How to eat healthy with your family
A healthy, well balanced diet will go a long way to keeping you and your family in good health but with busy lifestyles, tight budgets and fussy eaters it may seem like everything is conspiring against us. But making just a few simple adjustments to your habits can help to get your family’s healthy eating back on track.
Starting the day right with a good breakfast is important for kick-starting your metabolism and sustaining your energy levels throughout the day. Try to avoid sugary foods such as certain cereals or muffins which can cause the blood sugar to spike, leading to an energy crash later in the day. Instead opt for foods high in fibre and protein that will keep you fuller – and sustain your energy – for much longer.
Staying healthy isn’t just about eating the right foods; it’s also about keeping the balance in your body by staying hydrated. Invest in a refillable cup or water bottle and keep it topped up during the day. If you (or the kids) don’t enjoy the taste of plain water, then maybe add a splash of sugar-free squash to make it more palatable.
Increase fruit and vegetables
Whilst we have been told for years that the recommendation is to eat at least five portions a day of fruit and vegetables, recent research has shown that we probably should be eating at least ten to increase our chances of a longer life. Even if you can’t quite manage the full ten, even just introducing more fruit and vegetables into your diet is a great way to eat healthy and can help to decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Avoid processed foods
When you’re buying foods at the supermarket, be sure to check the label. The fewer ingredients the better, is a good rule of thumb to stick by! Processed foods can contain a lot of unnecessary ingredients to help preserve their shelf-life, and may contain much more salt and sugar than you realise. Sticking to fresh foods will help you stick to the nutrients that your body actually needs.
Eating a wide range of fresh food and colourful fruit and vegetables isn’t always the cheapest option – especially if you have a large family. Whilst buying everything fresh may break the weekly shopping budget, choosing the frozen option will still give you the essential nutrients that you need to eat healthy but will help to save you money, by cutting down on waste and just using what you actually need.
Take healthy snacks with you
When you’re out and about it can sometimes be hard finding ways to eat healthy – particularly if you’re sorely tempted by a quick fix of fast food. Being prepared is the answer – so whether you’re in town with the kids or the vending machine is calling to you at your desk, having a pre-packed healthy treat to hand can save you from giving into temptation.
Get your kids involved
For every kid that likes to eat healthy, I can probably name at least five that won’t tolerate anything green on their plate! Thankfully most kids will grow out of it and start enjoying a wide variety of foods but until then you need to work hard. Try to get your family involved as much as possible, whether it be with the grocery shopping or the cooking. If they feel included in the process, then often they’ll be more invested in the actual food and may even try it. They might not like it, but sometimes even getting your children to try a new food can be a good start. Getting your children into healthy habits when they are young will benefit them greatly long-term.
When everything else fails, hidden fruit and vegetables may be the only way to get healthy food into your children! Won’t eat fruit? Try blending with some milk or yogurt into a tasty smoothie. Vegetables can be hidden in numerous ways – you can disguise lots of different veg in with mashed potato and dishes like soup, stew and Bolognese are great for throwing a load of shredded veg in that will hopefully bypass their sensitivity radar! However a real winning way is to sneak vegetables in through the medium of cake! Carrot and Spinach brownies anyone?
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The above post is intended to be informative but does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. Any opinions given are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of SoSmart Protect.