Keeping your growing kids fed and healthy can be a difficult thing. Most of them are usually active and like to run, playing outside, and have high metabolisms with calories that need burning!
We all know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, but when your kids come inside for a snack, the chances of them grabbing some carrots, while a big bag of Doritos is close by can be pretty slim. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your kids active and fueled up the healthy way:
Convenience, is one of the biggest deterrents to keeping our kids from having a healthy diet. While we know just how much healthier scrambled eggs would be versus a sugary bowl of cereal, it also takes extra time and effort. However, this lack of time spent on their meals can make a difference in their energy levels and overall well-being.
Perhaps some quick, helpful habits could help towards the most important meal of the day:
- Wash fruit immediately after taking it home from the store and placing it in easy to access containers
- Boil a few eggs and keep them stored in the fridge. Cold boiled eggs are tasty!
- Have some bread ready to pop in a toaster
When it’s breakfast time, you already have fruit cut up and eggs scrambled; pop in a piece of whole wheat toast and Ta-Da! You’ve provided your children with a healthy, hearty, and easy breakfast. You’re super mom.
Here are other easy peasy ideas for a healthy start to a good day!
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a go-to, boring, no-brainer. But they’re actually filled with added sugars. Keep a list of lunch ideas inside your pantry door for the times you’re having a difficult time thinking of the perfect, healthy lunch for your little humans.
Need some healthy alternatives to get you started?
- Tuna and crackers, side of apples and cheese
- Curry chicken salad with grapes, side of fruit or veggies
- Black bean quesadilla with guacamole, side of carrots
- Ham, crackers, and cheese
- Grilled cheese and pear sandwiches
- Kid friendly and healthy pasta salad
- Fruit and veggie smoothie with a side of popcorn
While you’ll notice an increase in healthy eating from your children after you’ve done a bit of meal prepping to make healthy options more convenient, chances are they’ll still ask for sugary and processed food. The best way to avoid junk, especially at home is to stop buying junk food all together. By providing only good choices for things to eat, you can avoid setting your kids up for failure when they’re presented with sugary, tempting options.
With my kids, I’m SURE to keep snacky treats out of site during meal times. This helps us all avoid frustrating conversations and arguments over what we’re going to eat that day.
Jill Castle, R.D. recommends serving meals and snacks around three hours apart. “This helps keep your child at a healthy weight by ‘normalizing’ hunger.” If your child doesn’t eat a sufficient amount at one meal, you can take comfort in knowing they’ll have another opportunity to eat in a few hours.
One of the main reasons a family resorts to unhealthy eating is due to a lack of planning. When dinner time comes around, instead of hunting down a healthy recipe, obtaining the necessary ingredients and making dinner, order pizza becomes a lot easier.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to make a menu for your week’s meals and take a weekly shopping trip to acquire all of the necessary ingredients for those meals. Having your meals planned out, and all of your ingredients on hand will play a significant role on making sure your family is getting the necessary nutrition.
Providing your family with healthy food can be somewhat of a lifestyle change, if it’s something you’re not used to. However, your active kids need the proper nutrition to keep them healthy and strong which makes this alteration well worth it.