At the May 15th SMART KIDS SMA, the SMArt Kids came together to learn about healthy grocery shopping. Here are some great, simple rules to follow as you and your family head out to the supermarket:
- Be Prepared (have a list and plan recipes for the week)
- Don’t go hungry (you’ll avoid being tempted by free samples, freshly baked muffins or treats in the check out aisle)
- Look at labels (remember, look for low fat and high fiber foods)
And of course, remember the MyPlate.gov when choosing your family’s food. Encourage more fruits and veggies; produce items should fill at least half of your plate at each meal!
At this month’s SMA, the SMArt Kids reviewed what areas of the grocery store are the healthiest to shop. Shopping around the perimeter of the store where the produce, dairy, bakery, meat and fish departments are located is the best way to shop. This strategy helps you focus on the fresh foods and avoid the processed foods, typically located in the aisles.
Linda Germaine-Miller, our SMArt Kids nutritionist, led the group in a healthy snack-shopping activity. The SMArt kids shopped at our virtual grocery store where they learned to read snack labels and subsequently, select better snack choices. Remember to aim for a snack with:
- Between 100-150 calories on school days, but 150-200 calories on the weekends
- 2-3 grams or less of saturated fat per serving
- 0 grams of trans fat
- Less than 150mg of sodium
- 3 or more grams of fiber
- As little sugar as possible (remember: 1tsp = 4 grams)
Don’t confuse snacks with treats. Snacks are a nutritional “fill-in-the-blank” between meals. Ideally, they should be whole grain products that are low in fat, calories and sugar yet high in fiber and nutrients. Treats are food solely made for enjoyment they should therefore be eaten in small portions only once in a while.
The group has been doing a fantastic job working on their monthly goals. To recap some of our SMArt goals:
- Limit screen time to less than 2 hours per day
- Participate in at least 1 hour of active play
- Limit sugary drinks to 0-4 ounces per day
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- Limit fast food to less than once per week
- Make breakfast a priority
- Choose healthy snacks
- Plan for family meals
- Get enough restful sleep
- Know where your food comes from
Each SMArt Kid picked a personal goal for June’s SMA. Many chose being more physically active and reducing screen time, something that will hopefully be easier as the rain slows down and Spring really blooms. Remember: by reducing screen time, you are by definition more likely to be active and may even eat better. A recent national survey of more than 12,000 students in grades 5 to 10 found that television viewing is associated not only with unhealthy snacking while watching, but also with unhealthy eating at all times. Check out this link for more information.
As a result of the group’s hard work and dedication, the vast majority of our participants continue to lose weight by embracing these goals and adopting a healthier lifestyle. Keep up the SMArt work, SMArt Kids! We are looking forward to hearing about your ongoing successes in June !
Dr. Brittanny Boulanger