Nowadays, we all live such increasingly busy lives - with full-time jobs, school collections, homework and after-school activities - that it is easy to let our health and nutrition slide as you try to fit everything in.
However, staying healthy does not mean you have to make huge sacrifices to either your diet or lifestyle. In fact, a few small changes can lead to great results, especially when it comes to your kids' health.
1. BAKE cakes and treats yourself
No diet can be considered sustainable in the long term if it doesn’t involve treats and comfort food. But instead of buying a big pack of crisps or ready-made muffins, bake them yourself. That way, you can be in control of everything that is in the treat, and it's a good way to avoid the cheap and poor quality ingredients usually used in processed food. Try to reduce the sugar in the recipes and cut the goods in small kid-friendly portions.
2. Go for family WALKS at the weekend
Too much time spent in front of the TV is not good for your children's health. Playing outside or going for family walks (even in the winter) is extremely important for them as it helps to build up their immune system, provides exercise and vitamin D and stimulates their imagination. Walking is not only a brilliant family activity it is also a great opportunity to talk to your kids.
3. Sit down with your family for dinner
The social functions of family dinners are sometimes neglected in our busy schedules. When dinner is ready, call everybody to the table and turn off the TV. The last meal of the day is a great time to provide your children with good food and a lot of nutrients, but it’s also a crucial family bonding moment. It allows your children to share what they have done during the day and raise any potential issue they might have. It’s also a great time for you to tell them about your day and maybe even ask them what they think about a certain issue you might be encountering at work. Remember, sharing is caring.
4. Cook in bulk
When you cook a family dish, double the portion. Lasagna, stews, roasted vegetables, soup, dips… This won’t double the preparation time and will actually save you some time in the long run. If you always keep healthy delicious food in the fridge or in the freezer, this will help you make sure the kids always have something homemade in hand to snack/lunch on whenever that are hungry.
5. Eat off smaller plates
Large plates might give an elegant look on your table, but they are not the best option if you are trying to be healthy. Many studies have reported that eating off smaller plates can reduce food consumption by 30 percent, and it’s even truer if it is associated with self-serving. Give your children small plates or bowls, let them help themselves and give the same plates to the grown-ups: this will help everybody be more portion-conscious.
Bonus: Keyword MODERATION
Forbidding sweets 100 percent of the time could just lead your kids to eat them behind your back, introduce a sense of guilt in them and in the long term lead them to develop an eating disorder. Eating everything in moderate quantities is the key factor to a well-balanced and healthy relationship with food. Allow candies, cakes and fast food on special days, like a birthday party or after a long walk outside at the weekend.