Eat right in your 30s

Try these helpful tips to avoid some of the most common fat traps for 30-somethings.

by: Karen Cicero | 09 Oct 2007

▶ You eat the "kid food" you keep around the house.
THE EXPERT FIX: So how should you give your shopping trolley a healthy makeover without causing an uproar? For starters, just buy half the junk food you normally do and spend the extra money on healthy, child-friendly snacks like wholegrain cereal bars, small packets of raisins, fruit, and mini wholewheat rolls. If you're cooking two separate meals, start morphing them together so eventually the family can eat the same thing.

▶ You're afraid your new husband's bad eating habits will rub off on you.
THE EXPERT FIX: Make both of you happy by lightening up his favourite dishes and you'll avoid the 3-4kg women typically put on in the first two years of marriage, says Amy Schnabel, a clinical nutrition manager. "At first I cooked my favourites – lentils, quinoa, and lots of vegetables. He ate a little bit and made himself a peanut butter sandwich," she confesses.

After a year of misery she decided to make his favourite foods healthier. For instance, she whipped up pizza on wholewheat crust and topped it with veggies, and she used minced chicken breast and wholegrain pasta for spaghetti and meatballs. And she didn't abandon the foods she loved the most; they became the side dishes.

▶ After pregnancy and breast-feeding, you're having trouble readjusting to your pre-baby diet.
THE EXPERT FIX: Scale back on snacks, suggests Kelly Vieira, a specialist in paediatrics and the mother of two boys, aged two and five. Doctors advise most women to eat 1250 extra kilojoules when they're pregnant and 2100 extra while breast-feeding. "Many moms use those kilojoules on snacks," says Vieira. "Mine was a midday milkshake."

Other megakilojoule-saving, yet satisfying, substitutes: a biscotti instead of a scone or muffin, a few nuts and a sprinkling of dark-chocolate chips rather than a couple of bakery-style biscuits.

The perfect lunch for 30-somethings
Your kids will love this meal too, plus you'll all get at least half your daily calcium needs. Grown-up toasted cheese sandwich (spread 1 T pesto sauce on 2 slices whole-grain bread; top with sliced tomato and 60 g part- skim mozzarella; spritz bread with cooking spray and grill until cheese melts), 1 C mixed berries, and low-kJ fruit-flavoured water (2100kJ, 20g fat)



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