You want your child to be healthy … right? To have a long, prosperous and happy life?
Of course you do. And as a mom, I do, too!
That all starts with FOOD.
Just as eating the right food helps you and I lose weight, feel better and look slimmer …
The right food can set your child up for long-term success and health, too.
Want to help your children be the healthiest version of themselves?
It’s really quite easy. Just use these tips, and give your kids the foundation they need for a long and healthy life.
Be Careful of Drinks.
Though they might seem insubstantial, many children’s drinks are actually packed full of sugar and calories …
Just a single can of coke can have a whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar! That’s more than they should have in a full day!
Be mindful of what your kids drink, and be sure to stock up on loads of healthy, hydrating drinks.
My favorites to keep in the fridge? Naturally flavored waters. To naturally flavor your water, you can add fruits like lemon, orange, berries, or even some mint leaves or some cinnamon sticks…the possibilities are endless.
Watch Your Portion Sizes
It might be tempting to give your child the same size bowl of pasta for dinner, but remember: their stomach is significantly smaller than yours.
They don’t need as much to fill up … and they certainly don’t need all the calories that come with it.
To be safe, talk to your pediatrician, he can guide your on what a healthy portion is for your child. This will keep them from overeating, and it will ensure you give them all the food groups their little body needs.
Switch to Whole Grains
If you’re serving up bread, pasta, crackers or anything with flour in it, make sure to opt to whole wheat and whole grain versions instead.
Traditional white flour is over-processed and contains virtually no minerals or nutrients at all.
Whole grains, on the other hand, have plenty of healthful ingredients that your kids’ bodies need to grow big and strong.
Throw the “Clean Plate” Rule out the Window
Did your parents always make you clean your plate before you could leave the table?
Little did they know, they were actually hurting your health in the long run.
Forcing your child to clean their plate will give them a skewed understanding of portion sizes, and it will make them overeat at virtually every meal they sit down to.
If your child is filling up, make sure they’ve eaten enough of their veggies and protein and send them on their way.
Their body is telling them their done – so listen!
Always Eat Breakfast
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.
It jump-starts your metabolism, wakes you up and fuels your body for the day’s activities to come.
Always make sure your little one gets a balanced breakfast, complete with a fruit and a protein.
If you’re strapped for time, pack a boiled egg and an apple in a paper sack for the bus ride.
Be sure to include a water bottle, too. Hydration is important to both mental and physical health!
Don’t Buy Junk Food
Junk food like cake, cookies, chips and other fat-laden items aren’t a treat – nor are they a reward for good behavior.
Treating them as such will train your kids to want them … to crave them, even.
If you really want your child to make healthy food decisions today and for the rest of their lives, steer clear of the junk food, and stock your pantry and fridge with items their body needs.
Training them to know and like these foods from an early age is a great way to encourage a long-term healthy lifestyle.
Become a nutrition label pro, and start to avoid foods with additives, chemicals and preservatives – especially ones you can’t pronounce.
Sure, applesauce might sound like a healthy choice. But if you look at the label, there’s like tons of added sugars, colorings, flavoring and more.
Whenever possible, choose the most natural option possible. Buy a gala apple, chop it into pieces, bake it and roll it in cinnamon. Your child will love the taste just as much – and their health will thank you, too.
Show your child that food – even healthy food – can be a fun and exciting part of life.
Don’t get stuck in a rut, cooking the same, boring, bland meals every week.
Instead, choose a new recipe every few days, and work in a new, healthy and unique ingredient your kids haven’t tried before.
Let them see just how tasty healthy living can be.
I’ve worked these tips into my lifestyles as mom … and guess what?
My kids are healthy as can be!
Despite the age difference between them, both are happy and on their way to a beautiful life full of health and wellness.
What methods do you use to help keep your kids healthy? Any kitchen or cooking advice for other busy moms out there? Share it in the comments.