutrition-free approach. Diets don’t work, she explained, and most people put back any weight they lose.

“Instead of dieting, it’s good to choose healthy behaviors and work on them,” she said.

She said food shouldn’t be taboo when eating, but rather focus on optimizing health so that children can grow and reach their potential.

She suggested that making young children or teenagers feel bad about their bodies was “critical”. This leads to stress and, in some cases, eating disorders.

“Weight stigma is very harmful to children and is prevalent in our society,” said Waterhous. “Instead of focusing on weight, it is best to focus on these health behaviors.”

Instead of demonizing certain foods, focus on getting enough fuel, enough protein, enough vitamins and minerals, she said.

In particular, she said, most young people are not getting enough products that provide essential nutrients and fiber. She suggests adding two to three servings of vegetables or fruit to each meal. One serving is about 1/2 cup or a medium-sized piece of fruit, she added.

However, even with the best of intentions, there can be times when a quick meal at a restaurant is the option that best fits your busy schedule.

Ludy offers the following tips to help you make the best choices when eating out:

  • Add vegetables whenever you can. For example, ask for lettuce and tomatoes on sandwiches, peppers and onions on burritos, or mushrooms and olives on pizza.
  • Choose beverages like water, 100 percent fruit juice, or simple low-fat milk instead of sodas or sweet tea.
  • Opt for side dishes like apple slices or carrot sticks instead of french fries or fries.
  • Order small or child-sized portions.
  • Try to make fast food only occasionally.
  • Model healthy eating for your children by making healthy choices for yourself.

Waterhou also suggests that you can get a sandwich or fried chicken from the grocery store as a base for your meal. Then add simple options like a fruit salad, a mixed salad, or vegetables at home to complete your meal.

To add some starch to your chicken, you could have rice, mashed potatoes, or a slice of bread, she said. You can even prepare your side dishes in advance and reheat them for dinner.

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Healthy Eating

Shoppers Are Delighted Over 7 Costco Items They “Didn’t Know” Existed

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That feeling, when you visit Costco for a small handful of grocery basics and a product you haven’t even looked for, just pops in your eye. Little did you know this brand you love made this! Or wait – how had you never noticed this meal before? This weekend, Costco members from across the country are touting new discoveries on social media that many say will likely become a staple of their grocery orders. Have you tried these Costco gemstones?

Read on to see which Costco products sparked curiosity and conversation at the end of the week. Even if you’re working on your weekend grocery list, don’t miss out on saying Costco members these are the best frozen meals out there.

Earlier this week u / 305golf announced to the Costco subreddit, “Lotus Biscoff Ice Cream.

If you’ve flown Delta, you may know these cookies that the brand says are still baked entirely at their facility in Belgium, just as they have been since 1932. Many fans of Lotus Biscoff love these toasted, sweet little biscuits made in Coffee are dipped. But ice cream parlors? We are fascinated too.

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Courtesy Burpy

On Friday u / shiant shared a trunk shot with the words: “My Costco haul today.”

That grocery order got people talking – and one of the most talked-about items was the Costco Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. U / Donkeyman Picklebutt asked, “How’s the meatloaf? I’ve tried to get it in the past.”

After a number of comments, the general consensus among these members is that this meatloaf is filling and filling, and that the mashed potatoes are actually real and not flakes.

RELATED: 13 Best Healthy Meatloaf Recipes For Weight Loss

U / shiant’s inclusion of Kirkland Signature Broccoli Cheddar Soup in the post also sparked discussion of Costco soups, with u / ChaserNeverRests commenting, “Oooh, I didn’t see that on my last visit. I hope we get it soon! “

Soup is this season – check out 23 cozy soup recipes that are perfect for weight loss this fall

Hot Pockets Sausage Egg Cheese Croissant Crust

u / TRX808 said, “I need a box of these hot pocket breakfast bags. I’ve never seen them in the local warehouses.”

U / discodawg02 announced on Friday that they have just joined the Costco subreddit. “Was wondering if anyone else has put together a large collection of these cool little tiramisu glasses?”

With 159 comments at the time of posting and counting, it is clear that many members are fans of these Italian sweet treats.

RELATED: Giada De Laurentiis just released the easiest fall appetizer

Earlier this week u / RiverRooted announced, “Pumpkin Spice Loaf spotted in the wild. Delicious.”

U / PM_MeYourAvocados cited nutrition facts indicating that 1/10 of this pumpkin bread weighs 420 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 35 grams of sugar.

Sounds hard, but using pumpkin in healthier ways can be amazing to you. If you’re craving the whole pumpkin right now, check out an important effect of eating pumpkin, says nutritionist.

Yes, amazing, but don’t get too excited. We need to precede this by stating that u / zebedeeAU called this a “New Offer in an Aussie Costco Food Court”.

But as some commentators noted, it’s definitely interesting to see what the Costco Food Court has to offer in other parts of the world. For some of the latest information on Costco Food Courts near your home, check out the Most Unhealthy Costco Food Court Orders, Say Dietitians.

For more information on Costco and grocery stores, please visit:

Editor’s Note: Some images have been used to depict the mentioned products and technical choices in user comments have been retained in order to preserve the original quote.

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Healthy Eating

How to use carobs in your diet

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Carob is a very nutritious fruit that grows all over the Algarve with many health benefits – suitable for vegans, nut intolerants, among others.

If you’ve been to the Algarve before and been paying attention, you’ve likely seen carob trees in your neighborhood and carob trees fallen to the ground. After reading this article, the next time you see them on the ground, you will be looking at these fruits from a different perspective.

Cheryl Smith, a passionate cook who uses local ingredients to create great, healthy, natural vegetarian food, explained: The Portuguese news what are the main health benefits of this abundant fruit in the Algarve.

In the 1990s in South Africa, she began participating in many live demos at local health facilities and quickly fell in love with plant-based foods, raw foods and healthy eating.

“I learned about carob because some of the recipes presented live included the end product, carob, such as the carob flour and carob pieces. The carob chunks were large, irregular chunks of carob (looks like chocolate chunks) that were sold by weight that I didn’t see for sale in the Algarve, even though I saw carob seeds, ”said Cheryl Smith.

Nine health benefits

  • Carob is a source of B complex vitamins and contains B1, B2 and B3;
  • Is high in calcium for healthy bones and teeth;
  • Contains Vitamin A for Healthy Eyesight;
  • Is rich in antioxidants that can greatly reduce the risk of many types of diseases;
  • It is a way to include more fiber in your diet because it is high in insoluble fiber;
  • It’s caffeine-free, making it an ideal drink before bed;
  • Carob is Gluten-Free – “If you want to make gluten-free carob, use carob flour mixed with almond flour,” suggests Cheryl.
  • And is lower in sugar and fat than some chocolates, which makes them a good choice if you have diabetes.
  • Helps boost your immune system.

Cooking with carob

If you find all of this interesting and want to take advantage of all of these benefits, you may be wondering how to include it in your diet. Cheryl gives you some pointers.

“Carob is perfect at any time of day: First thing in the morning you can serve carob crumpets for breakfast, eat an oat and carob biscuit for your morning snack, enjoy carob and banana bread with tea, prepare a carob sandwich with brie, fig jam and celery , prepare a delicious vegan carob mousse for dessert after dinner or enjoy a carob night drink made with almond milk and cinnamon the last thing in the evening.

In her opinion, carob is “naturally sweet so you don’t need to add sugar or other sweeteners to use it in your favorite recipes.

In addition, “Carob powder can be substituted one for one with cocoa powder in recipes, but if you want to be careful, try swapping the halves first to get a taste of its unique taste. If you want a more intense carob flavor, increase your amount of carob, ”she said.

Workshop with figs on the Funcho

To celebrate the end of the carob harvesting season, which runs between July and the end of August each year, Cheryl hosted a workshop at Figs on the Funcho where she shared her ideas on how to introduce carob into people’s diets in a delicious way can .

For example, she showed the guests “how to make a healthy carob smoothie and add a handful of my favorite leafy vegetable, spinach, to the smoothie drink”.

On her property, Figs on the Funcho, Cheryl has carob trees that she hasn’t been able to harvest because she was gone during harvest time; However, she hopes to collect her carob pods next year.

If you’d like to learn more about carob cooking, contact Cheryl via email cheryl@figsonthefuncho.com for the next Carob Cooking Workshop.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/figsonthefuncho

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/figsonthefuncho/

Website https://figsonthefuncho.com

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Healthy Eating

41 Healthy Air Fryer Recipes That Are So Easy To Make

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Thanks to your hot air fryer, these dishes taste absolutely delicious.

If you want a balanced, nutritious diet, investing in a hot air fryer is a good place to start. This handy device makes it easier (and tastier) than ever to prepare delicious dishes that really taste amazing. Here are some inspirations to get you started.

Sandhy Ahariharan / Via sandhyahariharan.co.uk

Try serving this cauliflower steak as a filling main course on meatless Monday. It tastes fantastic with your favorite cereal or Israeli salad, served with hummus or tzatziki.

Recipe: Cauliflower steaks from the air fryer

Nutrition in the Kitchen / Via Nutritioninthekitch.com

In a sweet, savory and savory mixture of rice wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, lime and garlic, these tofu bites taste great in stir-fries, over rice or simply dipped in your favorite spice.

Recipe: crispy tofu from the hot air fryer

Crews House / Via casadecrews.com

These pork chops are marinated in avocado oil, Dijon mustard, thyme, salt and pepper for just an hour or even overnight. In the hot air fryer, they become wonderfully crispy on the outside and remain super tender on the inside.

Recipe: Dijon Pork Chops Air Fryer

JZ eats / Via jz-eats.com

Steak in the air fryer? You bet. You can achieve a tender, perfectly cooked fillet without turning on your oven or stove.

Recipe: hot air fryer Filet Mignon

Keep the peas / Via keepthepeas.com

Save time for your dinner by frying spaghetti squash right in the air fryer. It takes about 30 minutes and is easy to crush with a fork. Throw it in your favorite pasta sauce and serve with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.

Recipe: air fryer spaghetti squash with fresh herbs

Food52 / Via food52.com

Air-fried with butter, lemon juice, garlic, paprika flakes and broth, this is the easiest shrimp scampi ever. Serve with pasta, orzo, rice, or your favorite cereal.

Recipe: air fryer shrimp scampi

Dash from Mandi / Via dashofmandi.com

Japanese sweet potatoes are more starchy and sweeter than the average sweet potato. Seasoned with salt, pepper, ground mustard and garlic powder, these are a delicious side dish that you will make time and time again.

and recipe: Air fryer Japanese sweet potato wedges

JZ eats / Via jz-eats.com

This recipe calls for ground chicken, but you can try it with turkey, beef, pork, or even salmon. They are ready to eat after about 10 minutes in the air fryer. Try mixing them with pasta and your favorite sauce.

Recipe: Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs

Wanderlust and Wellness / Via wanderlustandwellness.org

Turn canned tuna into a filling dinner with the help of eggs, breadcrumbs, a handful of spices, and most importantly, your hot air fryer.

Recipe: tuna cake from the air fryer

Thin Taste / Via skinnytaste.com

Whip up healthy homemade falafel made from chickpeas, flour, onions, herbs and spices … no deep-frying required.

Recipe: Falafel hot air fryer

Sweet C Designs / Via sweetcsdesigns.com

Shishitos on the stove are delicious, but all that oil splash is agony. Try them on the air fryer for an easy-to-clean side dish. Then sprinkle them with sesame oil and sea salt.

Recipe: Air Fryer Shishito Peppers

Healthier Steps / Via healthiersteps.com

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is no wrong time of day for baked sweet potatoes. Top it off with maple syrup, tahini, peanut butter, or avocado for a filling meal that won’t break the bank.

Recipe: Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato

Let the baking begin / Via letthebakingbegin.com

Winner, winner, steak dinner. Start with whatever meat you have on hand and dice it so that it cooks in the air fryer in no time.

Recipe: Air Fryer Steak Tips

Table For Two Blog / Via tablefortwoblog.com

Thanks to a simple marinade of olive oil, lime, coriander, and spices, this shrimp is possibly the fastest, tastiest, and easiest dinner ever. I love serving it over a bowl of rice with some Tex-Mex toppings like guacamole, pico de gallo, black beans, or corn.

Recipe: Air fryer Spicy coriander, lime and prawns

Pinch Me Good / Via pinchmegood.com

Sliced ​​eggplants are lightly dredged in beaten eggs and breadcrumbs and then air fried until golden brown and crispy. As soon as the eggplant is almost ready, top it with marinara and cheese and let it melt.

Recipe: Air Fryer Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

Sweet peas and saffron / Via sweetpeasandsaffron.com

You only need three ingredients for this side dish: mushrooms, soy sauce and sesame oil. Take it to the next level by using a mixture of different mushrooms like maitakes, baby bellas, and shiitakes.

Recipe: Sesame Air Fryer Mushrooms

Walk into the kitchen / Via runningtothekitchen.com

This seafood dinner tastes and looks totally chic, but you will be shocked how easy it really is.

Recipe: Air Fryer Cod

Ccruff and Steph / Via scruffandsteph.com

Turns out you can make this Chinese classic, barbecue pork (aka Char Siu) right in your own kitchen. The marinade is the most important part. Then your air fryer does the rest of the work.

Recipe: Air Fryer Chinese BBQ Pork

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