Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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Last week's post about the fat-, sugar-, sodium- and additive-laden offerings on kids' menus  at most chain restaurants prompted several readers to share advice about how to eat healthy when you're away from home.badge-cafedium

In appreciation, we'll randomly select one of the tipsters to receive two free passes to Wellbody Academy and Pacific Science Center's other exhibits. While you're here, check out the Wellbody Cafedium for fun games and facts about nutrition.

Many thanks to the Wellbody community for the great ideas; several posted below. Please keep 'em coming!

We try to bring our own meals/snacks wherever we go to save money, and to support us in our weight loss maintenance (going on 1.5 yrs of losing 75 lbs myself, 90 for my husband). We think it's important to have these traits down before having children, so we'll be able to pass healthy habits along to our children. If we do go out to eat, we plan ahead by looking at the menu to make smart choices and split meals to not overeat and to save money! – Lindsay Larsen

We bring our own child beverages, always share and say no to fries! - Karmen Kreul Furer

Our modus operandi for eating out with our almost 3-year old is to not order off the kids' menu. Generally, we simply share our food with him. We figure, if he eats what we eat at home, why do we order him special things when we go out? - Wellbody Reader

Mexican with a family of 7: 2 orders whole black beans, 2 orders Mexican rice, 2 sides guac, 1 side each tomatoes and lettuce and 3 sides flour tortillas. We make our own all for around 30 bucks depending on the establishment! Yum! - Heidi Beard

When we eat out, we choose places that offer veggies as a side option. We avoid the kids' menu and prefer to order our kids' meals from the regular menu and have them split a healthier entrée with us or with each other. It makes for more sensible portions and better options like veggie sides instead of fries or chips. On the rare occasion we opt for fast food, we go to Subway or Taco del Mar. If we're going to spend the day out, we pack our own meals & snacks. Our favorite crunchy snacks include mini bell peppers, raw red cabbage, and Kim's Magic Pop (from Fred Meyer).
- Nan

Dear Pacific Science Center: Please interview parents that raise slender children and share with us or at your Wellbody blog about their staples, their food, their snacks, and how much they eat, regarding desserts,etc...Thank you a lot. – Best Care

Calling parents who are raising slender children—and anyone else who wants to share success stories and lessons learned--please contact us to be interviewed. Comment on the Wellbody blog, post to our Facebook page or email professorwellbody@pacsci.org



Children's menus are stuck in a time warp, dominated by unhealthy fried chicken fingers, burgers, excessive cheese and sugary drinks, according to a recent study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.burgerandfriesPhoto/Food Safety News

"One out of every three American children is overweight or obese," says CSPI nutrition policy director Margo Wootan, but the chain restaurant industry just doesn't get it. "They seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries, and soda." 

Of 3,500 meal options for kids, 97 percent flunk nutrition guidelines calling for ½ serving of fruit or vegetable and an item that's at least half whole grain. The chains also violate health guidelines that say meals should not exceed 430 calories, 770 milligrams sodium, 35 percent of calories from fat, 35 percent of calories from added sugar, or 10 percent of calories from saturated and trans fats.

Subway is the healthy exception, including low-fat milk or bottled water (instead of soda) along with apple slices with kid-sized subs in all eight of its Fresh Fit for Kids meal combos.

On Seattle Times blog All You Can Eat, food writer Rebekah Denn explores healthy, local, reasonably priced eating-out options for families with kids: pho, scaled-down menus, veggie sushi.

Share your healthy, reasonably priced, family friendly eating-out tips—and you may win two free passes to Wellbody Academy. What do you do and where do you go when you're out with kids and need a quick, convenient bite? Do you carry your own fixings for avoid-meltdown-meals in the car? (If so, what foods do you bring? And what containers do you pack in?) Do you stop by a favorite local eatery near the park, school, playing fields or mall? Where do you go for family "destination" meals? Comment on Facebook or the Wellbody Blog, or email ProfessorWellbody@pacsci.org.

We'll share your tips with the Wellbody community in a future post and (did we mention this GIVEAWAY?) throw your name in the hat to receive two complimentary passes to visit Wellbody Academy and Pacific Science Center's other exhibits.

While you're here, check out Burger Planet’s drive-through in Wellbody Academy’s Cafedium and use the Customized Calorie Budgetizer to create a plan tailored to your gender, age and activity level.