In today’s fast paced world it’s hard to get quality wholesome food into our little ones. It seems that everyone is dashing off here and there and fewer and fewer of us have the time to prepare a good home cooked meal. It takes a bit of effort and planning to make the more nutritious choices when it comes to food. As a parent we all want our children to be healthy and vibrant. Here are some simple tips to get your kids, and you, to create healthier eating habits.
You have to be the example. Choose healthy foods for yourself and your kids will watch and learn. Make sure they see your healthy habits such as eating your fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks. They will follow suit.
Get your kids involved.
Kids love to be part of the whole process. Let them help you with making a grocery list. Have them plan a meal and make mealtime special. They will be so excited when they create a dish that everyone will eat. Even plant a garden so they can see how the food grows.
Clean out your cabinets.
If the cabinets and refrigerator have unhealthy food choices clear that food out and replace it with healthier choices. Take out refined and processed foods and replace with whole grains and fresh produce.
Even if you plan a rough menu for the week, it will help with shopping and meal making. Also, have healthy snacks for the car. Pre-package trail mixes, healthy bars and dried or whole fruit are great snacks on the run!
Make breakfast important.
Give your family a healthy start and take time to serve a nourishing breakfast. Get ready the night before and set out bowls, plates, spoons etc. Keep it simple. If you or your kids don’t like a big breakfast at least eat a banana and a handful of nuts or a simple smoothie. Oatmeal is fast and nutritious too! Throw chia seeds and goji berries or raisins in the pot and superfood it up! They won’t even know it’s there.
Talk with your kids about why it’s important to eat healthy.
Kids need to be taught about healthy eating habits and why it’s important. Explain what happens if you don’t make healthy choices. Try introducing your children to one new fruit or vegetable a week and talk about how it is good for them. Does it have a lot of vitamin C or fiber or calcium? Educate yourself so you can teach them. Teach them where their food comes from. Take them to a farmer’s market or plant a garden.
Give your children choices, but make them healthy choices.
For a snack let them choose grapes or carrots or a banana. At restaurants give them 3 healthy choices to choose from off the menu. Explain what a treat is and why you only have them once in a while.
Eat at home.
It takes more effort to cook at home all the time but it will pay off in the end with healthier and more balanced kids. Make it fun! Try creating kid friendly food such as vegan pizza on a whole-wheat pita, brown rice and bean tacos or whole-wheat pasta and let them choose their toppings.