Important or not? If you’ve seen breakfast news stories lately, you may wonder if you need to bother with that steaming bowl of oatmeal or morning yogurt and fruit.
The two recent studies, highlighted in Cancer Research Update this week, focused on how breakfast affects weight. These trials were short term, but they do seem to show that if you just don’t like or want to eat breakfast, it may not make a difference for weight loss. If that finding holds, it could give you more flexibility in finding ways that work for you to get extra weight off.
However, there are great reasons to start your day off with something healthy – whether you consider it breakfast or a snack: Continue reading
You’ve stocked up on school supplies, the backpacks are loaded and you’re bidding farewell to summer with a Labor Day picnic. Why not kick-off a new season for family health and fitness? Give your kids a healthy head start for life – help them learn to make smart eating and physical activity choices, both important to lower risk for many cancers and other chronic diseases.
On Tuesday, Melissa Halas-Liang shared terrific ideas for getting kids involved in healthier eating – try some of those tips at your picnic. And you can get your children moving more this weekend with just a little planning and equipment that you probably have on hand.
Family Backyard Triathlon: gather enough jump ropes for each participant, a whistle and a timer. Spread everyone out in your yard or the park, issue a jump rope to each participant and begin:
- Blow the whistle to start the rope jump event. Aim for an age appropriate number of minutes, then blow the whistle when time is up. Cheer and applaud!
- Demonstrate how to do a plank (or push-ups or yoga pose if you prefer). Whistle to start and challenge everyone to hold the pose for as long – or do as many push-ups – as they can. When everyone is done, stand up and do some deep breathing before exchanging high fives.
- Finally, start the timer and blow the whistle for the jumping jack event. You can set a time, or allow everyone to do jumping jacks as long as they are able.
Completing a triathlon deserves a prize! Let the kids keep the jump rope or give them something like sidewalk chalk and show them how to play Hopscotch.
What will you do for family fitness this weekend?
Read an article about foods you shouldn’t eat and white potatoes may well be on the list. The starchy staple is linked in some studies to overweight and obesity and we lag far behind in getting enough non-starchy veggies, like leafy greens, summer squash, broccoli and colorful peppers, all shown to lower risk for several kinds of cancer. But are potatoes so nutrition-poor we should never eat them?
Potatoes’ bad nutritional reputation probably stems more from how we are eating them, rather than the spud itself. A recent report from the USDA Economic Research Service shows that, depending on where we eat them, one-third to two-thirds of our potatoes are chips or fries. Even at home, we eat potatoes as chips more than any other way.
Consider that a small serving of fries or chips is double the small potato’s calories, 10 times the fat and less than half the vitamin C. We just need to re-think the potato on our plate, not eliminate. Continue reading