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Everyone knows that healthy eating is the way to go — but in a world where fast food restaurants seemingly outnumber gardens, that’s easier said than done. As parents, though, it’s our job to try and set a good example for the rest of the family. Luckily, with a little dedication and creativity, the journey can be as tasty as it is healthy. Here are some delicious tips from Krizzy Cooks on how to get the whole family eating better.
Benefits of Eating Healthily
It may seem obvious, but healthy eating offers a lot of value. You may know a balanced diet can help keep your waistline down, but the rewards of healthy eating are more than physical. The CDC explains the benefits of a healthy diet. Proper eating habits can encourage more energy and focus. Eating good food might even help you live longer.
With all that in mind, aim for a balanced, nutritious diet. You should consume plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Make sure you have good gut health, so your body makes the most of the nutrition in your foods. As The Healthy mentions, by eating foods like dark chocolate, raw cheese, miso, yogurt, and even baking mixes, you add probiotics and prebiotics to your digestive tract. It’s a way to eat your way to good health, adding the healthy bacteria to your system that’s necessary for good digestion, immune function, and better overall wellness.
Make Time for Breakfast
Many people skip breakfast because it seems too time-consuming, but it doesn’t need to take more than a few minutes, and it can give you and your kids the boost you need to get going in the mornings. Aim for healthy make-ahead breakfasts like muffins, baked oatmeal, and quesadillas. Or prep some burritos you can grab in the morning before heading out.
Healthy and Convenient Lunches
It can be all-too-easy to let healthy lunches fall by the wayside. Fast food restaurants, booths, and runway foods are convenient, but it’s not always the best idea to feed those indulgences. You don’t need to avoid those fun foods altogether, but you can aim for the healthiest options when out and about. For example, avoid fried foods, use fewer toppings and condiments, and pick medium or small portions.
When everyone is home to eat, Good Housekeeping suggests satisfying and refreshing lunches, like salads, soups, and pasta with ample veggies. If you need to pack some lunches for your kids to take on outings, include an assortment of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean meats.
Have Fun Making Healthy Dinners Together
Picky eaters can be the hardest to please at suppertime. Instead of trying to force ideas on them, consider letting your kiddos take the reins. Let your children pick a new veggie when you go to the grocery store, and have them help with meal prep. Choose recipes that are easy, healthy, and kid-friendly. Another idea is to do some grilling and look for healthy, interesting meals with kid-friendly presentations, like kabobs, fajitas, and veggie burgers.
Create a Kids Snack Garden
Kids will be more agreeable eating vegetables when they choose them at the grocery, but they could be enthusiastic about vegetables if they grew them themselves. Consider making a family garden in your backyard. Let the kids learn as much as they can by letting them be involved in every aspect of the garden. Let them choose what to grow, plant the seeds, and maintain the garden. This will be a good way for you to spend some quality time together, as you watch your vegetables grow. If there are wandering animals in your area, install a fence to keep the veggies safe. Oh, and when you harvest and prepare the meal, remember that the kids get to have the first bite of the vegetables that THEY grew.
Reduce Cravings By Reducing Stress
We often crave sugar when we’re stressed. However, as ZenBusiness notes, managing stress isn’t as hard as it sounds; simply taking a deep breath and putting the brakes on racing thoughts can help us feel more grounded — which is also a great way to avoid stress-eating. As time goes by, you and your family can make additional healthy changes. All you have to do is continue to add new, healthy habits to your lives.
If you’ve mastered making your daily meals healthier, you might want to start implementing exercise into the family routine. You could start by going on a short walk after dinner each evening. Or maybe you want to focus on sleeping better as a family. If so, create a set bedtime each night for everyone in the family and stick to it. Making these small, consistent adjustments are what build an overall healthy lifestyle.
You don’t need to make too many changes to eat well, and the benefits are numerous. Not only will you and the kids feel better physically, but you may also see an emotional boost, too. So seize this opportunity to dive into a healthier life for the whole family with some fresh and easy changes!