Even though this March may feel like it’s the winter that never ends, it is time to start focusing on nutrition and bringing that under-the-blankets body back to life! Below are a few tips for keeping nutrition top of mind for your family.
- Have meals together. Research shows that families who eat meals together tend to eat healthier and children are less like to be overweight. As children become teens, it is also been proven to be a good way to stay engaged in their lives and prevent other bad habits like drug and alcohol abuse.
- Set a realistic goal. Does your husband work nights? Then make a point to have breakfast as a family. Do sport and after school activities dominate the week? Then make Sunday night dinners a household tradition – TV off and table set!
- Expose them to different foods. Kids are hesitant of new things, including food. So if they reject a certain vegetable or protein the first time you present it, don’t give up, that’s a normal response. Keep exposing them to it and eventually it won’t be new anymore and they will be more likely to accept it as part of a well-balanced diet.
- Stock the house with healthy options. As household grocery shopper, you are, for the most part, the gatekeeper controlling what foods your child eats. Simply leave the chips and cookies at the store and stock up on fruits and low or nonfat dairy products. As a family, look through the ads to plan your menu. Yes, they may still have access to grandma’s cookie jar on occasion, but that’s okay. By stocking up on healthy choices, your child will eventually learn to make smart food decisions all on their own.
- Have your own exercise routine. Kids are always watching and they many not under-stand the importance of exercise if they don’t see you doing it. Pick up some fun activities you can do with your child, like going for a bike ride, renting kayaks, or indoor rock climbing.