Six-Meals-a-Day Eating Plan

by Elizabeth Arnold

If you suffer from low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, eating six small meals a day may help you regulate the symptoms. By eating six small meals rather than three large meals a day, your body will feel continually satiated. Eating six small meals a day may also be helpful if you're trying to lose weight, because if you feel full from healthy food, you'll be less likely to binge on sweet or salty snacks. There's a variety of meal ideas that are easy to prepare and kid-friendly, and these mini meals are just the right size of kids' smaller appetites.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Although it may be tempting to eat a handful of cookies and call it a meal, your body won't benefit from it. When designing a six-meal-a-day diet plan, be sure to incorporate each of the food groups. Break the mini meals down to include plenty of vegetables, grains, proteins and a small amount of fats and oils. For example, eat a grilled chicken breast on a whole-wheat bun for one meal, and a garden salad full of fresh vegetables and topped with light dressing as another.

Include Protein and Fiber

Stay satiated all day and avoid blood sugar dips by including plenty of protein- and fiber-rich foods in your diet. Your body will metabolize the foods at a slower rate, making you feel full longer. Examples of protein- and fiber-rich mini meals are grilled shrimp and vegetable skewers, whole-grain crackers topped with cheddar cheese and a small omelet filled with mushrooms and tomatoes. Give your kids a creamy dipping sauce for the skewers.

Don't Skip Breakfast

Get energized for the day naturally by eating a healthy breakfast. A nutrient-rich breakfast will satisfy your hunger until lunchtime and keep your blood sugar levels regulated. An ideal breakfast mini meal is a whole-grain English muffin topped with one scrambled egg and a piece of melted cheese. If you get tired of the same old scrambled eggs, mix things up a bit by seasoning them with ranch mix. As another option, top cottage cheese or a small bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit, such as blueberries or sliced strawberries.

Keep It Interesting

Mix up the mini meals so that you'll look forward to the next one. Healthy doesn't have to mean boring, so tempt your taste buds - and your kids' as well - with foods that are naturally sweet and flavorful. As an after-work or midday mini meal, snack on carrots and celery sticks alongside ranch dressing or hummus for dipping. Top crisp apple slices with peanut butter as a sweet treat. Make different sandwiches each day featuring any combination of whole-wheat bread, deli meat such as turkey or baked ham, low-fat cheese, sliced vegetables and a creamy spread.

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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