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Registered and licensed dietician
Featured on CNN, CNN en Espanol, FOX, CBS, NBC, Univisión, and Telemundo
Health & nutrition writer for Univision Online, Shape en Español, Healthy Kids en Español, Siempre Mujer, and 12 Meses
Media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association
Bachelors Degree in Dietetics/Nutrition and a Masters Degree in Communications, Florida International University
Married to Carlos; 3 children - Carlos, 16; Carlena, 15; Cassandra, 10
A HEALTHY LATINO DIET
Claudia says the traditional Latino diet is healthier in general than the typical Americanized diet. Here's why:
(1) The Latino diet includes more fruits and natural juices;
(2) Foods in the Latino diet are high in fiber (beans, vegetable soups, mangos, bananas), phosphorous (liver, meats, chicken, lentils, black beans), and niacin (pork, fish, meats, chicken, enriched white rice); and the Latino diet uses more complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, legumes, rice, yams, and, especially, corn tortillas.
Corn offers several benefits for your children. Corn:
(1) has no saturated fats or cholesterol and therefore is healthy for your heart;
(2) is low in sodium and many help to keep high blood pressure down;
(3) Is a very good source of fiber that helps your digestive system and could balance your blood sugar levels; and
(4) Is a good source of vitamin C, folate, thiamine, potassium, and iron.
Another reason the traditional Latino diet is healthier is because foods are prepared primarily at home or from "scratch". "When foods are cooked at home with fresh ingredients the meals are normally healthier,” says Claudia.
HEALTHY CHANGES IN YOUR FAMILY'S NUTRITION
In order to get your family healthy, Claudia says you may want to emphasize what are healthy choices for your family rather than what is fattening. Research shows that parents get far better results by not forcefully controlling what their children eat but rather focusing on everything regarding their meals from a "healthy" point of view. Claudia suggests taking your child with you to the grocery store and giving them a "voice" in making healthy food choices. For example, parents should ask their child if they would like baby carrots or broccoli for dinner. Then allow that child to help in choosing a dip for the vegetable of their choice. Children will be more likely to try something new when they helped choose the food item on their plate. Children are not born knowing about healthy choices in food; they need to be taught at home. Although making dietary changes can seem complicated and difficult, Claudia says the whole secret to a healthy lifestyle is planning.
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