Healthy Eating Tips

Eating a balanced diet is a goal parents set not only for themselves, but for the whole family. As with fitting in exercise, eating a healthy diet is often easier said than done, but doing so doesn’t have to be stressful if you keep a few practical strategies in mind.

Invite your child to be sous chef.

If your kids are involved in preparing the food they eat, they’ll be a lot more excited about eating it — even if it’s filled with healthy choices! Start by bringing them to the grocery store or farmers market and allowing them to pick out produce, whole grains, and lean cuts of protein. Then, involve them in the preparation of the meal — young children can help wash or pull stems off of produce; older children and tweens can cut ingredients; and teens can do just about every step of a meal under your supervision.

Plant an edible garden.

Even better than purchasing nutritious food is growing it as a family. Your kids will not only be excited about watching fruits and veggies grow in a home garden, but also about picking it off the plant, preparing it for meals, and eating it. Growing produce is also a great way to encourage picky eaters to try new foods. If they see something grow from seed to sprout to crop, it won’t seem so scary to eat.

Preplan meals.

At the end of a hectic day, the last thing most parents want to do is cook a meal from scratch — but they probably don’t want to rely on fast or junk food too often, either. A happy medium is preplanning or even preparing meals ahead of time. If you’re preplanning, work as a family each weekend to set up a weekly menu; this way, you can stock your refrigerator with everything you need ahead of time, and even prep some ingredients ahead of the meal. If you’re able to dedicate an afternoon to meal prep — say, on a Sunday afternoon — you can cook everything you need for the week so you can throw prepared ingredients together each day, or even cook entire meals ahead of time.