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A Reduced-Fat Fall: An Expert’s Tip of the Trade

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By Rachel Derry & Skinny Taste's Gina
Staff Writer LIFamilies

With the fall season and the new school year starting, LIFamilies.com thought now is the perfect time to grab some expert advice on healthy eating habits and fall kitchen strategies. For a local blogger's expertise we turned to Gina over at www.skinnytaste.com for an article-interview collaboration on cooking for a reduced-fat fall!

How can families make it easier to cook healthy while managing their back-to-school this season?

The best way to make life less hectic is to plan ahead. Make a shopping list for the week when you are off and try to make some meals that can be frozen and reheated. I also think the crock pot is a huge help for busy parents.

How do you suggest parents help children learn the benefits of eating healthier and low-fat?

Talk to your kids about their eating habits and explain to them that they are what they eat; explain how the choices they make as kids will affect them as adults. Also, let your children help in the kitchen: take them along to the farmer's market and always explain the benefits of the fruits, vegetables, and of the foods they are consuming.

Do you have any helpful, healthy ideas to help families come together and get excited in the kitchen this fall?

The change of seasons is always exciting, especially the fall. Pack up the whole family and visit the farmer's market or take a trip out east to some local farms to do some apple picking or pumpkin picking. Autumn has some wonderful squashes and fruits that make you want to get cooking and baking, and by being involved in the picking process the kids get excited too!

Do you have a couple favorite Fall favorites that you like to make?

Some of my fall favorites are:
Applesauce Nut Bread - Moist cinnamon apple bread made with homemade applesauce, small chunks of fresh apples and walnuts in every bite. It's so moist and delicious, you won't believe it's low fat!

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/10/applesauce-nut-bread.html

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes - These whole wheat pancakes are lightly seasoned with brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and topped with pumpkin butter for a hearty Autumn breakfast. Low fat, high in fiber and just plain good for you!

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/10/pumpkin-spice-pancakes-with-pumpkin.html

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili - A perfect fall chili made with pumpkin puree, ground turkey, white beans, green chili and spices. Top this with chopped fresh cilantro, scallions, jalapeños, light sour cream, and/or reduced fat cheddar and serve it with baked chips on the side for a wonderful lunch or dinner.

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/10/crockpot-turkey-white-bean-pumpkin.html

Do you have any easy suggestions to help families cut down on their calories off the bat? (i.e. substitutions, items to avoid, etc.)

To start, switch to leaner cuts of meat. Replace any use of white flours and rice with whole grains, brown rice, and incorporate healthier grains. Instead of frying use the oven instead to faux-fry. Lastly, try replacing sugary sodas and soft drinks with water. These are just a few ways to cut back on calories.

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