How healthy are we? I know that question runs through my head several times a day as I’m trying to juggle kids daily needs, currently homeschooling and remembering to eat myself for that matter! The reality is taking the time to plan healthy meals takes time, time that most of us don’t seem to have in today’s crazy world! So here’s a few tips to incorporate some healthy habits throughout the day / week (including for yourself) because if your kids don’t see you living by example, they won’t want to either.
1. Currently in times of quarantine, seems that my kids have been asking for a million snacks throughout the day! Just like us adults going to look in the fridge out of boredom, the pantry is that for the kids! But having the will power to resist that urge isn’t as easy for kids and can lead to serious meltdowns! So it’s important to help them feel in control of making choices.
So we have incorporated a schedule of when snacks are allowed and how many. Setting those healthy boundaries and habits for kids teaches them to carry that on into adulthood. We write on a dry eraser board the amount of snacks allowed and place on pantry and they can check off, so they know they have reached their limit – make it fun by adding stickers for the toddlers.
Remember that snack time doesn’t have to be junk food, allow for a treat once or twice a day (whatever you think) and purchase healthy alternatives such as raisins, fruit, crackers, string cheese, nuts and allow them to make their choice with those. Balance is key.
2. Educate your kids by reading books that are age appropriate on how food affects their growth, health and well being! Or watch some fun YouTube videos or songs on food and your body! You’ll be surprised how much kids retain and a good reminder when they are asking for that 3rd sucker that morning! How can sugar affect your teeth sweetie? And allow the child to tell you.
3. Take your children to the store, farmers market, farm, your insta cart or even grow their own garden! When kids are involved in making their choices (you can give them a few options to choose) they are more likely to try them and eat food at home.
4. Lead by example, there is nothing that kids like more than to copy their parents! So be sure to eat well balanced meals, vegetables, fruits and grains and eat them together as a family. Have the kids put the devices away and enjoy the meal and time together.
5. Cook and bake with your children! When kids are involved in making the meal, they are more likely to try it and are much more adventurous. We learned this when going to a kids cooking class, my child would never try hummus for example, but after chopping her veggies and making the hummus herself in class, she went for it! And enjoyed it! So get them involved in the process, not only is it great for bonding, but will get them more excited to try that new dish!
6. Home cooking and meal prepping is the best way to save your sanity as a parent. It’s easier to go and order that meal out, but the calories and hidden salt, sugar, etc can really add up. So meal prepping in the beginning of the week can make life easier through the week. Get some good containers and have meals ready for the whole family. So many great websites to find healthy family recipes. We love Pinterest!
7. Make meals fun! Use a charcuterie board to present their meal or some funny plates, utensils, make a picnic indoors or out! Making meal time fun gets kids more excited to try healthy options!
8. Make healthy alternatives for kids! It may look like a treat and taste like a treat, but also good for you! Let them make it with you as a bonus to see good food can taste great! A smoothie is a great example! Kids love putting the fruits, veggies, milk, dates, oats or whatever you desire together for a healthy treat! Or making fruit popsicles! The sky is the limit on fun options you can find 💙
Hope you found some great tips for building healthy habits with your kids!! Many blessings!
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