Mar 23, 2012
I'm sure you've all heard it, yet people are still reluctant to believe it - diets don't work.
A recent research study indicated the following: people who go on weight loss diets gain more weight and have higher BMIs over time than people who don't diet. Surprised?
What was unique about this particular study was that it isolated dieting as a causal factor for weight gain, independent of genetic predisposition for higher BMIs.
How did they do this? They followed twins - some of whom dieted, some of whom didn't - to see what would happen over the course of a decade.
The article was just published in the March 2012 issue of the International Journal of Obesity. It followed 4129 twins over a 9 year period. The researchers tracked the number of "intentional weight loss episodes" (read: diets!) that each twin engaged in, as well as their weight changes during this time.
At the end of the study, the twin who had dieted was heavier than their non-dieting twin - with no difference in their starting BMIs!
The results imply that dieting leads to faster weight gain in the long run, and increased overall odds of becoming overweight. Yikes. You've been leading us astray, Jenny Craig.
I post this not to discourage and frustrate people who struggle with their weight, but to encourage a healthier approach than counting points or calories; eliminating carbs or gluten or fat or sugar; getting expensive B12 shots at a certein Dr. B's starvation clinics; or whatever the latest shiny hardcover book with an apple and a measuring tape on the front cover has told you to do.
So if diets don't work, then what should I do? Lifestyle change!! Just joking, I just wanted to see you roll your eyes... "lifestyle change" is tossed around a lot as secret code for a diet.
But seriously, healthy long term weight management is possible, but requires patience, a healthy attitude toward your body, and a long term shift in the small things you do every day.
In my humble opinion, the first step is self acceptance. If you just rolled your eyes again, I know it sounds cheesy. But seriously, if you can find a way to be happy with yourself exactly as you are, you will be more likely to treat yourself more nicely and make better decisions every day.
Self-deprecation inspires harsh dieting and subsequent falling-off-the-wagon which fuels more self-deprecation. It's ugly. Throw it out the window. Don't wait for some ideal version of yourself to treat yourself nicely. Treat yourself as if you already are that which you wish to be.
I hereby instruct you to buy yourself a new dress/pair of jeans that fits you perfectly and suits your body exactly as it is today (or ideally, an entire wardrobe that fits that bill). Get your hair done, buy a new lip gloss, whatever makes you feel good. I then instruct you to strut your stuff. Yes, that is my professional recommendation.
Step two is exercise. Yep, get out that door. Motivation follows action. Put on your sneakers, go for a walk. Moving your body every day is a great way to give yourself the positive mental boost you will need to be successful at step one. Focusing on doing something positive for yourself that feels great is a fantastic alternative to focusing on what you shouldn't do. Also, exercise has a myriad of benefits beyond weight management - including helping to curb cholesterol, lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, decrease risk of many cancers, etc.
Tackle those two things, and then we'll talk about food.
Reference: International Journal of Obesity (2012) 36, 456–464; doi:10.1038/ijo.2011.160
Jan 23, 2012
Here we are, rapidly closing in on the end of January. By this time, most spandex clothing articles have been folded up and tucked back into a drawer, along with the New Years Resolutions accompanying their purchase.
Now that the juice-cleanse + 90 minute workouts six-days-a-week insanity is behind us, let's focus on real life.
Whether it’s chasing kids, chasing clients, or chasing paperwork, it seems that everyone is always running. Being busy is the way of the world these days. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that “I’m too busy” is the most common reason people give for why they eat poorly, or don’t find time to exercise.
There’s a quote I like that speaks to this:
“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health” – A. J. Reb Materi
In today’s work and home, we need to find a way to do both – be busy, and find time to exercise and eat well. Fortunately, it is possible! The two keys are:
1. Planning in advance, and 2. Being prepared for situations that you can’t plan for.
Doing so can help you:
Eating well is possible for everyone, but as life gets busier, it does take a bit more forethought. The time you invest into planning and being prepared can make a world of difference in helping you to “gain your wealth” while maintaining (or improving) your health!
Read my full post on Stonyfield Organic Yogurt blog here.
Jan 5, 2012
The first week of January. The week when everybody has suddenly had enough sugar cookies and chocolate martinis. The week when all the food blogs switch from chocolate ganache to carrot soup with startling haste. The week that has gyms and yoga studios bulging at the seams, threatening to burst and spew over-eager resolutioners in brand new spandex all over the sidewalk. The week when channel surfing means flicking between Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers ads.
Ah, the first week of January. Decidedly not my favourite week.
I can appreciate the feeling that one needs to undo the holiday indulgences. But it baffles me that every single year, people all over the Westernized world decide to swiftly change everything about their lifestyle - jump on a new diet, paired with an outrageous exercise regimen. I don't think it's working, seeing as the gyms thin out again by February first and the whole extravaganza repeats itself the first week of every new year.
I like this article on "resolutions that don't punish" - from Annabelle Waugh in the Canadian Living test kitchen.
But I am actually proposing that we forget about the entire "New Year's Resolution" thing altogether. When we don't live up to a resolution we made that was supposed to last the entire year, there's a feeling of defeat and a tendancy to give the whole thing up. I think that instead we should make manageable resolutions (really just a plan) every day, or every week.
My "New Day's Resolution" is to take my dog for a long walk on the beach, go to an evening yoga class, try a new recipe, and use up that broccolini in my fridge. What's yours?
Nov 3, 2011
Oct 21, 2011
Protein is involved in building and maintaining muscles, organs, skin, and blood, as well as defending the body against illness through the immune system. It also helps to give a meal "staying power", preventing the 10 am or 3 pm crash.
It is a very important nutrient, however, there is a lot of confusion around how much protein a person actually needs. We tend to overemphasize this particular nutrient in North America, with the belief that we need more than we actually do. Many people don't realize that protein comes from lots of different sources, not just meat and alternatives, and even vegans and athletes can quite easily meet their needs.
I recently busted the protein myths and laid out the facts in a blog post for Stonyfield. Check it out, and let me know what you think!
Oct 7, 2011
This morning, I was supposed have a TV interview with CBC news on the topic of the Small Plate Movement, and whether eating off of small plates would help people control portions over Thanksgiving. Well, not long before our scheduled interview time, the reporter called to let me know she had been put on another story. Interview cancelled.
After removing a couple of layers of makeup and putting my painstakingly smoothed hair back in its messy ponytail where it belongs, I thought I would share my findings with you anyway, because they are quite astonishing!
I had heard of using smaller plates to control portions, but I thought it was just another gimmick, one that might have some grain of truth, but not one I gave much thought.
Then I started reading about it. Researchers have consistenly found that when people are given bigger plates, they serve themselves more, and proceed to eat significantly more than those who are given smaller plates. Thirty to fifty percent more, to be precise - that's a lot! And the portion size seems to be directly related to plate size... as the plate gets bigger, so does the helping.
The fact that our plates have increased in size by 40% since 1960 is suddently more concerning...
The most interesting part? This phenomenon is independent of age, gender, education, income level, and weight. I mean, studies were even conducted on nutrition graduate students and dietitians, and the same was true for them. Old or young, thick or thin, educated or not, nutrition professional or layperson - bigger plate, bigger portion, more eaten.
Well then. I'm not sure that the smaller plates movement will save anyone from the Thanksgiving coma (Turkey time often takes place in another person's home... I mean, you could bring your own plate, but...), but it is surely a tool that could be used to make a big difference in the long run! A 2-inch reduction in plate diameter (i.e. from 12-inch plates to 10-inch plates) could reduce calorie intake by 22%.
Let's do it! Let's get smaller plates!
Sep 14, 2011
"Healthy eating is too expensive" is a comment I hear often. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be true. When the purse strings are tight, you might have to do some extra planning to eat well, but it is worth the effort, in my humble opinion.
Aug 15, 2011
If you've been following my little blog here, you know that I am passionate about exercise and its goodness that goes far above and beyond simply managing weight.
So I was thrilled when physiotherapist Byron Chan offered to write a guest blog post on the benefits of exercise (including improved sleep, increased immunity, reduced stress, and prevention of disease!).
Read about Byron after the post.
As a physiotherapist at PhysioWorks, a multidisciplinary clinic in the Kitsilano community, it is always wonderful meeting and collaborating with fellow healthcare professionals in the Vancouver area. Jennifer and I are believers that nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand together. It is my pleasure to contribute to Jennifer’s informative and entertaining blog with my insights on the benefits of exercise.
When I suggest exercising, I’m quite sure the first thing that would pop into most people’s heads are burning of calories and building buff muscles. But for me, it’s all about injury prevention and improving the overall function of your body. As a physiotherapist, I see a diverse range of aches and pains. Exercise is a crucial part of my treatment plan for all of my clients.
Here are a few benefits of exercise:
But before I go on to say that exercise is the human cure-all, there are some warnings to heed!
Most studies regarding the various benefits of exercise typically indicate “moderate” amounts of exercise. Working out too aggressively can be harmful. Examples of this would be repetitive strain injuries, joint soreness and overstressing your organs like your heart. Identifying your fitness level is an important first step to knowing what type of exercise program is suitable for you. If you’re not sure, be sure to talk to a health care professional about where to start and how you should progress your exercise plan. So move those muscles and enjoy our great Vancouver summer!
Byron is a registered physiotherapist who received his training from the University of Alberta. He has gone on to take courses in advanced manual therapy, the McKenzie method, and acupuncture. Byron is an owner of PhysioWorks, a progressive multi-disciplinary clinic offering physiotherapy, massage therapy, and active rehabilitation services to Kitsilano, Point Grey, and surrounding Vancouver communities.
Jul 3, 2011
If you're a foodie and you're in BC, check out my most recent article for Stonyfield Organic Yogurt - "Fabulous Food-Related BC Getaways".
Whether you’re your budget is modest or luxurious; whether you want to stay close or drive for hours; if your appetite is big, there is plenty of food-related fun to be had in British Columbia.
Read the full article here!
(photo credit: http://vancouverfoodtour.com/)
Jun 14, 2011
We live such incredibly sedentary lives. If you work in an office, you likely sit on your bum for most of the day. It's the way of the world. And it's not healthy.
Beyonce agreed to do this video as part of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign to curb childhood obesity. I'M LOVING IT!
The message is simple - move your body! Exercise doesn't have to involve training for a marathon, just get moving in whatever enjoyable way you can, every day.
I am passionate about movement and being active. Though food is the thing I talk about most (because I loooove it), when it comes to habits, exercise and nutrition are weighted 50:50 in my books. Stuck together like glue.
Did you know that healthy-weight individuals who are inactive are at far higher health risk than obese people who are physically active? True story.
So how can you be more active?
With exercise, getting started is the hardest part. Motivation FOLLOWS action. Get moving and you'll be hooked.
That being said, exercise should be enjoyable, and life-enhancing rather focused on calorie-burning or scaring off disease. Do what you love. Just make it happen.
Need additional motivation? Check out Michelle Obama getting her move on.
P.S. here's the step-by-step choreography. You're welcome ;-)
Jun 11, 2011
(Exerpt from my recent foodess.com)
Hummus is a fantastic potluck bring-along, great for picnics and BBQs, an easy weekday lunch, and a super party appetizer served with rice crackers or baked pita crisps and lots of colourful veggies. It is also ridiculously easy to make. I’m talking two-steps easy (1. ingredients go in food processor 2. Press “go”). Creamy and nutty, with a kick from the garlic and lemon juice, it is a delicious staple of middle eastern cuisine.
It also happens to be virtuous… lots of fibre, protein and healthy fats.
Hummus is a staple in my summertime lunch and snack rotation, usually accompanied by crisp, refreshing veggies like cucumber, celery and red pepper. It is filling but not heavy. Here's what to do:
Combine all ingredients in the food processor and puree, adding water as needed to reach desired consistency.
For variations and tips, see the original blog post here!
May 25, 2011
Are your kids getting what they need? During the formative and rapid-growth years of childhood, proper nutrition is vital to helping kids develop to their greatest potential.
I recently wrote an article for Stonyfield yogurt on tips to help make sure your children are eating right to meet their unique nutritional needs. Here's an exerpt:
Check out the full article HERE, for more tips and information.
May 4, 2011
Photo credit: Flickr (User: Umami)
Many people think they are doing themselves and their waistlines a favour by choosing fat-free salad dressing, or eating plain steamed vegetables as a side. What they don't realize is that much of the nutritional value of those leafy greens requires fat for absorption!
Vitamins A, E and K found in produce are all fat-soluble - which means they need some fat for you to reap the rewards of being such a good little veggie eater. Furthermore, most aromatic flavour molecules are also fat-soluble, which is why fat makes things taste better!
Not to mention the satiating effect fat has; when you include fat in a meal, it takes longer to digest and you are more satisfied.
Use this knowledge to include some heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats in your meals, like olive or canola oil to saute your greens. Even a bit of butter is A-OK.
Take home message? Do yourself and your tastebuds a favour - no more fat-free dressing on your salad, or George Forman-grilled chicken breast with a side of bare naked veggies for dinner, mmkay?
Mar 29, 2011
I have happily accepted to write regular posts for Stony' Blog - a new blog lauched today by Stonyfield Organic Yogurt. The first topic they asked me to write about was... The Importance of Nutrition for Overall Health. And my heavens, what a question to answer in 250-500 words! It was tricky. I had to really step back and think about what it all comes down to. My conclusion was, nutrition is so important because we are both made of and fuelled by what we put in our mouths.
You can read the full post here.
To sum up, good nutrition is important because:
The list goes on. Pop by Stonyfield's blog, and check back regularly as I will be contributing often!
Mar 18, 2011
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Vancouver Healthy Chef competition, wherein 10 chefs from around the city competed for the best produce-packed menu. Hosted by the BC produce marketing association, the goal was to increase awareness of the importance of eating fruits & vegetables, and to showcase how delicious it can be to do so!
Check out the photos of every vibrant, sumptuous course on foodess.com.
I challenge you to make the effort to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day next week. Mix it up - try something you have never tried before.
Here are some tips to make it happen:
- Plan some meals ahead the weekend. Planning really goes a long way on those nights when you come home from work exhausted and have your thumb already on the speed dial for your local pizza joint.
- Get in your kitchen and do some chopping for convenient work week snacks of veggie sticks and fruit salads.
- Have some greens washed, dried and ready to go for salads and to add to sandwiches.
- Keep oranges, apples, bananas, grapes and pears in the house for grab-and-go snacks.
- Buy frozen blueberries and/or raspberries, run under cool water to thaw a bit, then toss into your breakfast cereal.
- Mixed baby greens are a very convenient side dish – add some cherry tomatoes, maybe a few slices of red onion, and dress with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Have frozen veggies on hand to amp your plate – even when you’re having a mixed dish that has some veggies in it, try to do a side of veggies too!
- Learn to make greens taste grand, and it will never be a chore to eat them again.
Mar 10, 2011
This post is actually borrowed a bit from an old post on my cooking blog, foodess.com. It is a post I love so much, I think it should be here too. Why? Because if you are my client, I have probably told you to eat more greens. If you are my friend or family member, I have probably told you to eat more greens. If you are my dentist, neighbour, hairdresser or taxi driver... I have probably told you to eat more greens.
For that reason, I feel you should all know that greens don't have to be something you just force down, or "get over with" before the good stuff. They can be much more than just edible, they can be delicious!
Nothing is worse than a plate full of soggy, bitter, marsh-hued greens. The first time I had kale that I liked, it was a revelation. This was me: Whaaaaaaa….?! That can taste like this?? And now I fill my basket (and meals) with some variation of arugula, spinach, kale, chard, curly endive, beet greens, gai lan, rapini, etc. every week.
So without further adieu, here's how to make greens taste grand:
Et voila! No more suffering through the healthy stuff. Try it - you'll be addicted.
Feb 24, 2011
"Heart attack & stroke are the number one cause of death in women.
Stroke kills 32% more women than men.
Women are 16% more likely to die after a heart attack than men."
Jan 27, 2011
Healthy eating is work. Vegetables rarely jump from the fridge, scrub themselves, and sauté themselves to deliciousness while you put your feet up after a long day at the office.
People want quick fixes when it comes to food. Which is understandable when you work 40+ hours a week. While there are some shortcuts and convenience meals that are still quite nutritious, I don’t see them as a long-term solution – especially if you are, or plan to eventually be feeding a family.
To feed yourself well, you need to do some kitchen time. No way around it. Back in the day people (or at least women) dedicated the majority of the day to food preparation. Now we want dinner in 10 minutes or less.
The best way to maximize your kitchen time is simply to plan in advance! Spend some time on the weekend thinking about your goals (Eating more vegetables? Packing a healthy lunch? Not skipping breakfast? Cut back on evening take-out?) and plan your weekly meals so that you are set up for success.
Plan dinners that you can take as leftovers for lunches, or cook a roast that can be turned into something else the next night. Prep as much as you can on the weekend (i.e. chopping vegetables, washing fruit, soaking beans). Make a grocery list and stick to it – you will likely spend less, and won’t risk slimey vegetables in the crisper drawer of your fridge…
If you need help getting started, I love helping clients learn the art of meal planning! I also offer complete meal plans with recipes and shopping lists if you need that extra push to get started.
Jan 21, 2011
This time of year is a frustrating one for regular gym-goers. For the month of January, I hear lots of griping about all the "resolution-ers" flooding the gym, hogging machines, etc., etc. However, by Febuary, the gym universe is back to its usual flow, with the same regulars who were there in November.
I don't think the fact that most exercise-related resolutions fizzle after a few weeks is a matter of laziness, or failure, but rather a matter of setting the bar too darn high! For someone whose only exercise is walking to and from the car in the parking lot, a plan to suddenly commence an exercise regime of 5 days a week for an hour is almost guarunteed to crash and burn.
People want immediate results. However, like with making any habit change, slow and steady is what usually wins the race!
Exercise is not an all-or-nothing concept. You don't have to become a totally ripped marathon runner/gym-bunny/iron-pumper to reap the benefits. In fact, I believe that psychologically, making small goals that you can actually achieve has feel-good benefits beyond the physiological benefits of exercise.
My personal exercise philosphy revolves around convenient, enjoyable activity that feels natural and fun, not like a chore. Walking is an excellent example! There's no driving to a gym, no expensive equipment to buy, all you need is a good pair of sneakers (and some good rain reflective rain gear if you live in Vancouver). You can do it anytime that you have a free 10 minutes.
If you hate running, don't run. No brainer. Every tried snowshoeing? Give it a whorl! Bust out your bicycle. Check the pool schedule at your community centre. Get active, and have fun doing it!
Start where you are. If you do nothing right now, start doing something. Take a walk with your dog/boyfriend/sister/wife after dinner every day, even if it is only 10-15 minutes. The fresh air will feel great, you'll get colour in your cheeks, it will give you an energy boost and a mood lift!
And if you are one of the gym newbies with an over-ambitious workout schedule - if you get waves of guilt each time you miss a scheduled workout and/or if you dread it with the fire of a thousand suns - consider sensibly reducing or reformulating your goals rather than quitting altogether!!
Dec 4, 2010
I get this question about once a day, so I thought I should write about it!
I am an Registered Dietitian, but I call myself both "dietitian" and "nutritionist". The main thing is, anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist” - regardless of their education or training. The title, and therefore the client, is not protected. However, the term "dietitian" is reserved by law only for those who have done a bachelor of science or masters degree in food, nutrition and health followed by an accredited 10-month internship with a health authority. They are then required to write a national entrance exam, and remain in good standing with their regulatory college. Registered dietitians are active members of the health care team, qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy. A dietitian may call themselves a nutritionist, but a nutritionist cannot call themselves a dietitian.
Dietitians, or RDs, are the trusted experts in food and nutrition, providing nutrition advice founded in research and practice-based evidence, with tightly regulated practice standards. In recognition of this professional accreditation, nutrition counseling by a Registered Dietitian, but not a nutritionist, is often covered by extended health insurance!
Dec 1, 2010
Nov 29, 2010
Nov 24, 2010
With the first snowflakes fluttering from the cold Vancouver sky, and our American friends celebrating their Thanksgiving tomorrow, we all know that the sudden influx of rich holiday deliciousness is imminent. I myself have already gotten a head start on my cookie baking!
Around this time of year, food anxiety seems to be heightened - those habituated to constantly worrying about what they eat get especially jittery at the mention of holiday christmas cookies, pumpkin pies, chocolates, and all the other edibles that are ever-present from now till January 2nd. Take a deep breath. You can enjoy all your holiday goodies without deprivation or guilt, and make it into the New Year still wearing your favourite jeans!
It is a matter of three simple tips:
1. Be selective. Pay attention to your cravings and choose to eat what you really want, leaving behind the “treats” that are only mediocre or that you could have anytime. For example, you might go bananas for bacon-wrapped scallops, but could really live without the mini-quiche. Eat the former, skip the latter. Or maybe pumpkin pie is not your thing, but the shortbread cookies are truly rocking your socks. Politely excuse yourself from partaking in dessert (or just have a little bite), and enjoy your cookie afterward.
2. Eat slowly and mindfully (read: really enjoy your food!). If you are truly present in the moment of eating, you will taste everything with heightened pleasure and be satisfied with less. Eating slowly and with passion, you will be able to put down your fork with *food left on your plate, not in a triumphant feat of willpower, but in true acknowledgement of having had enough. It is truly liberating knowing you are “allowed” to eat whatever you want, and while listening to your body’s signals of hunger, craving, satisfaction and satiety, you will find you naturally eat less.
*Many have a guilt complex with "wasting" food, usually borne of many childhood years being told to finish their plates and “think of the starving children in ________________ (wherever)”. While I don’t like wastefulness of food or anything else, there is no really logical relationship between the leftover food scraped off your plate and the children starving in other parts of the world. There is a huge surplus of calories being produced in North America (in the form of corn, wheat, etc), and while we should be wholeheartedly thankful for the abundance, eating those calories out of guilt is not going to fix anyone’s problem.
3. Balance. Lastly, offset indulgences with lighter fare over the course of the meal, day or even the week. If planning a party, offer crudités with bean dips as a antidote to the rich cheese platters. Plan healthful breakfasts and lunches, with whole grains, fruit and veggies, on days when you have a party to attend in the evening. It will all work out. Anyway, your body is not a simple calories in-and-out machine – your metabolism does adjust for day-to-day variation in intake by burning more or less energy.
The bottom line is – ENJOY the wonderful food, friends and family the holidays offer. Happy Thanksgiving to my lovely American friends!!
Nov 2, 2010
Oct 26, 2010
The research on Vitamin D has been promising - and not just for bone health! Studies have shown encouraging correlations in Vitamin D supplementation and decreased risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis and overall mortality. How much should one consume? The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 IU each day through food and supplements. Good articles here and here!
Oct 25, 2010
Yummy new recipe on my cooking blog, foodess.com! Curried coconut turkey chowder with corn and butternut squash
Oct 15, 2010
A great way tool to build a balanced meal is to make half your plate fruit & vegetables. Produce is high in water, fiber and nutrients, and low in calories. Get in the habit of mentally dividing your plate in half, making half vegetables and fruit, and splitting the remaining half between starch (i.e. a grain, or potatoes) and protein (i.e. meat or dairy). Doing this will help you feel full and satisfied and you will be on track to meeting your daily recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables, without counting or giving it too much thought.
Experiment with lots of different kinds of produce – variety is key, as each is associated with unique vitamins and minerals, not to mention unique deliciousness. Mixing it up will keep your palate interested and help you avoid a food rut. Try something you have never tried before! Or take an old standby and find a new, delicious way to prepare it! I like Brussels sprouts with brown butter and toasted hazelnuts. Or butternut squash pureed in a hearty soup with coconut milk and spices.
Dividing your plate up in this fashion has been associated with significant weight loss even without intentional calorie restriction - bonus!
Oct 5, 2010
This time of year, there is a low chatter starting about kids and Halloween candy – how to handle it as a parent. Opinions are popping up left, right and center with advice ranging from “let them eat some on the first night, then throw it all away” to “throw a party and skip trick-or-treating” to “healthy Halloween treats” – think raisins and toothbrushes. But the truth is, the once-a-year candy bender is not what is making kids unhealthy. Rather, it is the sum of the day-to-day choices that should be our focus.
Instead of worrying about the sudden influx of high fructose corn syrup in the form of lollipops and chocolate bars, let’s concentrate on providing wholesome, home-made, balanced meals for our children every day, and getting them outside to run around and play - and let them have candy at Halloween (and Easter and Christmas for that matter). Let them gleefully celebrate their loot as you did when you were a kid. Demonizing foods – labeling them as “junk” or “bad”, only makes them much, much more attractive.
You can, however, use the opportunity to teach kids about balance, portion control, savouring treats and making them last. Teach them about choosing to eat what they really want, and leaving behind the stuff they don’t love. Teach them that all foods can be part of a healthy diet; lead by example by eating meals together and let them see you partake in a wide variety of nutritious foods. Enjoy a few Halloween treats with them too – the goal is to help them achieve a healthy relationship with food for life. Food and celebration go hand-in-hand. So bring on the adorable costumes and mini Kit Kats!!