The alarm didn’t go off this morning, the kids are running late for school, and now you’re running late for work. The kids have extracurricular activities after school. You haven’t even thought about what to make for dinner, and it’s now 5:00 p.m. Sound familiar?
Life can be a bit crazy at times, yet amid the crazy schedules, it’s important to continuously keep our families’ nutrition on the forefront of our minds. Practicing healthy behaviors at a young age will help your children continue with their healthy habits as they get older. The following are some healthy eating tips for your family:
- Bring healthy snacks in the car: Sometimes you may feel like a taxi driver with all the places you need to run your kids. Help curb the desire for fast-food by packing healthy snacks such as dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, and other non-perishable items in your car to feed those hungry bellies on the go.
- Get rid of the sugary drinks: Soda and sport drinks contain so much added sugar. Choose water instead. Studies show a strong link between soda consumption and childhood obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
- Keep fruits fruitful: Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc. to allow easy access to a healthy snack when those tummies start to growl.
- Eat as a family: Studies show that sit down meals as a family assist in better grades, promote a healthy weight and normal growth in children, as well as promote trust between child and parent, which is a key element in nurturing health eating.
- Pack a school lunch: Pack a healthy lunch consisting of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean meats, instead of gambling on what your child will choose from in the cafeteria.
- Plan your weekly meals ahead of time: When making out your grocery list, find healthy recipes and plan your meals for the week. Each day you’ll know exactly what you’re making, so you’re less likely to order take-out.
- Stock your kitchen with nutritious foods: Keep your cupboards and fridge stocked with healthy items, so the whole family is eating the same healthy foods.
- Minimize snacking: Constant snacking can lead to weight gain and disinterest for meals or trying something new. Try to stick to a consistent meal and snack schedule, spacing snacks and meals at least two hours apart, allowing no more than two or three snacks a day, and limiting them to about 150 calories a piece.
- Quick and healthy breakfasts: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and almonds, a frozen fruit smoothie, and pop toast are some examples of easy and fast breakfasts for on-the-go kids. See recipes here!
Setting your family up for a healthy life is a priority! A great website I found that is full of useful information is Nourish Interactive. Here you’ll find parenting nutrition, recipes, printables, daily health tips, nutrition games, and much more!