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Get organized for family health

Healthy diet foods include green salads
Healthy diet foods include green salads
M. Earhart

Make 2010 a healthier year by planning meals that contain omega-3 fatty acids, less saturated fat, and fermented probiotic-packed foods.  Use fiber rich vegetables and whole grains.  You'll cut calories and costs while improving your family's chances of avoiding diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

  • Have vegetarian meals two or more times a week.  Try tofu, quinoa, brown rice or portabello mushrooms instead of meat.
  • Enjoy wild-caught cold water fish two or more times a week.  The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils enhance brain and cardiovascular health.
  • Buy locally grown organic produce in season.  When fruits and vegetables are picked early and shipped long distances they have more of the chemicals that naturally resist fungus and protect them from being eaten by birds before they are ripe.  These salicylates and amines can contribute to behavior problems in young children; they are most concentrated in artificial colors, flavors and preservatives added to processed meats, cheeses and foods marketed to children.
  • Add more greens; be sure salads are served with meals.  A good way to incorporate fresh dark green leafy vegetables in a child's diet is to add spinach to smoothies.  Frozen bananas, vanilla, dates and water blended with a handful of spinach leaves tastes great and has a lovely green color.
  • Resist the temptation to eat out.  Besides contributing to weight gain, restaurant food depletes your pocketbook and your metabolism. You and your family will avoid a whole slew of chemicals, preservatives, and harmful fats.
  • Add fermented foods to boost your family's immune system and improve digestive health.  Next to the yogurt in most supermarkets or healthfood stores you'll find kefir, a much more potent probiotic powerhouse.  Non-dairy alternatives are soy varieties, cultured vegetables, kombucha fermented tea, and kefir granules that can be added to the water in young coconuts.