(Family Features) As families become increasingly busy, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is receiving the proper nutrition needed to support active lifestyles.
With families hurrying around town to one sports game or music lesson after another, the temptation of convenience eating at fast food restaurants seems like a necessary evil to avoid being constantly late. Although these establishments provide a quick hunger solution, they often bring additional calories and fat. Even foods marketed as “healthy” alternatives to the standard burger and fries can be loaded with over-processed ingredients and high sodium.
The grocery store also has its share of potential snack pitfalls. Treats are now packaged in “snack sizes” to make things more convenient for a busy parent. But they are still poor substitutes for truly healthy food options, which are so critical for proper nutrition, especially so in children who are still growing and developing.
Although unhealthy choices abound, there are some companies providing healthy and convenient alternatives for busy families. Lifeway Foods, a major supplier of the cultured dairy product kefir, strives to empower families to make healthier lifestyle choices that help improve their quality of life. They also pride themselves on making real food with simple, natural ingredients that are recognizable to the consumer.
Here are a few tips to boost the nutritional value of your family’s diet:
- Add Variety – Incorporate seasonal fresh fruits and veggies into your routine for feeding your family and to add some extra variety into your daily snack routine. In-season produce is cheaper to purchase, so stock up each week. If your store carries something exotic – like papayas or guava – give them a try. Exploring juicy new flavors can be exciting for the whole family.
- Cut It Up – Make healthy snacks easy to access by keeping them washed and cut in the refrigerator. Be sure to cut up enough delicious fruits and vegetables and store in large containers to enjoy throughout the week. Your kids will be less likely to grab a bag of chips when you have this healthy option on hand. You’ll be a hit with satisfying snacks such as apples with natural peanut butter, or hummus with broccoli, celery and carrot sticks to dip.
- Smooth It Out – Provide the cool sensation of ice cream and other frozen novelties without all the guilt. Break out the blender and give these recipes for an Antioxidant Berry Boost Smoothie and a Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie a try. These deliciously sweet treats are made with Lifeway Frozen Kefir, a probiotic powerhouse that boosts digestive health.
For more information about Lifeway products, their commitment to community and how kefir can benefit your family’s diet, visit www.lifeway.net.
Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
- 1 Lifeway Frozen Kefir Probugs Strawnana Split
- 1/2 frozen banana
- Strawberries, frozen but slightly thawed
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
- Dash cinnamon
- 2-3 ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients together on high.
Antioxidant Berry Boost Smoothie
- 1 cup Lifeway Frozen Kefir, Original
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup strawberries
- 1/4 cup green tea, chilled
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- Honey or agave nectar to taste
- Place all of the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.