Coach Mom Newsletter - aug 2011
As school begins again
and you purchase new lunchboxes, think about
changes you can make for better nutrition
this year. Think beyond the “side of potato
chip and cookie” norm, knowing you are
supporting your child’s maximum learning
potential and health with good nutrition.
Those easy-to-grab processed and
pre-packaged foods are usually loaded with
preservatives, sugar, high fructose corn
syrup and sodium. But, with a little
planning, fresh, whole-food lunches can be
simple and easy, too.
PACK A LUNCH FOR YOUR CHILD?
able to maximize their lunchtime minutes by
not having to wait in line to buy.
It can be less expensive.
It gives you
the chance to put into your child’s diet
more whole foods and less processed foods.
You can tuck
notes in them for your child.
school-morning stress by preparing all
sandwiches or wraps for the week over the
weekend. Place them in individual sandwich
bags, label each bag with a permanent marker
(child’s name or type of sandwich), and
place in a freezer bin. Pull out as needed
each school morning to pack lunch boxes.
(Note: do not freeze garnishes, such as
lettuce, tomato and pickles.)
boxes (make sure the box says 100% juice)
and put in lunch to keep it cold. It will be
nice and cold and ready to drink by lunch
BPA-free bottles with 2/3 water.
Pull out of freezer in the morning
and top off with water. It will be thawed
and ready to drink by lunch time.
If you must buy pre-packaged lunches
occasionally, aim for those with no more
than a few hundred calories and the least
amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and
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Trying to discern if a food product is truly
healthy can be difficult, since
manufacturers are allowed to say whatever
they want on the front of the package. If
you want to know the true facts, look to the
nutrition fact label. Understanding
how to read a nutrition label will help you
to make wiser choices.
-- First look at the "serving size" printed
below "nutrition facts." The size of
the serving on the food package influences
the number of calories and all the nutrient
amounts listed on the top part of the label.
Take note of the serving size, especially
how many servings there are in the food
For example, two
Pop-Tarts come two in each package. The
label says one serving is 200 calories. The
catch is that's for
Calories From Fat
- Next you'll see how many calories are in a
serving and how many of those calories come
Remember that the number of servings you
consume determines the number of calories
you actually eat (your portion amount).
2-ounce serving of tuna has 60 calories, 5
of which come from fat. If you eat the whole
5-ounce can, multiply these amounts by 2.5
for a total of 150 calories and 12.5 fat
– These are listed first. It shows how much
of each nutrient is in a single serving by
weight in grams and by %DV. This symbol
refers to the recommended daily allowance
for a nutrient based on a 2,000-calorie diet
(you'll see that some nutrients, such as
sugar and protein, don't have a %DV).
Eating too much fat, saturated
trans fat, cholesterol, or
sodium may increase your risk of certain
chronic diseases, like heart disease, some
cancers, or high blood pressure.
trans fats lower good cholesterol and boost
bad cholesterol, increasing your risk for
heart disease and strokes, according to the
American Heart Association. They're also
suspected of playing a role in cancer and
If a serving contains less
than .5 grams of trans fat, the manufacturer
is free to list it as 0g on the nutrition
label. The front of the package may say “O
trans fats!”, but if you see “partially
hydrogenated” on the ingredient list, trans
fats are present.
consume in greater amounts
– According to the FDA, most
Americans don't get enough dietary fiber,
vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron in
their diets. Eating enough of these
nutrients can improve your health and help
reduce the risk of some diseases and
Percent Daily Values –
This information does not change from
product to product, because it serves as a
guideline to consumers.
As you read the percentages of nutrients,
remember that DV is based on 2,000 calories
a day, and adjust your serving size. In
general, a diet containing 1,000 to 1,200
calories per day is what is recommend for
most women trying to lose weight and a diet
containing between 1,200 and 1,600 is
appropriate for most men trying to lose
Interpreting the % of DV –
According to the FDA,
anything reading 5% or less is low. Anything
at 20% or more is high. Look for low
percentages in the undesireable nutrients,
and high percentages in the desireable
When you're in a
hurry, sometimes the best you can do is
compare three brands of the same product,
such as chili. Manufacturers tend to
standardize serving sizes. For chili, it's 1
cup. So when you check the different brands
for %DV it's easy to see which contains more
of the nutrients you want and less of those
you don't want.
-- Ingredients are listed in order from the
greatest amount to the least. In general,
nutritionists say the fewer the ingredients,
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your child from embarrassment tip: For
moms whose oldest child is entering middle
school… Before packing a lunch for your
child in a reusable lunch bag like you did
in elementary school, check to see if the
lunch norm is “brown bagging” it. It might
help the first day go a little easier.
Going “low salt” helps the body have
maximum calcium absorption.
Every two extra grams of dietary sodium
decreases the amount of calcium absorbed
by 30 to 40 mg., according to Lynn Moss,
School shopping tip:
Stock up on composition books while they are
cheap and before stores sell out.
year, after the high schoolers receive their
supply lists, we need about 15-20
composition books between my five kids,”
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