Most kids eat too much junk food. And who can blame them? Junk food tastes great. And parents want their kids to eat, so they supply the tasty treats.
The good news is that healthy food also tastes great!
Here are simple ways to help your kids eat healthier:
✅ Choose Whole Foods
Processed foods are the biggest problem with our modern diet. Packaged and refined food products are devitalized and filled with empty calories and highly palatable flavoring that quickly lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, processed foods make up a large portion of the diet of many children.
Offer your kids whole foods, rather than packaged ones. Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state. An apple. A piece of sprouted grain bread spread with natural peanut butter. A piece of hormone-free chicken. A bowl of beans. You get the idea.
✅ Add Color
Adding bright and colorful fruits and veggies to your child’s plate will get their diet on the fast track to health. Fresh fruits and veggies are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health.
Make it fun! Serve veggies with a healthy dip or hummus. Cut fresh fruit in the colors of the rainbow and place them on a skewer. Serve a color themed meal – all green, all red or all orange. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with an endless number of ways to make fruits and veggies fun to eat.
✅ Make Smart Substitutions
Kids love pizza and pasta and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Rather than fight your kids on their favorites, try making smart substitutions to make their favorites more nutritious.
Pizza: Up the nutritional content of your pizza by opting for whole grain or cauliflower crust over refined white dough, adding lots of veggies to the toppings and sticking with lean meat or vegan protein toppings. You could even make “Pizza Eggs” by adding marinara sauce, cheese and pepperoni to an omelet and avoid the crust altogether.
Pasta: Make spaghetti with veggie noodles - Zoodles– see the recipe below!
PB&J: A PB&J, made with white bread using sugar-filled peanut butter and corn syrup-filled jelly, is fairly void of any real nutritional value. Instead make a PB&J with whole sprouted grain bread, pure peanut butter (with only peanuts and sea salt), and fruit-only jelly. This will provide real wholesome fuel for your child’s day.
✅ Completely Avoid Sugary Drinks
One of the best things that you can do for your child’s good health is to instill in them a love for water rather than sugary drinks. Soda pop, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee/tea drinks are filled with empty calories that cause weight gain and contribute to a sweet tooth and an expensive habit.
The easiest way to do this is to stock your house with lots of pure, filtered water. Even better to have a filter on your tap or fridge so that filtered water is accessible and unlimited. Don’t have fruit drinks or soda pop available so that everyone develops that habit of drinking only water. Save your money and don't buy fancy drinks out (tea, coffee, blended drinks, smoothies, etc.)
Make it a habit to make your own healthy versions at home and you'll save calories and improve nutrition, while saving time and money.
✅ Get them involved. Ask your kids to participate in the grocery shopping and preparation of healthy meals. Take them to the framer's market and ask them to pick out 5 vegetables to prepare this week. Grow your own vegetables and fruits and they can be actively involved. Teach them where the food they eat comes from and why you don't eat/drink certain things. (Not because those foods are "bad" but because they are unhealthy and you care about everyone in the family's health.) Allow them to "put together" their lunches- coaching them to include proteins, greens and a fruit. And "make treats a treat" instead of a regular habit. Ask them to choose between two healthy options: "Would you like Broccoli or Green beans with dinner tonight?"
✅ While I presented these tips as improvements to be made to your child’s diets, these tips will also do wonders for your diet. Practice these tips for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll look and feel better.
Parents all want good things for their children. Now how about doing something good for yourself as well? You are your child’s biggest role model on how to live, and your example is what they will follow.
Treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on a program that will change your life for the best.
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