As parents, keeping our kids healthy is a priority. One of the best ways to do that is through exercise, and you can’t do much better than bouncing around in a trampoline place. But the fact is, we’re in the middle of an obesity epidemic that affects kids and adults alike, and regular exercise won’t completely do the trick. Sure, regular movement and cardio is excellent for building muscle and dropping the pounds. But eating healthy is the key.
It’s tough enough to eat healthily, but things can get even more difficult when you’re meal planning for kids. Along with that, the majority of our junk food consumption happens when we snack. Don’t get us wrong, there’s a place for sweets and chips, but those should be consumed in extreme moderation. Keep reading, and we’ll share a few tips to help your kids, and you, eat healthier.
- First, keep junk food out of the house. If it’s not there, it won’t be a temptation for anyone in the family. While snacks are a normal part of the day’s food consumption, try setting a good example for your kids and snack healthy yourself. As far as treats are concerned, save them for special occasions. Not only will fewer sweets be better for your body, you’ll appreciate them more by having them less.
- Protein is a great dietary staple, because it will help your child feel fuller faster, and for a longer period of time. If you’re okay with eating meats, deli meats and cooked chicken tenders can be a good choice, along with hard boiled eggs. If you’re leaning more vegetarian, nuts and nut butters are bursting with protein, as are noodles. Beans are another great choice, and a bean burrito with salsa and a little cheese will do the trick.
- Remember a while ago when people were encouraged to cut carbs out completely and eat meats? It turns out that carbs can be okay, particularly if you focus on whole-grain foods. Making a sandwich with whole-grain bread, or a wrap using a whole-grain tortilla can be satisfying. For breakfast, try whole grain and high fiber cereals for a tasty and filling meal.
- Fruits and vegetables are the name of the game. For younger kids, their variety of bright colors can make them appealing for snacks and main meals. Pineapples, watermelons, mangoes, avocados, red and green peppers are all a good option, along with the traditional standbys of apples, bananas, and grapes. A yogurt dip for fruit is yummy and nutritious, as is peanut butter on celery, bananas, or apples.
- Don’t feel like breakfast foods need to be stuck in the AM. Using them as afternoon snacks can keep things spontaneous and interesting. A little dried cereal mixed up with nuts and fruits is healthy and filling. You can also microwave oatmeal with a little low-fat milk, then mix it with some unsweetened applesauce and a pinch of cinnamon.
Ultimately, eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or unpleasant. All you need to do is replace bad habits with good habits, and the process can be simpler and less expensive. Come back tomorrow, and we’ll share a few more tips with you!