4 Nutrition Facts That are Truly Fun

Learning the ins and outs of nutrition facts and label reading can be tedious – especially when you keep learning about hidden dangers in your favorite foods. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make counting calories and nutrition education fun for you and your kids.
1. Learn and Love the New Food Pyramid

The new food pyramid has changed since you were in grade school. It is made up of vertical, colored stripes representing:
  • physical activities (the stairs on the side of the pyramid)
  • grains (orange)
  • vegetables (green)
  • fruits (red)
  • oils and fats (thin yellow stripe)
  • dairy products (blue)
  • meats (purple)
The width of the stripes represents the allowance of good food group products versus bad food group products. For instance, the stripes are all wider at the base of the pyramid, which means the base of your nutrition plan should include:
  • whole grains
  • leafy green vegetables
  • fresh fruits
  • a small amount of good oils and fats (canola oil, avocado)
  • healthy milks and cheeses
  • lean meats
The narrow portion of the stripes at the top of the pyramid represent the small amounts of less nutritional food you should consume in moderation or avoid altogether:
  • donuts
  • french fries
  • sugary articial juices
  • fried cheeses
  • fatty meats
A fun project to do with your kids is to figure out meals that include as many healthy food groups as possible. For example, make a healthy pizza with:
  • whole grain crust (grains)
  • tomato sauce (vegetables, oil)
  • low fat cheese (dairy)
  • grilled chicken pieces (lean meats)
  • broccoli (vegetables)
  • pineapple (fresh fruits)
2. You Can Reduce Baked Goods’ Calories and Fat With Applesauce

You can reduce the calories and fat in your cookies and cakes by using half as much butter or oil than the recipe calls for. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of apple sauce. If the recipe calls for 3 tbsp of butter, use 1 1/2 tbsp of butter and 1 1/2 tbsp of apple sauce. You will need to experiment with your various baked goods recipes to get the texture you desire. The effort is worth it as you remove over 1,000 calories from your favorite baked goods batches.
3. Low Calorie Pumpkin Power
Pure canned pumpkin is an amazingly nutritious secret that you can add to many of your favorite foods for an extra nutrient boost. You will barely taste the difference! Pumpkin is rich in:
  • vitamin A
  • antioxidants
  • fiber
It can be added to many foods including:
  • tomato sauce
  • baked goods (swap out eggs and oil for pure canned pumpkin instead!)
  • mashed potatoes
  • apple sauce
  • brown rice
4. Naturally Red Food Is High In Antioxidants

Odd, but true! Foods that are naturally rich with color are also naturally rich with antioxidants. This is especially true in red foods such as:
  • pomegranates
  • strawberries
  • tomatoes
  • red wines
Antioxidants help protect your cells from free radicals, which you are exposed to daily by air pollution. When your cells are protected, you have a better chance of avoiding degenerative diseases associated with aging such as:
  • macular degeneration
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cancer
Fun nutrition facts are a perfect way to spice up a boring health plan and educate kids regarding the more complicated aspects of healthy food intake. The science of nutrition can be daunting, so it is important to remember to focus on what you eat on a daily basis. If you are fed up with your current diet, do not give up, simply figure out fun ways to make different healthy choices.



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