Good nutrition is beneficial for your family for good reasons. It reduces your risks of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, stroke, and osteoporosis. You can encourage good bacteria to thrive in your gut with the right meals, preventing inflammation, diverticulitis, and bowel cancer. Also, you can stay on top of weight management while avoiding risk factors that disrupt your good night’s sleep. Statistics indicate that 93% of Americans desire to eat healthy meals. However, approximately 10% admit that they always eat healthily. It is often a challenge to encourage your children to eat healthy meals. If it feels more like a goal than an actual accomplishment, here’s how you can achieve it.
It’s not uncommon for family members to eat at different times and places. However, eating together offers many perks worth considering. Indeed, it promotes healthy family bonds, making it essential to practice. But do you know that it offers health benefits too? According to dietitian nutritionist Kristen Gradney, families who dine together consume more fiber, fruit, and vegetables while avoiding fried foods. Moreover, it helps your kids maintain a healthy weight and try new foods. Eating together is also a great way to teach your kids manners, encourage communication and prevent behavioral problems. Therefore, you may want to consider it, if you haven’t already.
While it’s more common to eat dinner together, it shouldn’t be limited to that. It’s prudent to create a regular schedule for family mealtimes to encourage all family members to prepare ahead. You’ll also find it helpful to eliminate phones and other smart devices to avoid distractions. Assign tasks to each family member to promote participation. You can assign each member a “table topic” to research and they can tell the family at dinner what they’ve learned. If it feels awkward to eat without doing something, you can engage in conversations to promote healthy communication and decrease boredom.
Fill Your Home With Healthy Snacks
You may crave snacks or treats before the main meals throughout the day. It may seem like keeping many snack options in your home is how it is supposed to be. However, stocking up on unhealthy snacks can defeat your goal of eating healthy. Not only do you put your family at risk of developing obesity or type 2 diabetes, but it also causes digestive problems. Also, high quantities of refined sugar and unhealthy fat can suppress your brain’s memory formation and learning function, which isn’t good for your kids’ academics. It can become an addictive habit and trigger depression if you can’t access these junk foods. Therefore, the best alternative is to purchase healthier snacks for the best results.
Fruits are one of the healthiest snacks your family can enjoy, as they contain minerals and fiber. If you feel plain fruits are boring, you can still choose from other options. For instance, a combination of dark chocolate and almonds is tasty and nutritious. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, while almonds are rich in healthy fats, making them good options. You can also consider kale chips, greek yogurt, mixed berries, mixed nuts, etc. Certain healthy snacks are deceptive as they contain highly processed ingredients, so try to avoid them.
Prepare Simple And Nutritious Meals
Your busy schedule can make it challenging to prepare homemade meals regularly. However, you may be tempted to opt for fast food options, if you don’t cook your own meals. This, in turn, can cause you to waste more money while compromising your health. Fortunately, you can still cook good meals even with your tight schedule. The key is to opt for simpler food options. For instance, pan fried pork chops are easy to prepare, nutritious, and delicious, so you can include this meal in your meal plan. If it’s your first time trying this meal, you can try this recipe for pan fried pork chops to get the best results. It’s also important to use your ingredients at home to prevent food waste.
Another way to make cooking easier is to prioritize meal prepping. This involves preparing your food ingredients ahead to simplify the cooking process. Meal prepping helps save time, reduce portion sizes, and reach your family nutrition goals. Meal prepping can be done in diverse ways, and you can choose the best options based on your preferences. For example, you can make full meals when you have time and refrigerate them for future use. You can also portion and refrigerate these meals according to each family member, especially if you want quick lunches. If you can’t cook full meals, you’ll find it helpful to clean and refrigerate your ingredients, so keep this in mind.
Healthy eating is an important aspect of promoting the overall health of your family members. Hopefully, you’ll consider these strategies for the best results.