Claudann Jones

The recipes you prepare regularly and that your family enjoys can be healthier and just as satisfying with just a few changes. Also, controlling portion sizes are key ways to making meal time a healthier time for you and your family.

Although everything can be enjoyed in moderation, reducing the calorie-rich temptations of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks also can help your children develop healthy eating habits. Instead, only allow your children to eat them sometimes, so that they truly will be treats! Here are examples of easy-to-prepare, low-fat and low-sugar treats that are 100 calories or less:

• A medium-size apple

• A medium-size banana

• 1 cup blueberries

• 1 cup grapes

• 1 cup carrots, broccoli or bell peppers with 2 tablespoons hummus

Use portion control when eating out. Many restaurants serve more food than one person needs at one meal. Take control of the amount of food that ends up on your plate by splitting an entrée with a friend. Or ask the wait person for a to-go box and wrap up half your meal as soon as it’s brought to the table.

Use portion control when eating in. To minimize the temptation of second and third helpings when eating at home, serve the food on individual plates, instead of putting the serving dishes on the table. Keeping the excess food out of reach may discourage overeating.

For more information, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension agent for family and community health, at 903-590-2980 or email at Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County.

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