You may or may not know that we are currently in the season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter when we are supposed to deny ourselves in order to atone for our sins.
When I was growing up, we always gave up sweets and if you were really strict, some years you might give up crisps and biscuits as well. I remember saving every sweet I came into contact with during those 40 days and having a rare 'ol feast at midnight on Easter Saturday - not sure how good that was for my soul - whatever about my health!
What has this got to do with healthy eating and kids and all the usual stuff I'm normally going on about? Well, I was thinking about Lent and how it was always the stick rather than the carrot approach (I'm talking about the 70's and 80's here!) We were encouraged to deny ourselves (stick) rather than doing kind deeds (more the carrot approach).
Nowadays, I think the carrot approach is more successful. So, irrespective of your religious leanings, the period of time leading up to Easter (if you celebrate it) is a useful time to look at improving something in your life (see what I'm getting at now - finally, says you!). And what better thing to improve than your diet!
It takes 66 days to create a habit - unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps!) Lent doesn't stretch to 66 days but there are about 33 days remaining until Easter. And that would surely put a good dent into the habit-forming situation.
So what kind of habits am I talking about? Well, here are 10 easy things you could do with your eating habits from now until Easter and see how you get on. Pick one or two or all 10 - it's only for 33 days after all - and by then hopefully, it'll be a habit.
- swap white pasta for brown
- swap white rice for brown
- if you normally have 2 biscuits with your tea, reduce it to 1
- if you normally eat milk chocolate, try dark (even the kids - in my house my kids will eat any chocolate they can get their hands on!).
- add a vegetable to your smoothie - e.g.. carrot, spinach, beetroot
- add an extra vegetable to your dinner every day
- swap your dinner plate for a smaller one
- sit down to eat every meal
- start every day with a glass of water, lukewarm with lemon is even better!
- reduce the size of your protein and carbs on your plate and increase the veg
Nothing terribly hard there, is there? Happy habit forming!