Lynnwood events to encourage healthy eating

Busy families often feel overwhelmed with trying to balance kids’ schedules with food choices that are healthy, easy and convenient.

A series of four, free public events later this month in Lynnwood will help families find solutions.

The first, scheduled for Jan. 26, will focus on easy breakfasts and after-school snacks that can be made in five minutes or less.

Cooking demonstrations, nutritional advice and tips will be provided by television personality Graham Kerr, the “Galloping Gourmet,” and Megan Ellison, a registered dietitian at Swedish/Edmonds.

“One of the biggest factors is time,” Ellison said. “The time factor is just a huge piece of the puzzle” in preparing healthy food.

The series, called Healthier Choices, is sponsored by Swedish/Edmonds and the Edmonds School District.

Upcoming seminars are scheduled for February on how kids can help with meal preparation; in March on how physical activity can change nutritional needs; and in April on fitness and health.

Two of the keys to healthy meals are learning ways to prepare food quicker and being organized “so when you get up in the morning, you have a plan,” Ellison said.

For example, pack healthy snacks, like fruit or carrots, ahead of time “so it’s ready to go and so you’re not caught in the morning rush trying to chop them up,” she said.

Many people don’t get enough protein with breakfast, which means they’ll often end up with mid-morning hunger. Adding nuts to a breakfast of oatmeal or cereal and milk is one simple and quick way to boost protein, Ellison said.

Or cook up a hard-boiled egg ahead of time so it’s quick and easy, she said.

“I think one of the biggest take home messages is that healthful breakfasts and snacks are possible in our busy lifestyles,” Ellison said.

“In the past, there’s been a negative association with things being healthy and not tasting good, she said. “But really, healthy food can taste just great.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; s

Eating healthier

Healthier Choices, a free event, is scheduled for Jan. 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Valley Community School, 19200 56th Ave. W. in Lynnwood.

It is the first in a series of four seminars on healthy eating habits.

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