Since beginning this 52 Weeks to Change Everything series, we’ve been working through my recommended foods to attempt to consume every day. These recommendations are outlined on our free Real Food Cheat Sheet printable.
We’re almost done with the daily list!
It’s easy to eat carbohydrates with meals, whether you make good choices like vegetables, fruit, sourdough bread, or lacto-fermented fruit or juice, or you make less nutritious choices. Quite often,though, it’s difficult to get good sources of protein and fat with every meal, especially with kids.
It’s very important to consume macronutrient balanced meals every time you eat, meaning good quality sources of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Macronutrient balance helps maintain healthy energy levels, blood sugar regulation, weight, hormone levels, and many other areas of health.
Athletic and active kids are especially vulnerable to getting too much of their food from carbohydrate foods and not enough from protein and fat foods. Of course carbohydrates are still very important! (We discovered a grain free diet was detrimental to our family’s health.) But protein and fat are equally important for sustaining energy and helping the body regenerate healthy cells.
Here are a few ideas for making sure you get protein and fat in every meal:
- bacon (uncured, nitrate/nitrite free, organic/pasture-raised)
- yogurt (Strauss is a good brand)
- butter and/or coconut oil
- hard boiled eggs
- full serving of high-quality cheese (we love raw cheddar cheese)
- leftover meat dishes
- freshly prepared meat and fish
- properly prepared beans, nuts and seeds
- smoothies with yogurt, coconut oil and egg
- peanut butter
You may already be eating these types of foods as part of your meals, but if you aren’t, it’s easy to add these to the meals you’re already used to eating. In our home, eggs and/or yogurt is basically required for breakfast. Lunch always includes a salads made with hard-boiled eggs, leftover cooked meat and cheese, plus a homemade dressing made with good fats. Snacks like fruit, vegetables or crackers are perfectly paired with nut butters and cheese. On busy days, our favorite smoothie helps hit a lot of our daily food requirements, including protein and fat. Sometimes the smoothie is our entire meal or snack, or it’s a side dish.
We’ve also added Vital Proteins collagen peptides powder as an added grass-fed beef protein supplement. Usually we add a scoop to smoothies or in a small cup of juice. We’ve noticed stronger, healthier hair skin and nails, as
well as the assurance that our extraordinarily active gymnast kids are getting enough protein to match their growing bodies.
Protein and fat are the building blocks for health. Don’t forget to keep a good source of each in every meal!