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Healthy, Fun Campouts
July 23, 2007

Registered dietitian Melanie Douglass has some ideas to help you have fun and still stay fit.

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If you love camping, you probably love that typical campout meal, right? You know, the hot dogs, the s'mores, the cold soda‚"¶ and all the good stuff in between.

I know what you're thinking: "she's going to ruin this for me too?"

Not to worry. If you and your family only go camping once or twice a year, and you don't have other special occasions (birthdays, vacations, parties, holidays) that cause you to eat too much on a regular basis (it seems like a weekly occurrence these days) then go ahead and enjoy your campout traditions without any stress.

On the other hand, if you fall into the category of having a big family meal on a regular basis, then take a few minutes to review some simple tips that will help you enjoy your campouts and other traditions in a sensible, healthful way.

First, let's breakdown the typical campout meal: melanie Douglass
Hot dog with Cheese 370 calories
Potato Chips (1 chips) 150 calories
Macaroni or Potato Salad 150 calories
12-ounce can of Soda (just one) 150 calories
2 Delicious smores 400 calories
TOTAL 1200
+82 grams of sugar (20 teaspoons) and 62 grams of fat (5 Tbsp)

1200 calories, 20 teaspoons of sugar and 5 tablespoons of fat is too high‚"Ēespecially for the third meal of the day. Keep in mind that these are normal single-portion serving sizes. If you go back for seconds, the numbers only go up.

However, with just a few painless changes, you can still enjoy the traditional campout meal in a more healthful way.

5 Tips to Make it Healthier
o Skip the sugary beverages
— Use diet beverages or water
o Drop the cheese
— Every little slice of cheese add about 100 calories and 10 grams of fat
o Don't offer too many choices
— Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips, jello, fruit salad, rolls, licorice, candy, etc‚"¶ the more choices you offer the more you (and the kids) eat
o Serve fruit or baked chips instead of traditional chips
— This will cut 8 grams a fat per serving (hey, that's like 3/4 of a Tbsp of Crisco!)
o Eat one s'more and call it good
— You can even use 10 chocolate chips per s'more instead of 1/3 of a chocolate bar. That way you save about 100 calories and 2 teaspoons of sugar per s'more!

1 Tip to Make it Fun
o Hike!
— Every good campout needs a hike; you go out of your way to get away from the world and into nature‚"¶ you at least need to get out and see it! Take the family for a walk and enjoy the nature you intended to see.

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By Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM
Author: Tip-a-Day Guide to Healthy Living
(Deseret Book, 2007)
www.tipadayguide.com

Have a health question for Melanie? Click here to submit your question http://www.tipadayguide.com/blog and Melanie will answer your question on an upcoming Studio 5 segment!


© 2007 Melanie Douglass, Deseret Book