TOP TIPS ON RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN
No stress. Easy. Happy. Healthy. That is what I want my family’s diet needs to look like. Here I share step by step practical tips for every meal of the day. I have a rule in my life that if a habit doesn’t provide me freedom, I don’t want it in my life. My healthy habits need to work for me. That is why I make it fun and easy.
You’ve heard it over and over again, and let me remind you one more time… breakfast is your most important meal of the day.
Start each day with fresh fruit before you eat other food.
You can blend them, chop them or eat them as they are. I don’t care, just make sure you eat them, and loads of them!
Start to gradually wean your family off the breakfast cereals.
Breakfast cereals are highly refined and contain lots of sugar and colourings. A smart food choice is to introduce rolled oats to their diets. Rolled oats has not been pre-cooked (which is the case with instant oats) and provides fantastic fuel for the day, while stabilising blood sugar levels. Add some cinnamon and a bit of honey to the oats.
Snack time between breakfast and lunch include some fruit, rice cake or oat cake (topped with some avocado or hummus) and nuts. A small whole wheat pita bread or wrap (tortilla) filled with lots of veggies are also a great option.
Keep it simple.
It is a good thing to introduce a protein with some steamed veggies or a cooked carb such as potato or sweet potato with veggies, this time of the day.
Top Tip: When you fetch your children from school, they are generally VERY hungry by lunchtime. Make a smoothie or some nut milk and give it to them when they hop in the car. They will love it! School makes them tired and sometimes they feel dehydrated as well. Smoothies are the perfect pick-me-up that time of the day and it also take pressure off the care taker to have all the food on the table as soon as you arrive home.
Smart afternoon snacking.
Be sure to give them a smart snack that fills them up in the afternoon. Home made muffins, oats cakes or rice cakes again with avocado or hummus or some veggie sticks. I find that if they have a good snack in the afternoon, they aren’t too hungry in the evening and again takes the pressure off mommy when everybody is screaming at 6pm for dinner.
When you enjoy dinner together as a family, try to start early. It is a special family time, don’t rush it. When you are relaxed when you eat you meal, your food digest much better. It is also very beneficial to not go to bed with a very full stomach.
In the evening try something simple like soup with a whole wheat toast. Mommy and daddy will also benefit from the fact that you don’t eat huge meals in the evening as the extra calories go and make themselves comfortable around their hips and tummies.
After dinner snacking.
If my children doesn’t want to eat the meals I provide for them, or they are still hungry after dinner, I tell them that they can have any fruit or vegetable they want but nothing else. It is not ideal to have fruit this time of the evening, but at least it is better than giving them junk food to fill up their tummies.