top of page
  • Denise Scott

Start the Year Right with Easy Diet Changes for a Healthy New Year!

Picture of food as medicine with a variety of healthy foods ejecting from a medicine capsule.

Make 2024 the Year of Healthy Eating!

Eating healthy does not have to be difficult or expensive. Making simple substitutions goes a long way in improving the quality of what you eat. Swapping foods with healthy nutrients over ones that are less healthy is a great start.

I am passing on tips from my book - “Feed Your Child’s Future Health, Prevent Disease before It Starts” and from some previous posts to aid you in a healthy start to the new year! This information is worth repeating.

Picture of my book available on Amazon

The following table of substitutions will improve the fat content in your child’s diet:

Instead of This: Try this:

corn, sunflower, or seed oil olive, canola, avocado, grapeseed, or walnut oils

mayonnaise or butter on sandwiches pesto, hummus, mustard, or mashed avocado

croutons on salads nuts or seeds* and more vegetables

meat each dinner seafood twice a week* and plant-based meals with

beans and legumes

grain-fed meats grass-fed meats

poultry with skin and full-fat meats poultry without skin and lean cuts of beef, including

90/10 or 93/7 ground beef

commercial salad dressings make your salad dressings with extra virgin olive oil

deep-frying or cooking with lots of oil bake, roast, pan sear, steam, or air fry

baking with saturated fat or shortening Bake with saturated fat substitutes which include

avocado, ripe bananas, legumes, yogurt, and olive 0il

– recipes with these substitutes can be found online

(*Children under 4 should not have nuts or seeds but can have nut butter;

*Shellfish should not be given before a year of age.)

Listed below are foods with the highest carbohydrates and some healthier options:

· Bread (white bread, bagels, croissants, pastries) – whole wheat and whole grain breads have fiber, a healthier choice.

· Pasta - Regular pasta is approximately 80% carbs and low in protein and fiber, thus becomes sugar once digested. Whole wheat pasta or pastas made from vegetable sources, such as lentils or chickpeas, is lower in carbs and offers protein and fiber.

· Cereals – especially those with added sugar – look for whole grain cereals with the least sugar. (also check out the breakfast post on 12/7/22).

· Rice – opt for brown rice over white rice. Brown rice has more fiber - 14% of the recommended daily intake; white rice has only 3%.

· Sugared beverages – soda, juices, sports drinks, coffee shop drinks, etc. add sugar and calories and nothing healthy. Better options: water, water, water, tea without sugar, coffee with milk.

· Cake, cookies, jam, jelly – these are mostly simple sugars that lead to rapid glucose and insulin spikes. Consider fruit for dessert as well as baked goods utilizing avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and even black beans as a change! Cake, brownie, and cookie recipes using these ingredients, with delicious results, can be found online.

· Potatoes – white and sweet potatoes are relatively high in carbs but have starch, fiber, and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that make them a healthy option - as long as they are not french fries!

· Whole Grains such as oats, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, and farro – are considered healthy carbohydrates due to their fiber and protein content as well as other nutrients that are broken down more slowly in the gut to release sugar more slowly into the bloodstream.

Foods rich in fiber

These foods provide fiber for gut health:

Vegetables - add chopped veggies to soup, stew, chili, salads, scrambled eggs, and casseroles

Fruit - serve for snacks and dessert, whole fruit, not fruit juice

Nuts and seeds - add to yogurt, baked goods, salads, oatmeal, and as a snack

Beans and legumes - add to soup, stew, chili, salad

Whole-wheat and whole-grain breads, crackers, and pastas

Glass of sugar cubes with a straw representing sugar-sweetened drinks.

Finally, reduce sugar, any way you can, especially avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, to protect your child from future heart disease and a host of other diseases. Make it a New Year’s resolution to drink more water and fewer sugar-laden drinks - your heart, gut, and brain will thank you!

I wish you a healthy, happy new year!

43 views0 comments


bottom of page