Spring is the season of growth, and it’s the perfect time to revamp your family’s meals and spice up your healthy eating routine. Finding healthy recipes, ones that even your pickiest eaters will enjoy can be a challenge for busy parents. We’ve come up with four nutritional trips to ensure your children get all the nutrients they need.
Start Early & Model Good Eating Behavior
Just like all habits, modeling good eating habits is important. Starting to educate your children at an early age can be beneficial in aiding healthy decision-making skills later on in life. When you explain why the veggies, lean meats, and whole grains are important to their growth, they will begin to recognize these foods and make better choices outside of the home. Explaining your family’s meal choices will help them to understand how each different food group affects their growing bodies.
Eliminate the Sugar and Add the Fruits & Vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables hold a variety of healthy nutrients and minerals that are vital in aiding your children’s growth. Add them to snacks, to lunches and present them on the dinner table. For creative ways to add fruits and veggies to meals, check out this article.
Eliminate unwanted sugars. Sugar tends to hide in everything: from beverages to salad dressings. Limit the amount of dessert and extra sugar your kids are eating and be aware of the ingredients in the foods you and your family are eating.
Avoid the “Clean Plate Club”
A majority of parents enforce the idea that in order to leave the dinner table, a child’s plate needs to be completely empty. The problem with this concept is that children are more in tune with their bodies and understand when they are full. Telling your children to finish their plate forces them to ignore their own body’s cues. Instead, start with smaller portions sizes, this way your children won’t feel overwhelmed and can decide if they are still hungry and need a second helping.
Don’t let your kids overindulge in snacks, especially the sugary kind. Sugary snacks fill children up faster and leave less room for meals. Instead, prepare healthier snacks when you’re busy and on the go. For some snack inspiration, check out Parents Magazine to find some of the healthiest and fastest snacks for those hectic afternoons.