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Angela Lemond

Moms only want the best for their kids, and that means serving them wholesome, nutritious meals. But between the PTA meetings and soccer lessons, the temptation to grab some drive-through chicken nuggets is just too great. As the mom of two young kids, Angela Lemond knows this temptation all too well, but as a pediatric dietician and a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she’s learned a few tricks for living a healthy lifestyle in the fast lane.

Food is a loaded topic. Can you clear up the misconceptions? Most people think of food in terms of just gaining and losing weight, but it has so much more power – the power to heal, the power to protect, the power to stop aging. People need to think past weight and learn how to harness that power.

You make it sound so easy. Well, health hasn’t always come easy to me. I started smoking when I was 12, and by 17, the doctors told me my lungs were in crisis. To stop smoking was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, so I know what it is like to feel that something like food has control over you.

What is one thing families can do to take control of their food habits? Stock your house with “always” foods [healthy items] and make them the most accessible foods in the house. Get the fruits and veggies out of the crisper and put them at eye level.

So, I guess we can assume that your kids are healthy eaters? They know that healthy food makes them strong and smart, and they want that. Hannah, 8, is a pretty adventurous eater, but with Evan, 5, I have learned what it is like to have a picky kid – and that has really helped me in my practice as I help other families with food issues.

How do you keep it all in balance? Having a day to focus on rest and family time is key, and we also take time to travel. We work hard, but we play hard too.

Speaking of trips, you’ve got a pretty big one coming up. We’re just two months away from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Wow. Why Kilimanjaro? [Laughs.] Good question! The truth is this trip is so far out of my mental comfort zone that I really have to force myself not to be fearful. We are using the climb to raise money for World Vision to help provide families with the very basic necessities like food and water. We also wanted to go on a spiritual journey, so climbing the mountain is really just a metaphor for the trials we all need to overcome in our lives.