Tips on how to get you and your family back into a routine.
Healthy, simple nutrition for your family can be daunting, especially when Fall time approaches. Summer meals are crazy carefree chaos: no set dinner time or bedtime; just great relaxing fun. However, our nutrition and healthy eating habits tend to get lost in the chaos, and now it’s time to get back into a routine.
Summer is now over, most kids are back in school, and it is time to get back to healthy eating and schedules!
Eat Supper Together
Family meals are essential. They keep the family communicating and connected, so making this happen is important. To add some fun to the family meal, have appetizers (this is great for picky eaters to get them eating some veggies before the meal – hummus and carrots, and helps get kids involved in meal preparation) and get a bell to alert everyone that dinner is ready!
Be a good role model
Whatever is on your plate, put it on your child’s plate. You don’t need to put as much on their plate; however, they must see what you are eating – monkey see, monkey do will kick in at some point! Because when kids see you eating whole colourful foods at every meal, they will eventually try it; I promise.
Create a healthy snack-filled pantry
This is something you can talk about at the family meal. Have everyone write down five things that they want to have available for snacks. It can empower kids to participate in meal and snack planning. Encourage healthy foods like seeds & nuts (they can make their trail mix), fruit and vegetables, and dips. I always have a few jars filled with assorted nuts: one with almonds and one with macadamia nuts, making it easy for kids and teens to grab quickly.
This tip ties in with the above. Have healthy snacks available – bowl of fruit and/or cut-up veggies with dips in the fridge. Asking for your family’s input makes this much easier. One smart, healthy eating suggestion is not to have bags of chips or lots of so-called healthy bars available. Kids will always grab those first so save them for parties and outings like BBQs.
Make healthy living & eating a priority
Engage in lively, healthy conversations at the dinner table. For example: what do you think those foods are doing in our bodies? and how does healthy eating ( versus not so-healthy eating) make us feel? Where does broccoli come from? How does it grow? Have your kids become aware of food and its effects on their bodies.