Here are a few tips by Helene Goldnadel to introduce a healthy nutritional diet into a family lifestyle. Remember that this can be a gradual process, as changing everything at once can be damaging to the overall results we desire. Take your time to plan out how you can make some positive changes to your children’s daily intake of food and see if any of the ideas here can benefit you.
Getting kids excited about food
There is no doubt that children can be stubborn when it comes to food and the easy option is to give them their favorite meal time after time. One of the ways to overcome this is to engage children in the process of food from the beginning stages right through to the end result on their plate.
Grow your own vegetables
Planting and growing your own vegetables can be a rewarding challenge not only for our children but also for us parents. Although this is a timely process, once a vegetable garden has been established it can be maintained for each season with a lot more ease.
Let your children choose which vegetables they want to grow and encourage them to help water the crop each day. Explain the benefits of growing your own vegetables to your children, not only is this an exciting activity for the children it can also be very beneficial in terms of knowledge and education.
Take the kids shopping
If growing your own vegetables isn’t ideal for you this isn’t a problem. Another solution with getting children involved with food is to take them grocery shopping with you. Let them choose items that look fun and exciting and come up with new recipes together. Think of ways to create their favorite processed foods by using healthy alternatives.
Chicken nuggets can contain almost any part of a chicken, from the succulent and healthy meat, to the not so appealing insides, feet and even beak. Add in preservatives, coloring and other unknown ingredients and you can soon see how we lose track of what our children are consuming.
A cheap, healthy alternative to this is making your own chicken nuggets with chicken breast, flour, eggs, oil and breadcrumbs. Don’t think that using a little oil to cook these will make it just as unhealthy, our body needs a certain amount of fats and this way we can guarantee we know exactly what is going into our children’s tummies.
Trying new foods
Don’t be afraid to explore new foods, you never know the results until you try. The older children get the more difficult it is to change their mind and their routine as they question why we would want to do such a thing. Stubbornness and strong will can also come into play when a child makes up their mind they don’t want to do something.
Don’t let this scare you though, as introducing new foods can in fact be fun and exciting we just need to come up with solutions to the problem and if all else fails we can always disguise food in the meals we prepare. If your child loves spaghetti bolognaise grate up some carrot and finely slice some mushroom to create a healthier alternative. Homemade beef burgers and sausage rolls can be made with many types of vegetables also.
Eliminating junk food from the cupboards
Sometimes to achieve the results in which we desire we have to play the role of the not so favorite parent. Removing junk food from the cupboards or placing it out of sight and out of reach is one way to start making a change in a child’s nutritional intake. Persistence is key with this step and although it may seem like a daunting task, in time your child will learn to appreciate what is available as opposed to dwelling on what is not.
Essential intake of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats
The science that is the intake of protein, carbohydrates and fats can be an art form, crunching numbers and trial and error are of importance here and this is greatly known by professional athletes, body builders and personal trainers.
When it comes to the nutritional intake of children, unless we are noticing dramatic levels of obesity or dangers of high cholesterol, diabetes and other health implications, the numbers game is something I like to steer clear of. Children need to have the freedom to explore new concepts and ideas, not be contained by a fixed daily food regime. So long as the food we provide for our children is healthy and as free of additives as possible we are on the right track to educating them on a healthy and active lifestyle.
Remember, creating such a lifestyle for our children is our main aim, but we need to find a comfortable balance, as each family is different. Take some time to plan it out and implement ideas one at a time. It can be a difficult process but rewarding in the long run.