More veggies, less drama

Get Your Kids To Eat More Veggies

Parents, we’ve all been there. Despite our best efforts to encourage healthy eating, we still struggle to ensure our kids are getting enough vegetables in their diet. Most parents understand the importance of providing a wide variety of vegetables for their kids to enjoy; however, getting them to actually eat those vegetables is typically easier said than done.

According to the CDC, 90% of children (ages 2-18 years) aren’t eating enough vegetables. In fact, only 2% of teens are getting their recommended servings of daily veggies.

So, what’s a parent to do? When it feels like you’ve tried everything and the temptation to give up is stronger than the desire to stick it out, give these mealtime hacks a try instead:

Lead By Example

That’s right. As parents, we can’t just talk the talk, we have to walk the walk, too. We can offer our kids nutritious meals and encourage them to eat more veggies all we want, but if our behavior doesn’t match what we’re asking of them, they will notice.

In fact, a recent study out of the University of Michigan proved that it’s less about mealtime conversation and verbal encouragement and more about exhibiting the desired mealtime behavior. So, do the work, and lead by example.

Get Them Involved

Involving kids in meal-time decisions can help give them a sense of control. Meal planning and grocery shopping are great activities to invite your kids to participate in. This is also a great way to discover which vegetables they like best and even encourage trying something new. When it comes to meal prep, letting them pick how they want their vegetables prepared (raw or cooked) is also a simple way to get them involved.

Another great idea is planting a small vegetable garden. When kids are involved in where their vegetables come from, they’re more likely to be open to trying them.

Repeated Exposure

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the getting kids to eat their veggies mostly comes down to repetition. This means that the more you expose your child to vegetables, the more likely they will eat them.

Be consistent. Offer at least a small serving of veggies at every meal. Even if they only take a few bites, that’s more than they would have eaten otherwise and they’ll be more likely to try again at their next meal.

It’s All About The Pairing

Let’s face it, if kids have the option of eating pizza or broccoli, they’re probably going to eat the pizza first. And once they fill up on their favorite foods, they won’t be hungry enough to eat their veggies.

Consider pairing the veggies with a less desirable main dish that the kids still enjoy but isn’t quite as popular. Get creative! veggies don’t just have to be a side to the main course. If pizza is the go-to dinner of choice, why not add some veggie toppings? Another great strategy is offering veggies before dinner is ready. When kids are hungry, they’ll eat more, even if that means eating foods they normally wouldn’t.

 

Ready to get your kids active and do something good for their health? Try a martial arts training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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© 2019-2021 Invictus Martial Arts

All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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How To Fuel Your Body To Maximize Your Fitness Results

Fuel Your Body, Maximize Your Fitness Results

The difference between a good and a bad workout often comes down to how you fuel your body. What you eat and when you eat it determines how hard you can push yourself during a training session. It also impacts how well your muscles recover afterwards.

Many people believe not eating before a workout will help them burn more fat. That’s simply not the case. In fact, not eating before a workout can lead to feeling lethargic or even faint during a workout. The main goal of eating before a workout is to prime our metabolism and replenish the glycogen that supplies our energy needs to our body.

So, how do you fuel your body for a successful workout without limiting your performance? The solution is a simple nutritional recipe for fitness success: drink plenty of water, and eat good carbs and lean protein.

Here are a few tips on how to best fuel your body to maximize your training experience.

Stay Hydrated

We can’t stress this enough: stay hydrated. Drinking water before you begin your workout is crucial. The amount of water your body needs will vary from person to person based on size and muscle mass. Do your own personal research to determine your optimal hydration requirements.  The goal is to be fully hydrated within an hour of starting your workout. This is because the act of drinking water only starts the hydration process and our bodies need time to fully benefit. During a high-intensity workout, aim to drink water every 20-30 minutes to stay hydrated as you exercise. Keep in mind, when you drink water during your workout, you’re not just putting liquid back into your body, you’re also replenishing electrolytes, sodium, and glucose. Even better, drinking water can help regulate your body temperature and even prevent muscle cramps.

 

Eat Regularly Throughout The Day

We get it. Life happens and suddenly we find ourselves skipping meals and making excuses. The benefit of disciplining ourselves to eat at regular intervals throughout the day is that we can better maintain proper blood sugar levels and energy levels as well.  Aim to eat about 300 to 500 calories about two hours before your workout. Remember, your body can only use food it’s already digested. Eating easily digestible food a couple of hours before you exercise will provide your body with the time it needs to properly fuel itself without making you feel too full.

Convinced you just can’t make that happen? Even just eating a 50 to 100 calorie snack consisting of fast-digesting carbs right before your workout can provide a quick burst of energy to fuel your fitness. Some great choices to eat on the go are fruits like oranges, bananas, apples, or raisins.

 

Just Say “No” To Some Foods

When it comes to fueling a great workout, avoid foods high in saturated fats like fried foods or pizza. In general, these kinds of foods take a long time to digest and tend to sit very heavy in your stomach. A small serving of good fats is much more ideal, such as half an avocado or a hand-full of almonds.

Additionally, while foods high in fiber are great for digestive health, consuming large servings of foods high in fiber right before a workout could upset your stomach. Consuming high-fiber foods like broccoli, lentils, or certain cereals before a workout draws blood flow to your digestive system rather than your muscles. This can limit the amount of oxygen, sugar, and amino acids your muscles receive as you exercise.

Lastly, avoid carbonated beverages like soda and seltzer before working out. These drinks can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. They also contain significant amounts of sodium, which can cause dehydration.

 

Fuel Your Recovery

Jump start your recovery process by consuming good food within 30 to 45 minutes after completing your workout. Look for foods consisting of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein. Whole grains and lean meats work best for restoring glycogen stores and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Fruit smoothies or protein shakes are great options if you’re crunched for time.

In general, macronutrients are key for maximizing your body’s recovery after a great workout. Protein helps repair and build muscles. Carbohydrates replenish your body’s glycogen stores. Good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, eaten in moderation, have also been shown to aid in muscle growth after a workout.

Finally, don’t skip the water. Replenishing lost water and electrolytes will help you maximize the benefits of your workout.

 

Now that you’ve got some great tips for fueling your workout, try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

Creative Commons License

© 2019-2021 Invictus Martial Arts

All rights reserved. Used with permission. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Try A Class >>

 

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