Parenthood is all about doing what’s best for your children. That’s why, when it comes to what they eat, naturally you want to ensure that they are getting all the right vitamins and nutrients. The problem is that it can be easy to fall into bad habits with your children’s diets, particularly when life gets busy. However, if you want to ensure that your kids not only grow up to be healthy weights and sizes but also that they understand the importance of making healthy choices, it pays to make healthy eating a priority from a young age.
The good news is that ensuring that your little ones follow a healthy diet is much easier than you would think, the bad news is that it requires planning and organisation. However, if you set aside just one afternoon a week to get organised for the week ahead, you can make healthy eating a breeze. To give you some useful pointers for getting started and making healthy living easier, below are some ideas to consider utilising.
Be more creative with school lunches
School lunches when you were a child may have consisted of a sandwich, bag of crisps, piece of fruit and mini chocolate bar, but schools are much more health conscious now and like parents to be too. The good news is that there are lots of simple lunch ideas that are also healthy – Pinterest is an amazing resource for fun and healthy lunch ideas. Don’t stick to sandwiches, mix things up. Serve your kids pasta dishes, salads, raw vegetables and a dip, boiled eggs, whole meal pizza slices – be creative. As for a sweet snack, give the chocolate bar a miss and pop a homemade, healthy cake in their lunch box. Fruit is a must have item, if your kids aren’t big fresh fruit eaters, baked or freeze-dried fruit is another option worth considering.
Go DIY with desserts
The worst part of any meal for your children is dessert because shop-bought desserts are packed full of sugar and fat. So why not make desserts yourself? This doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated; it can be quick and easy. If you have a slow cooker, consider making healthy, slow cooker desserts, like apple cake, baked bananas, or baked apples. Or, if your kids love ice cream, invest in an ice cream maker and make healthier, homemade ice cream. Or, how about swapping ice cream for homemade sorbet or frozen yogurt? Be creative and find ways to make desserts lower in calories and better for your family.
Use your slow cooker
As mentioned above, a slow cooker can be a life-saving tool to have. You can make some amazing meals in a slow cooker, with the best thing being that all you have to do is chuck the ingredients into the bowl and turn it on, and by teatime, your meal should be ready to eat. From casseroles and curries to pasta dishes and roasts, you can make almost any meal in your slow cooker, even lasagna! Any meals you have leftovers of, bag up and freeze for an easy dinner on a hectic day where you have no time to cook.
Getting your family to eat more healthily isn’t always an easy task, but it is a doable one. The tips above should help to get you started, and after that, it’s just a case of getting into healthy habits.