5 Nutritional Pitfalls to Avoid

Sometimes, you can trace a habit you have back to the original source. Maybe it was your mom or dad always telling you to make your bed every morning, so you make your bed every morning. In high school, you started showering before heading out so now you start showering before you start your day.

Other times, we accrue bad habits in our daily lives. One day, we sit around with bad posture and before long, it feels weird to sit with correct posture. Other times, we are told certain things about certain foods and believe them, whether or not they’re good or bad.

You might be making some mistakes without even knowing them. That’s why it’s time to head back to the basics and make sure you’re avoiding those pitfalls, and what you can do to correct them.

Not Drinking Enough Water

It’s one of life’s most basic principles: in order to survive, you need to drink water. Too often, people substitute juices or other drinks for their water requirement.

Yes, it can be hard to remember to drink water during the busy day but the best thing to do is drink a glass of water within 30 minutes of waking up each morning. With that, you’re going to help boost your metabolism, jumpstart your brain, and rehydrate. You did just go 7-9 hours without sleep!

If you’re finding it difficult, bring a water bottle from home today and make a point to go refill it at work or school whenever it goes on empty.

Not Enough Lean Meat

You don’t need to be a dietician or nutritionist to know that protein is important for your body. It helps you build up muscles, keeps your nails and hair healthy, and is important for blood health.

Just where you’re getting that protein though, is often the issue. Red meat is fine in small quantities, but you shouldn’t be making it part of your regular diet. Instead of relying on red meat, substitute it with lean meats like turkey, chicken, and lean beef.

You can use those to substitute just about any non-lean meat out there, making it delicious and healthy. Also check out non-meat sources of protein, like delicious falafel or trail mix.

Not Reading Labels Closely

Food is advertised just like anything else. The important, eye-catching parts are put in big letters at the front while secondary information is found in the corner or back of the box.

For example, you should be checking out serving sizes. While it may look great that the box of cereal only has three grams of sugar, how big is a serving size? Before you know it, you might have eaten 10 servings, putting a whopping 30 grams of sugar in your body in one sitting.

Along the same route, sugar-free foods are often packed with artificial sweeteners which can have negative impacts on your health.

Skipping Meals

Sometimes, life is busy and you realize an hour later you completely forgot about lunch. Other times, you think skipping a meal is a great way to lose weight. Both of these occurrences have negative impacts on your body. The meal most likely to be skipped is breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day.

When you skip a meal, your body is going to look for other reserves to keep itself going. Or you may find later that you’re having unbearable cravings and you consume more than you normally would. Make sure you’re sticking to a regular meal plan.

Eating Whatever You Want After a Workout

Working out takes a level of commitment and dedication in of itself, and you should be eating something after your workout. One of the biggest pitfalls is people believe they can eat whatever they want after finishing a workout. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, your body does need fuel after working out, but you need to put something healthy back into it, like vegetables, nuts, lean meats, or other protein-filled foods.

The average person burns the number of calories in a chocolate chip cookie after one mile of running. Running a mile takes anywhere from 7-12 minutes, but you could eat 7-12 cookies in a minute. Make sure you have healthy post-workout food options when you call it a day.

How to Expand Your Kid’s Eating Habits

Getting your children to eat new foods can be a massive undertaking. Sometimes, there is no reason why kids wouldn’t like a food, but to your child, there is logic in why mushy peas aren’t the same as normal peas. Therefore, when it comes to taking your child out to eat or trying to introduce new meals to mealtime, it can become a chore some parents try their best to avoid.

Persuading your child to take a bite can cause the most optimistic of mothers and fathers to lose faith. Yet there is hope. Rather than throw in the towel, it’s time to get inventive. Keep reading for ways to expand your kid’s eating habits.

Educate Them

Sometimes kids don’t like new foods because they don’t fully understand what it is or where it came from; rather than keep them guessing and remaining scared of putting something unknown in their mouths, educate them. Sit down and explain that sweet potatoes are such another variety of potato and that although they look and taste different, they’re not a scary alternative to the good ol’ faithful potato.

To give your kids a better understanding of certain vegetables, build a garden box and turn it into a vegetable patch where you can grow your own produce. Allow your kids to choose some of their favorites as well as integrating some plant foods they’re currently avoiding. Once they’re planted, have your kids help you care for them; let them water the vegetable patch and when the produce is ready and ripe, have them pick them from the ground.

You’ll find that once your children have a better understanding, they may be far more willing to try new foods as they will no longer seem as scary.

Slightly Tweak Old Recipes

Your child may love mac ‘n’ cheese, but this isn’t a nutritional and healthy food for them to eat plenty of; instead, you need to use the recipe as a base and slightly adapt from it. For instance, add spinach to the recipe, and once they enjoy the spinach and are no longer fearful of the green food, serve other spinach-based recipes. Again, this method can be used on kids who simply adore pizza. Instead of making (or ordering in) a pizza, use the ingredients and find a Pocket Change Gourmet pizza casserole. Another good tip is to add in the ingredients without them knowing; for instance, if your child loves cabbage but says they don’t like leek, add leek into the cabbage and you’ll find they won’t realize until you tell them.

Be a Role Model

How can you expect your child to eat healthy if you, yourself, don’t follow a balanced diet? If your child sees you eating burger and chips, then you’ll find you’re not setting a good example. Put down the chips and instead pick up an apple. Lead by example and show your children the benefits of following a varied and nutritional diet. Child are impressionable, and so having them watch you eat healthier foods can help form their mind-set on healthy living.