A Mom's Take on the New Dietary Guidelines

Simple Solutions

Here's a simple way to know you're eating according to the new guidelines: Cook from actual ingredients, not a flavoring packet -- these days it's easy to find recipes that are ready in under 30 minutes. Bake from scratch, not a mix (I promise, you can do it. Start with Amazon Cake* and you'll never look back). Snack on things that have peel, not packaging. Yes, when you cook you add salt, and when you bake you add sugar and perhaps -- the horror! -- white flour, but you control the amounts. It's virtually impossible for you to add as much salt to your homemade mac and cheese as you'll find in a box, even the organic kind. You'll also be leaving out preservatives, artificial colors and a whole bunch of multisyllabic ingredients that simply don't exist in a home kitchen. Since so much of our poor nutrition comes from choosing processed foods over homemade, if you commit to cooking from scratch most days, your family's nutrition is bound to improve.

Speaking directly to us, the report also says, "Parents and caregivers serve as important role models for children and are responsible for providing them with nutritious foods and opportunities for physical activity." You already know that, but it bears repeating. I'll bet you also know that our kids pay much more attention to what we do than what we say, so let yours see you devour a salad or choose fruit for dessert. Dance around the kitchen together while you prepare a healthy dinner. And enjoy your food, but eat less.

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