Easy Ways to Reduce Calories Consumption

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We seem to live in a super-sized world. We’ve become accustomed to large portions, clean plates and stuffing ourselves. This has led to an epidemic of obesity and it is affecting our children in greater numbers. However, children don’t respond well to severe limitations. Really, who does?

They respond better to gradual changes and new habits. One great way to help your child gain control over their weight and their eating habits is to reduce the calories they consume at each meal. To help you with this process we’ve provided five easy ways to reduce calorie consumption.

#1 Replace high calorie ingredients in recipes. It’s often really easy to lower the calories in a meal by making a single replacement. For example, if you’re making Sloppy Joes you can replace the ground beef with ground turkey. It’ll taste just as good but your child will be consuming significantly fewer calories. Simple replacements are easy. Buy low-fat milk. Change your peanut butter and jelly to low or no sugar options.

#2 Cut the normal portion size in half. We’re accustomed to large portions. Many also still follow the old “Eat everything on your plate” mentality. That’s fine, but when your plate contains a thousand calories it’s easy to gain weight quickly. Cut back on the portions you serve your child, particularly the meats and starches. For example, perhaps you’re serving chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. Give your child a drumstick, a dollop of mashed potatoes and a healthy serving of beans.

#3 Skip the sugary drinks. One of the biggest contributors to calories are in the things we drink. Children consume chocolate milk, soda and juice at an alarming rate. These are all essentially empty calories. Make chocolate milk an occasional treat, eliminate the soda and reduce juice to no more than one glass a day. Water really is what everyone should be drinking. It may take some time to develop a habit of drinking water, but it’s the best thing for you and your child and it’s calorie free.

#4 Cut back on processed foods. Processed foods – foods that come in boxes, cans and bags – generally contains more calories, chemicals and fat. Natural food – food that is grown or raised – is generally much better for all of us. When you cut back on the processed foods your child eats, you’re helping them cut back on calories, sugar, and fat.

#5 Provide healthy snacks. Snack time may actually be the time when your child consumes the most calories. They eat things like cookies, candy, ice cream and other sugar-laden treats. Snacks are an important part of a child’s daily food needs. They help keep a child’s blood sugar and energy levels balanced. However, sugary snacks need to be replaced with healthy snacks in order to receive those benefits. Get creative. Cheese, yogurt, fruit, crackers, home cooked meats, and dips can all be used to create healthy and kid friendly snacks.

Help your child gain control over their weight. Embrace these five calorie reduction ideas. Your child will begin losing weight without having to deal with dieting, restriction or elimination. They’ll also adopt healthier eating habits and live a better life.

To your health and that of your child,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Specialist in Family and Consumer Studies

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