Fruit Wands are a great way to get the kids eating fruit!
Our childhood obesity rates are hitting record highs! I know for myself ‘life gets busy’, but as parents, we need to start being accountable for what we are feeding our family. Check out these 10 tips to help make healthy eating a family affair:
Let each family member choose their favourite food and find a healthy recipe. There is always a healthy alternative to “kid’s foods”. Get the kids involved, they enjoy the process and it’s a great way to teach them about food groups and nutritional information.
That’s right, turn off the TV and start communicating as a family. As the old saying goes: “A family that eats together, stays together.”
Never Skip Breakfast. It gets the metabolism going and provides children the energy their minds and bodies need for school.
Fruit and veggies (carrots sticks and fruit wands are always a winner), nuts, yogurt-based dips. As mums, we often choose what comes into our homes so make sure the shopping trolley is consistent with your health goals.
If your 5-year-old wants to make pizza, make a healthy pizza and have them help you. Everything can be made healthier and this is a big part of getting your family on board for long-term success.
3 Meals and 2 snacks should be eaten around the same time each day. This will avoid those mood swings kids (as well as mums and dads) get when our blood sugar levels are all over the place. Food is fuel and without it, we get cranky, tired, and have trouble concentrating.
Everything in moderation. Go get frozen yogurt, and enjoy a movie night with home-made popcorn. Avoid making foods forbidden as saying ‘no’ often makes them want it more.
Not just you, educate the kids as well. Teach them that food is fuel and not something that should be used for comfort or reward.
Be mindful of how you talk about your health goals around your children. Being healthy should be a lifestyle choice not a chore. It’s unhealthy for everyone to obsess over a desired look or shape. Disorders are born out of extremes; speak positively about food, eating, yourself and your children. Avoid negative descriptive words like fat or ugly. Our children are always listening.
With young children make food fun. Broccoli can be called ‘little trees’ and bean are ‘swords’, buy whole grain animal shaped pasta, and make fun snacks like, “surf boards”, cut bread in the shape of a surf board and top it with tomatoes and string cheese.
Change can be difficult but not impossible. Persistence is the key. Remember children need to engage all their senses (taste, smell, sight, touch etc) when trying something new. So, it might take a few goes before it is fully accepted. Wouldn’t it make your life a lot easier to prepare one meal for everyone? For the health of your whole family – It’s worth it!
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