Guest Blog by Dylan Foster at Health Wellwise
Taking care of your health requires hard work. It’s difficult enough when you’re only looking out for yourself, but add some kids and picky eaters into the mix and it becomes an even bigger challenge. Yet, eating a balanced diet is necessary to keep everyone physically and mentally healthy in the family. Check out some tips and tricks below.
Plan Meals in Advanced
One of the biggest hurdles in healthy eating is finding the time to do it. After a long day of work, running errands, or hopping from one after-school activity to the next, coming home to an empty fridge can be overwhelming. If you’re the type of person who frequently turns fast food or eating out, you could be unknowingly giving your family too much processed and unhealthy foods.
Avoid this temptation by sitting down and planning out your meals for the week. Having a plan will help you resist the urge to phone it in. Plus, your budget will thank you too. If you are too pressed for time during the week, you should consider meal prepping as well. This way, you can still serve your family healthy meals during the week without the pressure.
Get Creative in Your Cooking
We all know that eating plenty of fruits and veggies is necessary for a balanced diet, but most people aren’t eating enough. According to Healthline, you should be eating three to four servings a day. Those numbers can be hard to hit, so try and get creative with your cooking. For example, try running your fruits and veggies through a juicer or blender and drinking them. You can even use vegetables as a replacement for carbs. Swap a tortilla for a cabbage leaf in enchiladas, or try using cauliflower rice instead of brown rice for healthier alternatives.
Gather Around the Table
Make family meals a priority in your home. Not only is it a great way for you to monitor everyone’s eating, but it will give you all a chance to catch up with one another and stay involved. Family meals can also provide a source of comfort for your kids, so try to have a few family sit-down dinners every week, schedule permitting.
Family meals also give you an opportunity to set an example. Children tend to mimic what they see, and they are watching you. Make sure you are demonstrating healthy eating when they are around. It’s one thing to talk about eating healthy with them, but it’s another to show them how. When they see you eating a large variety of healthy foods, they will most likely follow suit.
Avoid Restriction and Reward Systems
If you have a picky eater, avoid restricting foods or setting up a reward system. Letting them have dessert only if they finish what is on their plate or not allowing junk food has a tendency to backfire. Instead, you want to instill in them an appreciation for healthy eating and trying new foods. Provide them with a variety of options so that they can figure out what they like. Be sure to keep plenty of healthy snacks accessible around the house too. Carrots and hummus or pre-cut apple slices are excellent tasty alternatives to chips and junk food.
Try not to think of healthy eating as a challenge, but as a lifestyle change. With the proper planning and preparation, it will fit easily into your life — regardless of your schedule. Soon, the entire family will be feeling happier and healthier.
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