Being a parent is hard work! I’ve officially made it two years as a parent and I’ve had to really shift priorities during these two years. I, just as I’m sure you do, want my family to be a healthy family and that begins with the parents.
Over the past two years I’ve worked on making my family a healthy family and I want to share my tips with you.
Here are my top 5 steps for making YOUR family healthier!
Eat together as a family
This is one key step that will help your kids learn how to be healthy by watching you, learning from you and being served healthier options. In fact, studies prove it! A 2000 survey found that the nine to 14-year-olds who ate dinner with their families most frequently consumed more fruits and vegetables and less soda and fried foods. Their diets also had higher amounts of many key nutrients, like calcium, iron, and fiber. Plus as an added bonus, you get to learn more about what’s going on in your kid’s lives.
Plan out meals
I remember watching my mom plan out all of our meals for the week, posting it on the refrigerator and creating a shopping list based on the menu. This sounds more complicated than it has to be and can easily be done in 15 minutes or less. It leads to healthier options getting on your table and saving money too! I use my Healthy Living Cookbook to come up with recipes when I’m stuck. This is my personal cookbook of RD-approved, family-loved recipes! I generally find 4-5 dinners for the week, a couple snacks and build my shopping list from the ingredients. Leftovers are my best friend because they make for easy lunches!
Get your kids involved in cooking / shopping
This might sound like a nightmare but it’ll do your kids a lot of good when they get older! Did you know that your kids learn how to function as an adult from you ?! I know, you already knew that 🙂 In all seriousness, if you don’t teach your kids how to grocery shop then how do you expect them to do it as an adult? I LOVED going to the store with my mom… it was bonding time for us! It’ll also make them more likely to eat the fruits and veggies THEY picked out. Need some help with grocery shopping? I’ve got you covered with my Grocery Shopping for Weight Loss or Grocery Shopping on a Budget guides!
Incorporate healthy convenience foods
In this day in age, cooking everything from scratch is not a reality. However, there are plenty of healthy convenience foods you can incorporate to get the job done!
- Rotisserie chicken
- Powerful Oatmeal cups
- Minute brown rice cups
- Lost Simply Smart grilled chicken
- Salad kits
- Steam in the bag veggies, brown rice, quinoa, spiralized veggies and more
- Special K crust-less quiche
Implement a family activity
This can be as simple as taking a 20-minute walk together after dinner. It can also be a family hike on a weekend or playing tag in the backyard together. They need it and we need it too! Get your kids off the tv and video games and get them outside and active. This sets the stage for how active they will be later in life and thus reduce their risk of a variety of medical conditions.
In the end these changes all start with you, the parent. However, adding another thing to your plate doesn’t have to be as dreadful as you might think. Take it one step at a time.
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