If there is one thing I am familiar with, it’s the challenge of getting your kids to eat healthy when you are racing from one activity to another, or even when you are home and you want to encourage smart choices while they are running in and out of the house or worse, forced to stay inside and make due. There is a lot of that these days so I wanted to share some of my healthy hacks!
As parents, we create the boundaries and set the rules in the household. We determine what time our kids go to bed, when they have meals (and what they eat), what activities they are involved in, even the clothes they wear (at least up to middle and high school). It’s super important that we establish healthy eating habits early on because inevitably that will all go by wayside for a few years in high school if your kids are like typical teenagers today. (All the teen moms right now are thinking “You better believe it”). But setting the tone now and helping our kids build strong healthy immune systems will serve them now and in the future.
Some strategies I use:
- Let them know that eating healthy is critical for them growing the way they are supposed and have the strength and energy to do all the things they love
- They have to eat 1-2 fruits and veggies with virtually every meal or there are no sweet treats given (trust me this bribe will work if you enforce it!)
- Model the behavior you want your kids to engage in by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables yourself; kids are naturally curious and the more they exposed to different healthy foods the more open they will become to trying them
- Plan a veggie wars party. Cut up different veggies and then write them all down on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Have each person try them and rate their favorites and talk about what they don’t like. Reward them if they try them all!
- Try these other tips below!
Healthy Snack Hacks
Tip #1: Have fruits and veggies on hand, ready to serve
I have found that when I have fruits and veggies already prepped, I am more likely to actually add them to meals and snacks and so my kids are more likely to eat them! Here are some tips to make it easier on the busy mama:
- Carve out 15-30 minutes every few days and do a little healthy snack prep
- Cut apples, oranges, carrots, cucumbers, celery ([Pro-tip: to keep apples from browning too much, add ice and water to a bowl, squeeze lemon, add your apples slices and let sit for about 5 minutes, then remove from water)
- Add your cut produce to glass containers and store in your fridge
- Add to lunch boxes or smaller containers for easy on-the-go snacks
- When your kids are hungry, tell them to grab the fruit and veggie containers and help themselves
Tip #2: Put our healthy snacks in trays – make it colorful and fun
My kids will ransack the pantry when they get home if I don’t have fresh healthy foods out and ready!
- Take your cut fruits and veggies and add them to muffin or bread tins.
- Make a colorful arrangement and set out on the counter or table
- Watch as your kids walk by and graze on this healthy snack tray
- OPTIONS: have a mix of fruit. veggies, and other snacks – like popcorn, veggie sticks, hummus, trail mix (I’ve made this with granola, raisins, and cereals (non-sugar)
Cheers to investing in your health and that of your littles! There has never been a more important time to establish and maintain healthy habits! If you need other tips, please reach out!
your elevated mama,