Scorching summer heat drives people to the beaches to get away from it all. The negative aspects that affect you after a day at the beach are poor nutrition, lack of hydration and fierce sunburn that can take a toll of your health after a relaxing dip in the beach water. Utilize your time at the beach in the best possible way by giving your beach day a healthy makeover.
Bring Healthy Snacks
Cafes and small eateries in the beach don’t provide healthy options for eating. It is better to bring your own food to save money and eat right. Registered dietitian nutritionists suggest few healthy beach-day eats:
Stock your vehicle with plenty of water. Pack your cooler with ice and water. Refresh yourself with a thermos of cold water and ice with lemon or mint. If you crave for something fizzy, trade soda for calorie-free sparkling water.
Maximize Food Safety
While a day spent at the beach is relaxing, a spell of food poisoning can spoil everything. Be precautious and carry your beach snacks accordingly, and don’t leave perishable food sitting out for longer than one to two hours.
Just before leaving to the beach, wash your cooler and tote thoroughly. Always start with a clean cooler, washing it out with mild soap and water and rinsing thoroughly. Keep reusable bags clean by washing them on a regular basis to stay away from bacteria.
Load your cooler with plenty of ice cubes if you have decided to take perishable foods to the beach. Your cooler should maintain food at a temperature of 40°F or lower. Keep a thermometer with you in the cooler and store coolers in the shade, if possible.
Follow these do’s and don’t’s while cooking out at the beach:
Certain beaches are not equipped with running tap water. It is crucial to carry your hand sanitizer and use it before and after cooking or eating food. Bring along some empty garbage bags to collect the trash and make sure that you don’t leave any waste on the beach.
Stay hydrated with foods such as fresh fruits and veggies that have ample water content in them. Watermelon or musk melon is a great snack for a summer day at the beach.
A cold beer on a hot day seems tempting, but drink alcohol cautiously and in moderate quantities. Swimming after drinking large quantities of alcohol is dangerous as many studies prove that this kind of an action leads to numerous drowning deaths. Warning signs of dehydration include:
Be happy, healthy and have fun at the beach with the right mix of nutritious snacks, food safety tips and hydrating beverages, all this with a dose of sunscreen.
Kids are on the right track to eating and growing healthy when they follow the recommended diet charts and pediatric counsel for their daily servings. Sadly, today’s generation suffers from “portion distortion”. Let’s get a brief glimpse of some of the definitions related to the eating habits of children.
Know your “Serving Size” and “Portion Size”
A serving usually adheres to a clear-cut quantity of food or drink expressed using measures such as cups, grams or tablespoons. This is the common term used to denote servings in diet charts (the quantity kids should consume) and the serving size on Nutrition Facts labels, which provide the foundation for rest of the nutrition information on the label. The serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts Label varies from the diet chart recommendations on serving size. Diet chart recommendations are in fact smaller that the Nutrition Facts Label. Nutrition Facts Panel is explained in detail at www.firsteatright.com.
A portion generally denotes the quantity of food that ends up on the plate. A portion size is the total amount of food consumed by the kids during breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. Portions can be bigger or smaller than the recommended serving size.
Tabulated are some useful tips that would help anyone with correlating the exact portion sizes for the different food groups:
Protein Foods Group:
Babies eat whatever their mothers feed them till they feel full. But as they grow up, they acquire the ability to think and start choosing whatever they like. This starts right from the food they eat to the dress they wear. The big problem here is to make our kids choose healthy foods without nagging them constantly.
Getting them to eat healthy food is no magic. But that’s not the reason to give up either. Plan every meal of the day, especially the way they are presented. When we are attracted by the look of the food at restaurants why not try doing the same at our home where we take most of our meals?
Spot the Right Location
Just as location is important to sell a property in real estate business, the same holds good for food choices of children too. Nutrition science professionals propose that healthy foods placed at the right place with the correct lighting can grab the attention of a child. Their research shows that a bowl of attractive fruits under a bright light at school increases fruit sales. Following the same technique of placing colorful fresh fruits in attractive containers would catch your child’s interest at home too.
Healthy Foods Everywhere
Stockpile the required nutritious ingredients for meals and snacks to prepare healthful foods to your kids. Place healthy foods and remove junk foods from every place your kids’ eyes and hands might wander to. Fill your refrigerators, freezers and cupboards with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Make your family aware of these foods in a smart and tempting way. Practicing healthy eating habits together as a family is essential to raise healthy eaters and tips to eat healthy food are available at www.firsteatright.com.
Put on your Thinking Caps
Shapes often are a big temptation for many kids. Whole-grain wraps cut into smiley shapes instead of the traditional sandwich, a colorful and nutritious smoothie rather than a glass of milk with a fruit or veggie kebabs with sweet or savory yogurt dips are huge attractions among the children.
Spice it Up
Though presenting foods in different shapes is fun, it is not a necessity. The result is to expose the children to a variety of foods and textures that keep their interest lively for healthy foods. Instead of a bland monotone meal of chicken, mashed potatoes, regular pasta and a banana you can decoy your kid with whole-grain pasta, crunchy green beans and melon balls.
Kids Follow Suit when Parents Eat Right
Children are great imitators of their parents. Instilling healthy eating habits in children is no tough job if you are a healthy eater yourself. If your child sees you with a bowl of cut fruits for snacks or a bowl of colorful veggies along with your lunch, he/she will automatically follow suit. All the food styling and luring is secondary to setting an example practically.
A kitchen supply store is sure to help you with every culinary tool required. But a novice home cook is yet to explore his/her kitchenette tool needs. The given below list of kitchen essentials for cooking is sure to act as your first-aid guide to help you prepare healthy and tasty meals at home.
Mixing bowls: Be wise to choose the glass or metal mixing bowls in various sizes of your choice. Avoid plastic bowls as they retain odor, are hard to maintain and can go out of shape due to varying temperatures of the ingredients used.
High-quality knives: Start with a paring knife, small and medium chef's or Santoku knives and a serrated knife. Don't forget to buy a sharpener.
Several cutting boards: Cutting boards can be made of wooden, plastic or bamboo with their sole purpose serving to act as a strong base to cut anything. Select any boards with the intention of maintaining them clean and dry. Have two different boards for meat and produce.
Wooden spoons: Keep stock of wooden spoons as they are handy to use on pans and don’t transfer heat, all these advantageous to you at a minimal cost.
A small and large whisk: Always update to the latest technology available in any domain. Don’t keep whisking ingredients with a fork when you have an option to use the latest available whisking tools in the market like the large whisk for whisking vinaigrette and dressings and the small whisk for aerated flour and beating eggs.
Heat-resistant spatula: Buy a heat-resistant spatula to serve your needs for hot pans while a normal spatula may just serve you to scrape any bowl.
Long tongs: Long tongs are a necessity in every kitchen to make hot rotis or to lift and turn any food over heat. Keep your hands safe by using these in the oven.
Grater: Start with a basic grater for cheese, garlic, ginger or citrus fruit zest and update yourself to different sized ones once you start full-fledged cooking.
Glass measuring cups: Glass measuring cups are simply the best ones for liquid volume measuring as you can clearly see the meniscus. Though glass must be handled with care it will not deform like plastic.
Strainer and salad spinner: A strainer or colander is a bowl used to strain off the excess water from any food after washing. This utensil is perfect for draining water off the pasta, fruits, vegetables, lentils and beans. Salad spinners often replace strainers to dry any leafy green vegetable. For exotic salad greens that can be added to your salad, visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Basic pots and pans: Rather than purchasing an entire set of expensive cookware, try to slowly purchase individual pans that suit your needs and requirements. You will get an idea as you start cooking various dishes. Begin with a pair of large and small sauté, pans, a soup pot, a sauce pan and a Dutch oven or the commonly called ‘French oven’ which can be used on the stove or in an oven. These pans help in preparing healthy and nutritious foods as these utensils require only minimal oil for cooking purpose.
Electronic scale: These scales help you with the exact measures as mentioned in cook books and recipes as these guides call for grams instead of cup measures. It aids someone novice to cooking familiarize with portion sizes.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.