Have You Ever Heard The Saying 'You Are What You Eat'?

If that were totally true, I would be a chocolate cupcake right now! The truth is, you do need to eat healthy in order to be healthy, but it is also okay to have a treat once in a while, especially if you stay active. Eating a balanced diet is the key. That means to have the right amount of fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, and dairy. There are a lot of different foods that fit within those categories, so there is definitely something for everyone. And be sure to mix it up to keep it interesting. Another saying is 'Variety is the spice of life'!

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

That phrase was created in 1913 and was based off of a rhyme from Wales almost 150 years before that. It reflected the many vitamins and minerals that apples (and all fruits) have, which helps to keep you from getting sick. In other words it keeps the doctor away! There are lots of fruits out there, so find the ones you like and eat them every day. Tell your parents to keep that fruit bowl full!

Squeeze Your Own Juice

Do you like orange juice? If you answered yes, that's awesome because orange juice is filled with vitamins and nutrients that will help you grow big and strong! You know what's even better than buying juice at the grocery store? Making fresh juice at home! Why? Because squeezing your own juice is the freshest way to get all those important vitamins and nutrients we were talking about. Not only that, but it's FUN to make your own juice! (Obviously, with your parents help - they're going to want to get in on the fun, too!)

Eating A Well Balanced Meal

Sometimes we get so busy that we eat 'on the run', which means just grabbing something and not even sitting down to enjoy it. And often the snacks we grab are not exactly the best ones for us. That's okay once in a while, but ideally you want to take the time to sit down and eat a complete meal that's filled with healthy choices. Remember that eating a well balanced meal will make for a well balanced day! 

Chocolate Is Good For You! (In Moderation)

Did you know that chocolate is more than just a delicious treat?  It's actually good for you! How could that be, you wonder? Well, we'll tell you! Chocolate, naturally, has nutrients and antioxidants that are important for your health. It can help keep cholesterol low and can even help keep your brain healthy!

BUT...chocolate is also very high in calories and contains a lot of sugar, so you want to make sure you don't eat too much of it, especially in one sitting. Also, dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate or white chocolate. Bottom line is that if you can remember the phrase 'dark chocolate in moderation', you can still have your favorite dessert and stay fit. How awesome is that!

When You Eat Is As Important As What You Eat

Food is energy, so you should eat for what type of activity you are going to be doing. For instance, if you are going to be sitting in front of the t.v. for an hour, you will not need much energy. However, if you are going to soccer practice you will definitely need energy! The basic formula is to eat for what you will be doing in the next two hours. That means, before you go to bed, there is no need for extra treats! But, when you wake up in the morning and need to get moving, a healthy breakfast is very important. Make sense? Remember, when you eat is as important as what you eat!

More Water, Please!

Did you know that your body is made up of about 60% water? That's why it is so important to keep it hydrated. Especially when you exercise or play sports and are sweating. Even if you are not sweating, your body is still using water to function. Obviously, drinking water to replenish the supply is the best choice, but juice and sports drinks can also help refill the fluids in your body. If you are starting to get de-hydrated you might feel light-headed, dizzy, tired, or extra-thirsty, and your skin could be hot and dry because your body doesn't have enough water to sweat to cool it down. Those are not good signs! The best rule to follow when being physically active is to pre-hydrate before, hydrate during, and post-hydrate after. Just don't drink so much that you feel like your tummy is a swimming pool!

The Power Of Pasta

Pasta is a great food to eat if you need to store up some energy for a game, practice, or long workout session. It's filled with carbohydrates that are stored in your system and then converted into energy when you need it the most. It also has vitamin B-9 and important minerals that your body needs, is low in sodium, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. You know what else is cool about pasta? It comes in fun shapes and sizes! So pick your preferred perfect pasta for a powerful performing punch when playing! (Say that 10 times fast!)

Hamburgers Or Hot Dogs?

Although hamburgers and hot dogs are not the best choice when it comes to eating healthy, every once in a while sometimes you just crave one. So, if you just have to have one or the other, choose the hamburger. Even though it is higher in calories, it does provide more protein, iron, and zinc than a hot dog. In other words, if you want more nutrition, go for the burger. However, if you really want to eat smart, skip both and go for the chicken or fish! 

Potatoes - Baked, Boiled, or Fried?

Potatoes are one of the best foods you can eat when it comes to nutrition. They are low in calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol, and high in nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, iron, Vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants. The question is, what is the healthiest way to prepare them? Boiled or baked are the best. And, even though french fries are made from potatoes, the deep frying and oils are definitely not good for you. Other delicious - but not ideal - ways to eat a potato include potato chips, tater tots, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and potato soup. The extra ingredients needed to make these tasty dishes add on the 'bad' foods we try to stay away from. When it comes to eating potatoes, the best recipe is to keep it simple!