Healthy eating is one of the most popular, and difficult new year resolutions for many people – and it certainly doesn’t get any easier when you are responsible not just for your own diet, but for your children’s as well! All the methods and advice for getting children into a healthy eating routine can be overwhelming at times, but never fear. We have some tried, true and creative ways that you and your children can start this new year off happy and healthy – and stay that way!
Lead By Example:
“Monkey see, monkey do”, as they say! Children love to look to the adults in their lives as shining examples in many areas and healthy eating is no different. If you incorporate healthy foods into your own diet and eat them around your little ones often, they are sure to become more interested in that broccoli on their plate.
Get Children Involved:
Children will love the chance to become involved in grocery shopping and meal preparation – and an extra pair of little helping hands can never hurt. By having your children help in the selection of healthy snacks in the store, they’ll be more likely to eat it when it’s on the shelf at home. In addition you can use selecting these snacks as an opportunity to discuss nutrition with your kids, and what foods are good or not good for their energetic bodies!
Make Food Fun:
Healthy eating can be as fun as it is important! Try creative new ways to get your little one excited to partake in a healthy diet. For example, you could cut the food into fun shapes such as stars or arrange the food into a smiley face! Another fun way to spice up meal-time is to make a game of it. Give your child a variety of different coloured fruits and veggies and have them see how many colours they can eat! Not only does this get them engaged in the meal, but including as many colors as possible in your diet is a great way to get a variety of different vitamins and minerals. Check out the following link for the benefits of different coloured foods:
Make Meal Time A Family Affair:
The routine of having everyone around the table for dinner is comforting for both you and your little ones. Make sure all distractions are removed – that means no cell phones, television or anything else that might take away from this special family time. Removing the distractions helps kids eat better as they can focus on the meal, and what their bodies are telling them, such as whether they are full or not. This will work for adults too. Family meal times allow for you to catch up with one another and provide an opportunity for you to bond over your new, healthy routine.
In addition to these tips and tricks, there are many healthy, delicious and kid friendly recipes out there to help your family on the journey to healthy eating. We love this recipe from www.wholefoodsmarket.com for mashed cauliflower – a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. This recipe is great for all ages!
-1 medium sized head of cauliflower (you will need to cut the cauliflower into small enough pieces to fill about 6 or 7 cups)
– 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
– Salt and ground black pepper
– Bring a large pot of salted water to boil
– Add cauliflower and cook for about 10 minutes, or until very tender
– Save about ¼ of the cooking water from the pot, drain cauliflower well and then transfer cauliflower to a food processor.
– Add extra-virgin olive oil and cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and puree until a smooth texture is achieved
– If you don’t own a food processor, simply mash the cauliflower with a standard potato masher until smooth!
– Add salt and ground black pepper and serve! Yum!
*For extra flavour, grate some cheddar cheese overtop of mashed cauliflower and enjoy.
For more healthy recipes like this, check out www.wholefoodsmarket.com!
These are just a few ways that you can make sure that your resolution to eat healthy sticks, no matter how busy your family’s schedule may be. They are also a good way to start children eating healthy at a young age. Here’s to a new and healthy year!