There are so many food-rules out there. It seems like everyone has an opinion about healthy eating. The lists of dos and don’ts are endless and at this time of year, all the good intentions are gone out the window as we get sick of feeling like we have failed. But, help is at hand, we’ve put together a list of tiny changes, which can have the greatest benefits for everyone. So here goes:
Little humans need littler portions. Dish out according to size, the bigger kids get more than toddlers etc. If you think you can, try giving yourself a smaller bowl/plate. You will be surprised how a smaller portion can still make you feel full- and you and your little ones can always go back for seconds!
For mum and dad - simple things like picking up the lighter option or the sugar-free option will really make a difference. Go for the lighter cheese or yogurt for example – there’s no need to cut out your trolley staples. Just choose lighter.
Substitute white with brown
Slowly changing from white rice and pasta to wholemeal will not be noticed after the initial switch and will again become the norm.
This is a fab one! I found 'fake treats' to be one of the best ways to encourage healthy eating. If you get the family excited about strawberries and chocolate-covered rice cakes, they may be less likely to want a bar of chocolate. Substitute popcorn for crisps, raw peanut butter for jam or chocolate spread and dried fruit for jellies. The best part is they taste just as good, and once that’s all you have in the cupboard, it just becomes the norm. Oh and bonus, you no longer have the ‘but why can’t I have a bar before dinner’ rows.
Find what they like and stick to it
If you have an apple monster or a banana monkey in the house, nurture it. It's great to try new things, but if they already have a love for something nutritious, make sure you pack THAT for a snack and always have it to reach for at home.
Get them involved
Whether it’s preparing food, cooking healthy treats or shopping with you – that’s how they will learn. If you involve everyone in the house in all aspects, and keep on the healthy straight and narrow, this will become how it always is.
Give them choice
Children can thrive off choice. Giving them options allows them to be in control while showing them you trust them. Ask what kinds of fruit they’d like in their lunch box (not one or other, but a variety) or vegetables they would like for dinner (again a selection not just one) means they are involved, and are understanding what a healthy meal is without being told anything about it. And again praise their choice!
Treats (real ones) in moderation
Remember: Chocolate is NEVER off the cards, but it’s a weekend / special occasion thing, not for every day.
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