Tag Archives: family health

Empty Calories Comic: Vegetarian Awareness Month

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Join the Anderson 5 Day Family Dinner Challenge

On a recent episode of Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, the personable host talked about his own issues with food, and brought up a topic that has been much discussed of late: the family dinner. He began a 5-Day Family Dinner Challenge. What’s the challenge? For 5 nights in a row, cook and eat dinner together as a family. He set the following ground rules:

1) No one can be late
2) No TV or cell phones
3) Everyone has to try everything
4) Every night during dinner, play one game.

For busy moms and dads out there, this type of challenge can seem overwhelming. Many of us struggle to get a balanced meal on the table in a timely fashion, never mind making sure that each member of the family is present and accounted for. Also, Norman Rockwell paintings aside, I’ve yet to see a family with teenagers that doesn’t include at least one sullen face, accompanied by short, terse answers. It’s not exactly a formula that cries out success, is it? Don’t despair – the challenge is not as tough as it seems, and it can be downright fun! Here are some great idea to get you started, and if you’ve decided to take the challenge, let us know!


Tune-In: Anderson Cooper Tackles Our Relationships with Food

Tune in to Anderson Cooper Tuesday, September 27, 2011 as he explores the topic of why we eat what we eat. Anderson will cover the odd relationship many people have with food, including his own personal struggles. He also will try spinach, Brussel sprouts, and coffee for the first time.

A nutritional therapist will chime in and help explain the different types of eaters, and test the audience to determine what kind of tasters they are.

Finally, author Laurie David will join the show and use the concepts from his book The Family Dinner to launch the Anderson Family Dinner Challenge. Together Cooper and David will challenge viewers to cook and eat dinner together five nights in a row.

Simple Ways to Keep it Healthy This School Year

Getting children ready for school can be a daunting task. There are new clothes to buy, new books to pick up, and a plethora of new after school events to add to the schedule.

Perhaps that is why finding time to prepare and provide nutritious meals and snacks can be such a challenge for many parents who want to give their children the best school experience they can. Unfortunately, not giving higher priority to what types of foods our kids eat can actually hurt their performance in school.

You don’t have to carve out hours of time or be an expert chef to ensure that your children eat healthy throughout the school year. In fact, incorporating just a few of the following healthy eating tips can get your family eating well without missing any of the important events that make school time a memorable experience.


7 Family-Friendly Active Day Trips for Fall

By Jenilee Matz

Nowadays, many parents worry their children aren’t getting enough exercise. Too many electronic distractions, video games, social media, and too much screentime. With all the talk about the childhood obesity epidemic, it’s no wonder parents are concerned.

The good news is that you can help your children get moving. Active family day trips are great for everyone. Kids and parents alike will burn calories and enjoy each other’s company. Try one of these activities this weekend. You’ll all have so much fun that you won’t know you’re exercising!

Get in touch with nature. You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. Visit a national park or local nature path. Traipse the trails with your family and stop to take breaks and enjoy the sights. See who can spot certain animals, insects, and plants.


August is Family Fun Month

August is Family Fun month! There are so many options for families to really enjoy each other. Fortunately, there are lots of options beyond watching TV and playing video games together. Here are some great tips on having fun and staying healthy as a family.

Exercise as a Family

A family that exercises together, has a blast together! Here are some great ideas to keep moving as a family.

Commit to Fit for a Fun and Motivating Challenge
August 1st is the final day to sign up for the “Commit to Fit” challenge. Sign the whole family up and earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award together- a great way to track and learn new ways to get moving.


Commit to Fit for a Fun and Motivating Challenge

Getting fit can be tough enough, but doing it alone can be even worse. There’s good news for all Americans who need a little help, and maybe even a little incentive, to get moving.

Competitor Group, Inc., the parent company of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, has recently joined forces with the President’s Challenge. Together the two groups have created an incentive program to help Americans receive the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). The program is called “Commit to Fit” and participants in will be pledging to earn their PALA by being active for 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week for 6 out of 8 weeks. Youth, aged 6-17, are encouraged to participate too. They are challenged to tally up 60 minutes of activity a day.


Easy Family Meals for Game Nights

We’ve all been there: Kid #1 has a soccer game in one part of the town, kid #2 has a lacrosse match two cities over at the same time, and somehow, you’ve got to get everyone fed a quick, nutritious meal to fuel them right.

Sure, you could hit a fast food drive thru – if you want a meal full of fat, calories and goodness knows what else. It’s a great idea to have a few tried and true meals that are easy on the wallet and high in both taste and nutrition in your rotation.

Here are some of our favorites here at DietsInReview:

  • Brandi Koskie, Director of Publishing, loves to make a Pulled Pork BBQ. Place a pork tenderloin – one of the best cuts of pork, as it’s low in fat – in a crock pot for several hours. When it’s finished cooking, shred it, mix in some BBQ sauce and serve on a whole wheat bun. Served with cut up veggies and fruit, this is a meal that can be on the table literally in minutes.


Fun July 4th Activities for the Entire Family

It’s the hottest (often literally!) holiday of the entire summer, and one most of us look forward to all year long. July 4th celebrates the birthday of the United States of America, and the most common form of celebration is the community picnic with fireworks. It’s great to spend time with your friends and family, and everyone enjoys a day off, but don’t let the holiday celebration plop your bottom into a lawn chair for the day.

Instead, why not take part in some of these fantastic activities that the entire family, from kids to grandparents, can join in on? As a bonus, we’ve included the calorie counts of some popular picnic foods so you can see if that Firecracker popsicle is really worth it! (hint: it’s a good choice!)


The Word Mommy Doesn’t Have to be Synonymous with Fat

It begins so innocently. You spoon feed your baby, and he turns up his nose. “Look at mommy!” you say as you pop a bite into your mouth. “So good!” Baby pops a Cheerio into your mouth, several times a day. He offers you a bite of his dinner, and you want to play along, so you chew and swallow.

It’s the dreaded mommy diet. Not a classic weight loss plan, the mommy diet refers to the poor food choices that many women make as they raise a family. We devote the vast majority of our time and day to raising strong and healthy children that often we get lost. The stereotypical mom is heavy, amorphous and fitness is far from her mind. I dealt with this myself, as I added children to my family and pounds to my frame. At my heaviest, I outweighed my husband by 50 pounds and wore a size 20. Finding time to work out or prepare healthy meals was difficult, rewarding myself with food and finishing my kids’ dinner plates became second nature, and very soon I resembled that stereotypical mom.

We need to change that image. After all, we’d like our children to be at their best physically – and as parents we deserve nothing less. Let’s take a look at some of the most common roadblocks that moms face. (more…)