Do you come home from a long day at work “starving” and in urgent need of food? This desperate desire to refuel quickly can have you reaching for whatever quick, convenient snacks are within arm's length and engulfing them within minutes, barely with enough time to breathe, let alone appreciate the taste of the food itself.
Do you come home from a long day at work "starving" and in urgent need of food? This desperate desire to refuel quickly can have you reaching for whatever quick, convenient snacks are within arm's length and engulfing them within minutes, barely with enough time to breathe, let alone appreciate the taste of the food itself.
Like most families, you probably have chips, cookies and crackers available for occasional treats. However, it's easy to find yourself reaching for these less than nutritionally ideal choices more often than not when they're out and convenient to grab.
Studies suggest that what and how much we eat are influenced by our food surroundings (or environment). By making changes in your home food environment, you can encourage and support healthful eating for yourself and your entire family.
Try SWAP-ing in these tips to support healthier choices:
Stock your cabinets with healthful snacks, such as whole grain crackers, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.Place the healthier choices at eye level in the front of the refrigerator so they're visible and easy to grab when you walk in the door.Make tempting or "trigger foods" less convenient. Put them in a hard-to-reach place or a cabinet that you don't go to often.Pre-portion healthier snacks in plastic sandwich bags or small containers. You'll eat less from smaller serving sizes.
Make sure each snack includes a fruit or vegetable. For example, portion together carrot sticks and grapes, yogurt and strawberries or whole grain crackers, celery and peanut butter.
Leave a fresh fruit bowl stocked with pre-washed grapes, bananas, oranges and apples on your kitchen counter or dining room table for quick, easy-to-grab snacks.
Set a family rule to only eat snacks and meals at the table with distractions such as the television, cell phone and computer turned off.
When we SWAP in the healthier food choices in place of the less healthful choices AND set up our environment to support these choices, we are making it easier to eat well! Remember every SWAP counts. Saving just 100 calories a day with a SWAP can help you lose 10 pounds in a year. It's that easy with one SWAP at a time. SWAP IT to DROP IT today!
Get inspired to make your own SWAPs at free grocery store tours at Schutz Family Foods, 900 Main St. W. Registered dietitians will be conducting regular tours to help you learn how to shop with heart health in mind, answer questions, and show you how to make simple food and beverage SWAPs to save calories.
Upcoming grocery store tours at Schutz Family Foods are Wednesday, Feb. 5 at noon and Friday, Feb. 21 at 8 a.m. Tours last approximately one hour and people should meet the dietitian at the front of the store. Recipes and tips will be provided. Advance registration is appreciated at www.heartsbeatback.org. Under the "Brown County" tab, choose "SWAP IT to DROP IT" and then click on "Tours at Schutz Family Foods."
The Heart of Brown County Project is a grant-funded initiative coordinated by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Allina Health and Brown County Public Health.