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February 13, 2009

Spring into healthy eating

-18 In the era of food tv and cyber recipe boxes, it's amazing to find a local expert you can add into the mix when looking for expertise on a healthy fridge.   That's why I was so excited when I spoke to Christine M. Palumbo, RD, a Chicago-area nutrition expert and mom of three grown kids.

Christine suggests restructuring the way we food shop.  Her method is easy, and makes sense. "Go to a big store and do your major shopping once-a-week," Christine said.  "Then restock your fruits and veggies during the week by going to a smaller store." While apples and oranges last a long time, most other fruits are past their prime in a few days.  Christine also reminded me that if you buy fresh foods in smaller quantities, but more often, there's less waste of both food and money.  From someone who is always throwing away brown bananas, I know she's right. 

Another food Christine recommends, isn't really a food...it's a beverage.  Christine says that 100% Florida orange juice is an inexpensive food, doesn't get wasted and it's easy to incorporate into any meal.  I'm a mom who has taken all juices out of my repertoire except for orange juice in the winter, but I didn't realize that it was more than a way to get vitamin C, but it's a nutrient rich food providing folate.  Folate is the naturally occuring version of folic acid.  Folic acid is what is added to foods, folate occurs naturally and is recommended to pregnant women for the benefit of fetal growth and development.  Orange juice is also a source of potassium.

It's true, like Christine said, "Mother Nature packages vitamins and minerals better than anyone else, and sometimes moms today forget that."  This is a world of dichotomies -- we want the best for our kids but we want it NOW.  We're more conscientious but we're busier.  Balance is key with feeding our families, as it is with everything else.  Christine's experience has shown her that young moms are accustomed to the availability of easy snacks, as they grew up in the drive-thru era.  To them, snacking is the norm. 

"It's a matter of re-educating the Gen-X, millennial moms," she said.  "They grew up in a toxic food environment, not like older moms who grew up with foods cooked at home with natural, recently purchased ingredients."

It doesn't happen overnight, and Christine knows that.  She suggests following your little one's lead -- and taking baby steps on your way to a healthy fridge. 

This is an Original Chicago Moms Blog Post.   Did it whet your appetite? You can read more of Amy writing on www.AmySueNathan.com and at www.Examiner.com.


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