Healthy living for the whole family
If you’re a parent, you have a lot of power. You do the grocery shopping and organize family activities.
You’re also a role model. Your kids are watching what you do.
This is a great chance to set a healthy example in your household, and to provide the structure that kids need.
Healthy living is another opportunity to bond with loved ones. Cooking dinner with your partner (sibling, parent, etc.) or taking an after-dinner stroll together can help you both unwind and connect.
Here are some ideas that previous clients have shared with us.
Take your kids shopping
“Let them pick out a vegetable that they like. Read labels together — if my seven-year-old can’t read the ingredients, I don’t buy the product. Talk about why you chose Product X instead of Product Y. Try a new food together.”
Cook as a family
“Often picky eaters will become more open to new tastes and foods if they’ve been involved in preparing those foods. My little ones can mash potatoes or avocado for guacamole, snap the ends off green beans, set the table, wash vegetables, peel tangerines or boiled eggs, tear up lettuce for salads, and do a variety of other small tasks in the kitchen.”
“Bonus: The earlier you can teach them to cook, the sooner you have some skilled kitchen helpers!”
Eat together as a family
“Even if it’s only one or two meals a week, find a time where you’re not rushing or over-scheduled with activities. This is an important time to connect over a good meal.”
Figure out healthier versions of family favorites
“If I wouldn’t eat it, why would I let my kids eat it? I’m going to buy or make healthier snacks for them and keep the sugary granola bars out of the house.”
Involve the household in planning
“We all plan meals for the week on Sunday together, so we don’t have to think about what to make during the week. Then we make our shopping list from that schedule. And everyone feels included.”
Schedule outdoor or other active family time
“Kick or throw a ball around in the yard. Play tag or road hockey. Walk the dog. Get on the playground with your kids. It doesn’t have to be fancy.”
Add a new veggie and new fruit of the week
“We’ve been doing this as a family for 5 years. Now, my child is away and married and she still calls so we can discuss our “new” discovery of the week.”
Use dietary displacement — healthy stuff first
“I use the “plants first” option. If my kids want a treat, they have to have a piece of fruit or a vegetable first. Most of the time, after they finish a banana or an apple, or have chewed their way through some baby carrots, they’ve forgotten about the other thing.”
Make healthy eating part of your normal routine
“At first, new tastes or changes to food options might not fly well with the kids. Stay patient, and keep making nutritious stuff available. Remember, you’re the parent. It’s up to you to keep your kids safe and healthy.”