When you have children, it is sometimes difficult to make good food choices, especially if you work many hours or have a hectic schedule. However, it is still important to instill healthy eating habits in your children. Here are some ways that you can make sure your entire family is getting the proper amount of nutrition.
Set an Example for Your Children
The best way to enforce healthy eating in your family is to be the example for your children. For instance, if you are craving fast food, tell them that you will all benefit more from eating at home rather than not feeling good after a greasy meal. When you want your children to eat more fruits and vegetables, put extra on your plate as well.
Get Nutrition Through Smoothies
A great way to satisfy picky eaters, especially those who have a hard time with fruits and vegetables, is to sneak them into a delicious smoothie. Children are often attracted to a sugary treat without realizing that it contains many of the servings they need for their health. You can incorporate plenty of different fruits in your smoothies, as well as ingredients like green or red superfood powder for dense nutrition.
Meal Prep Before the Week Begins
It is easy to want to eat out when you do not have food at home, or you do and you are faced with the task of cooking dinner after a long day. However, this can be alleviated by preparing ingredients before your week begins, both for your dinners and for lunches and snacks. When you arrive home, you can simply utilize your portioned ingredients and make a simple stovetop or oven baked dinner that your family will love.
Teach Your Children How to Make Easy Recipes
As your children grow older, you should be giving them more responsibilities around the house. One of these is teaching them how to cook and prepare their own meals. You can assign them to make dinner for the family one night a week, show them how to plan the recipe, shop for ingredients, and make the meal. This will give you a break from cooking as they expand their repertoire, and also show your children how to take care of themselves and make their own meals when they are out on their own.
Order More Consciously at Restaurants
Having a healthier lifestyle does not have to mean giving up eating at restaurants entirely. Everyone should always treat themselves, and that includes stopping at the drive through or going out to dinner with your family occasionally. When you go out to eat, you should observe the menu and point out which options are more health conscious to your children. For instance, if their kids' meal comes with a side of french fries, mashed potatoes, or vegetables, then educate them to pick the vegetables for a more nutritious and filling option. Keep in mind that restaurant portions are about twice the portion you would eat at home, so try to pace yourself to have food left over.
Give Your Children a Home Packed Lunch
If you live in America, you will know that sometimes schools do not offer the best or most nutritious lunches for students of all ages. You can combat this by taking a few minutes out of the weekend to make food for your children. Sandwiches, fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, and crackers are popular choices that they will love, but are much more healthy than what the school has to offer. You can even pack them a treat, such as a cookie or a brownie, so they will still have something delicious to eat after they have finished their meal.
It does not have to be difficult to shift your family to more nutritious eating habits. When you prepare your food ahead of time and consciously make better choices, you will instill those habits in everyone you interact with.