As a parent, it’s tough balancing your diet and your kids’ diets in addition to balancing your busy schedule. Chances are you turn to processed foods to keep everyone fed and you’re not alone. A whopping 50% of what Americans eat is processed, according to a recent survey.

calories in food

Unfortunately, consuming these types of foods are worse than originally thought. In fact, 90% of the excess sugar that people consume on a daily basis comes from these types of foods. Compare that with the fact that only 10% of your calories should be coming from sugar and it’s reason to be concerned.

Foods to Keep Your Family Away From

Here are some commonly consumed foods to be especially cautious of:

  • Frozen pizza
  • Salad dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Deli slices
  • Canned sauces
  • Frozen dinners
  • Cake mix

Dieting Doesn’t Have to Be Excruciating

When you’re on a diet, you may be tempted to focus on cutting out carbohydrates and fat. Reality is, going on these types of diets may not be necessary. In fact, simply cutting out processed foods can make a significant difference in your overall intake of salt, sugar, and all the unnecessary by-products your body doesn’t need.

Try substituting your family’s diet with any of the following fresh food:

  • Whole Grains – Whole wheat toast, bulgur wheat, steel cut oats, and wheat pasta without added salt and sugar can all be a healthy part of a balanced diet.
  • Protein – Poultry, fish, beans and nuts fill you up and can even boost your metabolism.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Fresh fruits and vegetables give your body the vitamins it needs.

Reserve Just a Little Extra Time to Make Meals from Scratch

One of the best ways to cut down on your salt, sugar, and fat intake is to make meals from scratch. If you’re pressed for time, try to set aside a day or two a week that’s dedicated to cooking and then freeze the leftovers. That way, you’ll have something healthy and ready for your family to enjoy later.

Cut Out Instant Calories and Unnecessary Sugar

Switch out sodas and processed juices for water. Not only will you be cutting down on calories and sugar, but you’ll also be staying hydrated so you and your family has enough energy to get through the week.

A Little Exercise Can Go a Long Way!

In addition, it’s very important to make sure you get enough physical activity. Diet alone will not be enough to keep you and your family healthy. It’s recommended that most adults should try to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. A healthy diet will help you stick to it.