Eating healthy might be a priority for your personally, however it can be tricky for busy moms to get their children and spouses to make healthy choices. Between a cramped schedule and all of the quick yet unhealthy choices that are readily available, it takes a lot of work to eat right. But, by implementing a few new habits into your family’s routine, you’ll see that with a little planning, you can get everyone on the right track.
Healthy eating habits are dependent on portion control. Moms can help spouses and kids enjoys the foods they love in moderation by using salad plates at mealtimes. According to Susana Hill, a personal nutrition coach, this tricks the mind into thinking the body is eating more and will discourage consumption of large portions. One-half of the plate should always be vegetables. Once again, being healthy doesn’t mean you have to be hungry, but it also doesn’t mean that you keep eating just because you have room.
Do Not Eat from Packages
Food should be placed in a bowl or on a plate so the portion can be clearly seen. Kids (and adults!) often eat from bags and boxes, which makes them less aware of how much they are consuming. When eating out, it is best practice to order the smaller portion. If this is not an option, larger portions can be placed in a doggie bag before the meal begins. We often think we have to eat what is placed in front of us, just because it is there. We definitely don’t want to be wasteful with our food, but you can practice ordering smaller portions, or dividing the portions up between days so that you aren’t over-eating at mealtime.
Go Shopping as a Family
The process of healthy eating begins at the supermarket. Kids can choose vegetables, fruits and whole grain snacks, as they are more likely to eat what they select. Shopping together also allows parents to act as a team and keep everyone’s temptations in check. While healthy foods might not be your kids’ first choice of what they want at the store, you can give them choices, so they don’t feel like they are being forced to eat healthy foods. Give them the choice between carrots, broccoli, or potatoes with their dinner. All are healthy choices, but whatever they choose, they are most likely to eat.
Make Fruits and Vegetables a Priority
Healthy eating does not mean being hungry. Encouraging children and spouses to eat more vegetables and fruits, which are high in fiber, will make them feel full longer and less likely to reach for candy and potato chips. Providing a few options for fruits and vegetables at dinner will allow everyone in the family to find something they like. If your child has a favorite fruit or vegetable, make it available to them at dinner or for snacks, because they might not eat the other healthy foods you provide. However, it’s always best to encourage your little ones to try new things.
Have Breakfast Every Day
Busy families often do not have time for a proper breakfast, but even a small serving of cheese and fruit eaten on the go can make a big difference. Eating breakfast provides a boost in energy and will curb snack urges in the afternoon. Like most families, you are likely rushed in the morning, which is probably why breakfast gets left out. You can start a bedtime ritual where you prepare snacks or set up breakfast for the morning so that you are ahead of the game. If you set aside something that is easy to eat, or easy to take on the go, you are more likely to get some sort of breakfast.
Set Reasonable Goals
Families have a better chance of changing eating habits by starting with small goals. Moms can steer kids and spouses away from soda and encourage them to drink more water. Fruit is an excellent replacement for sugary snacks and desserts, and oatmeal can replace pancakes in the morning. The new habits have a better chance of success if everyone is committed to being healthier. If you have young children, it is a good idea to make a game of it—make a chart, or some sort of tracking system. You can tie the healthy eating to some kind of reward, but you don’t want your children to be too dependent on eating a certain way solely for a prize. For example, you can say that if the family goes one month without soda, they have earned a fun family outing like a movie.
Being a mom and taking care of a family is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Sometimes getting your kids to eat anything in the first place can be tricky, so getting them to eat healthy can seem almost impossible. Following the six tips above can help you get started, and once your kids are used to these practices and get in the habit of eating healthy, you won’t have to twist their arms in order for them to make good eating choices.
Guest Author: www.SusanaHill.com,