Whether we realize it or not, our habits significantly influence how our lives shape up, and the case is no different when it comes to nutrition. One day of eating innutritious foods won’t make you unhealthy, sure. But over two years? How about 5, 10, or even 20? Then, you can bet that it would make a dent in your health.
Because of that, it’s critical to take a look at your eating habits and those of your family. We often don’t think about them because they are ingrained, but establishing healthy eating habits is crucial, especially when choosing unhealthy options is so easy.
Without further ado, here are the healthy habits you should adopt:
1. Have your meals together
Gathering around the table for meals is an excellent way to be a good role model for your children and also overlook their eating habits. Displaying a good relationship with foods and mindful eating programs your kids to do the same. This is also a great way to bond as a family and reconnect after a long day.
If your kids are picky eaters, having meals together can help change that. It teaches them to enjoy a wide variety of food and not make a fuss each time you don’t have cereal for dinner. Also, if your kids are slow eaters, be patient and don’t force them to overeat. They are much better at telling when they are full and when to stop.
2. Establish a routine for eating
It’s essential to establish a regular eating pattern for yourself and your family because it helps everyone get into the routine of eating much more easily. Your body begins sending hunger signals as mealtime approaches, and you’ll have a much easier time making your kids eat their healthy food before springing off to play.
Some research also suggests that people who establish a regular eating pattern are much more likely to make better food options, not overeat, and not pick unhealthy snacks to hold off until it comes time to eat.
3. Eat more whole, nutritious foods
After a hard day at work, it can be tempting to order a pizza for dinner and call it a day. But making sure that each meal you have is filled with whole, nutritious foods not only establishes better eating habits for your kids, but also promotes better long-term health. These foods provide your family with a balanced ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats, as well as fiber, different vitamins, and minerals.
Make more veggie salads with meals: cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, spinach, etc. Prepare sides such as baked potatoes, rice, quinoa, and broccoli. Buy and prepare organic meat. Some research suggests that meats high in growth hormone cause kids to mature early. Buy whole-wheat and whole-grain cooking products. Introduce fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, minimally-processed nut butter, seeds, avocados, and eggs into meals. All of these are excellent sources of healthy fats.
4. Provide your kids with healthy snack options
This will help you limit how much junk food your kids eat. Instead of them eating a candy bar in the afternoon, a sliced apple with some natural nut butter spread on top can be equally as satisfying and twice as healthy.
Now, most people associate healthy with bland, but it doesn’t need to be like that. There are lots of healthy and delicious treats out there.
- Bananas, celery, and apples all go great with natural nut butter on top.
- A slice of bread with nut butter, sliced banana, and chia seeds makes for a delicious afternoon snack.
- A smoothie with some fruit, greek yogurt, and milk is a great (and tasty) way to provide your kids with some vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Make oatmeal: 1 serving of rolled oats, milk, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, a cup of blueberries, and a sweetener. It takes about 10 minutes.
5. Limit sweets and sugary drinks
Sugary drinks such as soda and orange juice are very calorie-dense, and we often consume hundreds of calories without even noticing it. This makes taking in a lot of calories very easy, and your kids might gain extra weight. You can substitute them with freshly squeezed fruit juice, water, iced tea, whole organic milk, smoothies, and coconut water.
Also, limit your children’s sweets consumption to once or twice per week (while providing healthy snack ideas) and on holidays. There’s nothing wrong with setting some boundaries; your kids will grow up to become healthy adults and have a good relationship with food.