Delicious Foods for the Woman on the Go
Most women have little time to spend in the kitchen and even less
time to spend at the gym or exercising. A life on the go with pit stops
for fast food has become the norm for many women and their families.
While these types of food choices often save time and make it easier to
get little Jimmy or Suzy to eat their dinner, they can lead to a
lifetime of poor eating habits and obesity.
In fact, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey, about 300,000 of adult deaths in the United States each year can
be attributed to unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity or
sedentary behavior. That’s shocking news. But if you’re like most women,
you barely have time to digest this information or analyze what it
means for you and your family.
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis clinical dietitian Amanda Williams
deals with these issues every day and can offer insight on the problem,
as well as offer tips to help the busy woman on the go make healthy and
delicious food choices for her family. According to Williams, obesity
and being overweight can be attributed to a number of factors, namely a
lack of physical activity, quick and easy access to high-fat,
high-calorie foods and increasing portion sizes.
“For example, a kids’ meal at McDonald’s today is the size of an
adult/normal meal in the 1950s,” Williams said. “Portion sizes have
So one step many women can take is to reduce portion sizes. This may
not be easy when most restaurant portion sizes are 3 to 4 cups whereas
the average portion size for an adult is ½ cup (this may vary according
to how much you weigh and your level of activity) per item. Williams
also recommends conscious eating – eating until you’re satisfied, not
stuffed. One way to do this is to take half of your meal home. And make
good selections at fast food restaurants, which means being careful with
mayonnaise and salad dressing.
Williams also suggest trying fat-free foods. If you don’t like one brand, she recommends trying another. They’re all different.
Basically, you need to do what it takes for you and your family to
eat more nutritiously. Know what a portion size is for you. And make
sure you have healthy snacks at home. Sometimes that may mean paying a
little more for things like snack packs of baked chips or precut fruit
“If you’re more likely to eat it, it’s worth the money,” Williams said.
Suggestions for cooking
- Instead of frying, bake, broil or grill your food.
- Remove the skin from poultry, such as chicken
or turkey, before you cook it. Most of the saturated fat can be found in
- Flavor food with low-fat Italian dressing, lemon juice or low-fat marinades.
- Reduce sugar and fat by a third in recipes.
- Use Splenda instead of sugar for baking.
- Use and drink 1 percent or skim milk.
- Use the Crock-Pot for cooking.
Healthy alternatives for your sweet tooth
- Fresh fruit
- Low-fat pudding with skim milk
- Sorbet or sherbet
- Low-fat cheesecake with fat-free cream cheese
Nutritious choices when you’re craving a salty snack
- Low-fat microwave popcorn
- Baked potato chips
Smart choices when you eat out
- Fresh salads (be careful with dressing and instead of topping with bacon, try dry beans or chick peas)
- Baked potatoes
- Vegetarian pizza
- Soup with grilled cheese
- Foods with tomato-based sauces instead of cream sauces
Teach your kids to eat healthy
- Make food appealing to your kids (cut sandwiches into shapes, such as teddy bears or stars, using cookie cutters).
- Cook with your kids.
- Prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
- Instead of giving your kids prepackaged snacks, make your own, using cheese, low-fat ham or turkey and fruit.
- Limit your kids to one soda or less a day.
- Encourage your kids to drink water, flavored waters, sugar-free Kool-aid and 100 percent fruit juices.