We have several questions that our health professionals have answered this month. Check out a couple below, and stay tuned for more throughout the rest of September!
Q. How can I help my family be less dependent on sugar?
A. Cutting back on sugar can be difficult so it is important to start small and make gradual changes. Do not completely cut out desserts but limit the portion size and how often they are consumed. Limit sugar sweetened beverages such as soda and focus on drinking more water. Choose to not offer sweets as a reward. Focus instead on rewarding good behavior with non-food items like stickers or a playdate. Try to make fruit the “everyday dessert.” Make holiday traditions that do not revolve around food such as an Easter egg hunt with small toys in the eggs or some other prize besides candy.
Q. What makes a healthy meal besides vegetables?
A. Healthy meals means a lot of things. In general, try to have multiple food groups in each meal. That includes protein, dairy, and grains as well as fruits and vegetables. For protetins, choose lower fat options such as skinless chicken or turkey and leaner cuts of pork or beef. Choose white fish and salmon to include some healthier fats as well. For dairy, cook with reduced-fat cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream, etc. When using grains, they should be at least 50% whole grains throughout the day (whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta or cereal, etc.) so include them whenever possible. Fruits and vegetables should make up at least half of the plate at each meal. For more information, visit choosemyplate.gov for how to include all of these healthy things in each meal.
Q. How do I breastfeed my baby without having my toddler feel left out?
There are several ways to connect with both your baby and your toddler. First, think of activities you can do with your toddler while breastfeeding. Some ideas are reading them a book, singing them songs, telling stories, etc. Or, think of quiet activities they can do close by you such as coloring, playing with toys, etc. If this is still too distracting, make special time to spend with them when you are not breast feeding or busy with the baby. This can happen when your baby is taking their nap if they are on different schedules, or while your spouse or another adult is home to help with the baby so your time is free to spend with them.