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If you live with young children, you probably eat more fat than adults with no kids, according to one study. Adults with children consumed 5 more grams of fat and 1.7 more grams of saturated fat every day - the equivalent of an individual pepperoni pizza a week; they also ate more salty snacks, cheese, beef, ice cream, cake , cookies, pizza and processed meats like bacon, according to researchers.
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Having a Kid in the House Makes You Fatter
Dr. Diet weighs in:
My experience is that these changes in one's eating patterns are quite subtle; it's not as if one day you're eating healthy and the next day you're feeding your family junk food.
As kids get older and families get busier, it's not uncommon to find that higher fat convenience foods start making more appearances at the family table.
I have many patients who complain of feeling like short order cooks at home because each family member has his or her own food preferences. These are real issues that families struggle with on a daily basis.
If this sounds like your family, it's time to take control. Here are some tips to guide you:
--Be aware of the problem and bring this awareness to your family members - without placing blame on anyone.
--Approach your family's eating patterns with the same focus on good health and sound diet choices as you do your own. With the obesity epidemic affecting children at an alarming rate, our kids need good nutrition as much as we do.
--Rather than purchasing the big bags of snack foods or large containers of ice cream, purchase the calorie and portion controlled snack packs or the single serving light ice cream treats.
--Make fruit and vegetables appealing to children by serving them as cut up finger foods that children can dip in yogurt or light ranch dressing.
--Engage your children to help you prepare some new, healthier recipes. Let each child find a healthy recipe either online or in a cookbook and then help you prepare it. Encourage children to learn how to cut up fruits and vegetables to make ready-to-eat healthy snacks. These are life-long skills that will help your children to be healthier.
--Rather than ordering fast food, find convenient meals that can be quickly assembled such as tortillas with grilled chicken, pasta with spaghetti sauce or tuna melts.
--Stop being a short order cook. Serve 1 meal to the family and let family members know that if they don't like what you're serving, there's always cold cereal and low fat milk*
*By the way, this was a strategy that worked well in our household raising 2 children; okay, so maybe our son wasn't too happy some nights but he got over it - and learned how to eat a diet with lots of vegetables, beans and even tofu.