Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Jackie Corcoran

My husband and I spent last weekend in West Yellowstone, MT (a town that is an entry point into Yellowstone National Park.) It is a scenic 45 minute drive from our home. We make this trip every Winter to cross country ski on their incredibly groomed trails.

Sunday morning was slow and relaxing after a day of challenging skiing and a late Saturday night. Our bed was big and comfy and our legs were dead tired but the perfect snow and temperatures outside encouraged us to ski again.

West Yellowstone is a funky town that is nearly impossible to find a healthy meal in. Knowing that, I still failed to pack nutritious foods. We found breakfast in a pizza place even though pizza was dinner the night before. I opted for a salad and french fries. Big mistake!

The fries were mediocre at best but the salad was downright SAD! It was grayish and limp. I tried to cover up the awfulness with dressing but the mushy texture made it inedible.This was the wrong fuel for my body and it gave me abdominal cramps 30 minutes into skiing. After the ski, I was as limp as the sad salad. Not all calories are created equalMy body needed 400 calories of nutrient dense food for stamina and vigor. Instead, with calorie dense and nutrient poor food, I created indigestion and lethargy.

This got me thinking; If I was a kid and this very sad salad was presented as the healthy food alternative-I would think healthy food sucks. I would choose Ketchup and french friesover it any day.

We need to offer up veggies and fruits to children in a way that makes them fall in love with them. Healthy food lets us enjoy being active and playful. And once children develop that true love and make that connection, they will automatically make healthier food choices throughout their lives. This will empower them with new rich alternatives that turn them on more than a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream. They will appreciate the different quality of energy that healthy food provides and their health and weight will improve naturally.

To your health!