Raising a family is hard work. If you’re a parent who tries to lead by example, showing your kids how to develop healthy eating habits can be a huge challenge. If you’re into diet and fitness, it shouldn’t be too hard to show your kids the many benefits of eating right and getting the proper exercise. However, for many parents, it’s difficult to find the time to exercise and eat healthy each day, especially when the pressures of life and the time constraints of a full-time job make it a huge effort to cook homemade meals and make time for the gym. But with a bit of extra attention to detail and a lot of focus, it can be done. Whether you’re trying to shape up your eating habits at home or planning an event with organic caterer services in huntington ny, here are a few ways you can get your loved ones eating healthier on the regular.
1. Encourage Creativity
One of the greatest misconceptions about eating healthy is that it has to be boring and rigid. On the contrary, one of the best things about trying to diversify your diet is getting to try tons of new things that you would never have picked up before. Starting a healthy diet isn’t about eating raw kale and grilled chicken every night. You can mix it up by going on family shopping trips and finding new vegetables and whole grains to try. Encourage your kids to come up with ideas for healthy snacks that go beyond the average carrot and cucumber stick platter, and find a way to figure out which recipes to try each week. The best part about all of this is that you can make it a family activity. When the whole family decides to go on a diet, it will be much easier for everyone to stick to it. You’ll have the built-in support of the people closest to you, and you can start finding sustainable ways to eat healthier meals at least a few times a week by incorporating more greens, raw ingredients, and creative salad options.
2. Have As Many Family Meals as You Can
Everyone in your household is probably on the go, and it can be hard to find a moment where everyone is on the same schedule. However, the more you can encourage family meal times, the better you’ll be able to enforce healthy eating habits. Creating a healthier diet isn’t just about switching from processed foods to fresh, whole ingredients. The way to create a diet and stick to it is to create habits that are actually sustainable in the long term. When you make family meals mandatory, you’re creating a lifelong habit that your kids can take with them into adulthood of taking time out of their schedule to prep, cook, and enjoy food with other people. Studies have shown that solitary eating can lead to poor choices and unhealthy associations with food and eating, while family meals encourage healthy socialization and a more friendly, positive attitude toward food.
3. Stay Away from Processed Foods
Rule number one of beginning a more balanced diet is to stay away from processed meats, canned vegetables, and added sugars. It’s not as simple as adding more vegetables into your diet and taking away meat and dessert. Many foods in America come with a large amount of added sugar that can act to take away any nutritional value they might have had. Products like processed meats, store-bought bread, and sugary cereals might seem like pantry staples, but they’re actually packed with sugars and preservatives that make them a poorer choice for long-term health. Instead, opting for fresh vegetables, grilled meat and fish, and whole grains like quinoa, rice, and whole wheat pasta, can give you that same full feeling after a meal without packing in a ton of sugar.
4. Encourage Healthy Habits
Your kids’ eating habits start in your home. That means that if you want to encourage a healthy approach toward eating in your kids, you have to start with yourself. If your kids see you run out the door with a sugary granola bar each day rather than seeing you have a proper breakfast, or if you tend to get takeout a few nights a week, your kids will pick up on these habits and normalize them. Don’t worry, though: All this means is that in order to help your kids stay healthy, you have to be strict in terms of what you let yourself get away with. Remember to set a good example that your whole family can follow in terms of your diet and exercise habits.