A new year is always exciting because it means another fresh start. On our list of promises to ourselves, and to our families, is working towards health and wellness goals. Wouldn’t it be great if the whole family supports each other to achieve that? But, first of all, what do we mean by healthy eating? We’re not talking about strict diet plans, but rather some practical and friendly ways Moms, Dads, and kids can focus on wellness and being kind to your bodies. To help you in your health and wellness journey as a family, here are some habits you might want to try out.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a daunting task where the kids run away from plates of veggies. It can be enjoyable when the whole family gets to participate. Try to involve the little ones during grocery shopping and meal planning. Allow them to choose one or two meals per week. If they happen to ask for pancakes or burgers, maybe that could be your once in a while treat. Being involved with meals can encourage your kids to be more adventurous with the kinds of food they eat even if it’s leafy greens! Try letting them choose between a variety of salads, yogurt flavors, and proteins. Giving them the opportunity to choose what you eat as a family makes mealtime more exciting.
While they’re still young, you can start teaching your kids about what it means to love your bodies. Talk to them about the benefits of different types of food and how eating well gives them the strength and energy to keep doing things that make them happy. As early as now, let them know that having a healthy body is not for the sake of physical appearance. A healthy body looks different for each and every person. Elevate their confidence and self-esteem by talking about wellness in a positive light.
Family meals are also opportunities to spend quality time with your kids especially if they’re already a bit older. When you eat together, you can encourage them to try different kinds of food with you and talk about meals you’d like to try as a family. Leading by example is an effective way to instill the value of healthy eating among your kids. They’ll be sure to follow your lead when you show them that you’re eating well yourself.
But keep it simple, too! There’s no need to overwhelm yourself with elaborate spice blends and ingredients everyday. Use what you have in your pantry to whip up nutritious meals. Have a regular rotation of dishes your kids would enjoy, and then save the fancier recipes for weekends or birthdays. Try to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains to load up on much needed vitamins. Make veggies more exciting to eat by serving them as snacks with a side of different dips that your kids can explore. You can also experiment with healthy smoothie recipes that are quick and easy! Or how about overnight oats which you can prep in the evenings and have for breakfast the next day?
It’s no secret that water has many awesome benefits. Hydration keeps our bodies strong, which is why it’s important to consume a healthy amount. The recommended water intake for adults is around two liters, and around one liter for kids. Babies and toddlers might require a little less, but be sure to ask your doctor first. Cutting back on the sugary drinks and adding more water in your routine will do wonders for your mood, energy, and overall wellness.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean depriving yourselves of treats completely. Being too restrictive with what you and your family eat isn’t a good idea either. You can have your chocolates, cakes, and ice cream during weekends or special occasions. Maybe you can even indulge in after dinner desserts on a weekday. Treats can be part of a healthy lifestyle when you enjoy them in moderation.
Focus on the purpose of healthy eating and creating habits that will truly benefit you and your family. The examples you set now will surely make a good impact on your kids in the long run. What nutritious dishes will you be incorporating in your mealtime rotation? Let us know!