Patricia Bannan’s Healthy Tips for Families

From fast-food being served in schools to the elimination of physical education programs, kids have all sorts of health roadblocks to navigate.  Family involvement is essential to help children maintain a healthy lifestyle, and with a few facts and smart strategies it can be easier than you think.


Enjoy healthy fats.  The recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a higher baseline fat intake for children, with the lower limit for children and adolescents placed at 25% of total calories (compared with 20% for adults).  Not surprisingly, healthy fats (those that contain minimal cholesterol and processing) should be the majority of the fat consumed — and that’s exactly what you find when you employ coconut oil cooking with Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil.


Munch every morn.  Research shows that a balanced breakfast helps children perform better academically and physically.  Although cereal is an easy and popular option for rushed mornings, many of those  marketed at children are so processed and high in sugar that they might as well be eating cake!  Hot cereals often contain more fiber and protein, but with flavor mix-ins the sugar content often soars.  A quick and easy solution: mix some fruit and Kelapo Coconut Oil into a bowl of oatmeal for a creamy, naturally sweetened option that will please even the pickiest of eaters.


Focus on family meals.   Another important factor in children’s health is where they are eating their meals.  A recent study showed that children who ate their evening meal at home with their family more than five times per week had a lower risk for obesity.  Long work hours and extracurricular activities often make it hard for dinner schedules to line up, so quick, easy and nutritious cooking is a must.  Let the kids help out with healthy recipes by washing their favorite vegetables and tossing them with fresh herbs and coconut oil. Roast in a foil-lined pan at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes for a fast side dish with easy clean-up.


Move more.  Keeping up an active lifestyle is not only great for physical health, but a fun and affordable way to bond as a family.  Evening walks are convenient for weekday exercise, but weekends offer extra time to take a few hours to hit the trails or go for a swim.  If you know you’ll want a snack while you’re working up a sweat, check out some of our healthy recipes like Kelapo Power Bars. With all natural ingredients and no added sugars, this homemade version will keep your family fueled and fulfilled!


Patricia Bannan, MS, RD

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