Welcome back! We previously posted some tips in Part 1 of this 3 part series that shared ways you can stock your fridge to help your family stay on the path to good nutrition. In Part 2, we share some ways you can make healthy eating fun!
Part 2- Make Healthy Eating Fun
Okay. So now the refrigerator is filled with healthy food. How do we make sure our kids make healthy choices, even when we are not around?
- Supply the favorites. Ask your kids to list their favorite fruits and vegetables, as well as low fat protein options, such as low fat cheese and yogurt and make sure there is ample supply.
- Keep a running list. Keep a grocery list on the fridge so kids can let you know as soon as their favorites run out.
- Make it grab and go. Wash, chop, and store fresh produce once a week so that everything is grab-and-go. These items can be used for snacks, lunches, or to cook with during the week.
- Add a splash of color. Use bright colored containers and ensure that food options vary in color (red, green and yellow peppers; green and red grapes etc.) Attractive foods are harder to resist.
- Cook with Your kids. Getting kids involved in meal preparation will give them a sense of accomplishment and kids generally like to eat what they make. Little ones can tell you their favorite meal and help you make it. Teenagers can make simple family meals all on their own.
- Water, water and more water. Drinking water reduces appetite and is the healthiest option. Equip each of your kids with a funky water bottle and challenge them they have to drink two of them every day.
- Brainstorm the benefits. Talk with your kids about the benefits of healthy eating vs. the negatives of unhealthy diet. Eating healthy helps you look and feel better, gives you energy to help you do all of the things you want to do, and helps you to think more clearly so you do better at school. While junk food might taste good at the time, that’s about the only benefit it provides.
- Reduce Sugar Intake – Soda, juice, cookies, snacks, ice-cream, candy, cereal, syrup, pies, cakes and more can have a serious effect on your family’s waistline. Keep them out of the fridge and pantry except for special occasions.
- Limit choices. Ask kids this one very simple, (yet very effective) question with each meal – “What two fruits and/or veggies would you like with this meal”?
- Be Mindful of Portions. We can all pile it on…especially our favorite foods. Limit portion sizes to a fist full for carbohydrates and protein, as well as one piece of fruit for each serving. Children can eat as many vegetables as they like.
What is your favorite way to keep healthy eating fun in your home?
Healthy Hands Cooking is a movement to fight childhood obesity by certifying and empowering instructors to teach children and families about nutrition and healthy cooking. Our instructors are passionate moms, dads, teachers, nutrition grads, entrepreneurs, wellness advocates and more. www.healthyhandscooking.