How to foster better eating habits on a tight budget

Fitness Q & A

Health & Fitness

September 14, 2003|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

I want my children to develop better eating habits (less fast food and sugar, more fresh fruit and vegetables), but it's an expensive and time-consuming change. Any suggestions for a working mother on a budget?

Dr. Katherine Battle Horgen, a consultant for the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders and co-author of Food Fight, a new book addressing the Amer-ican obesity epidemic, offers these suggestions.

To save money, take advantage of seasonal discounts on produce and freeze what you don't eat for later use as fruit smoothies or vegetable purees. You will also find discounted fruits and vegetables at shoppers clubs like Costco and Sam's Club.

Prepare healthy snacks ahead and store them in the fridge. If reaching for a carrot stick is as easy as popping open a can of Pringles, your kids will be more inclined to snack well. Horgen says the latest research shows that frozen vegetables are still relatively high in nutrition, so incorporate those into your weekly meals.

Finally, many fast food chains have recently added healthier choices, like salads, yogurt parfaits and fruit to their menus.

"These can be used in place of high-calorie, high-fat choices such as french fries to round out a small hamburger when time is short," Horgen advises.

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax questions to 410-783-2519 or e-mail fitness@baltsun. com.

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