Like most parents, I used to rely on take-out and frozen meals in order to get my kids fed. It was just easier and more convenient and it saved me a lot of time. Plus, I had this preconceived notion that making homemade meals everyday would take forever and I just didn’t have the time or patience for that. Things started to change when I noticed my kids weren’t as energetic as they used to be and I became more aware of the preservatives that went into ready-made-meals. I took gradual steps towards a healthier lifestyle and learned some valuable tips along the way that I’d like to share with you.
You can’t get your kids healthy if you aren’t there yourself
You can preach and lecture to your kids all you want but if you aren’t eating well, then your kids won’t either. When your children are young they generally learn lifestyle habits through observation and experience. They watch what you do and emulate it in their own lives. If you want them to adopt healthy eating habits then you better pick up that salad and those fruits and lead the way.
Get rid of the take-out and frozen foods
Sure, these types of foods are really convenient and they save time but in the long run they’re going to do major harm to both you and your kids. And it makes sense logistically: If a certain dish can last in the fridge or freezer for months at a time, something had to be done to it to facilitate this long shelf life. If you and your children continue to eat take-out and frozen food, you’re going to be consuming a huge number of preservatives and additives throughout the years.
Start making simple meals from scratch
In order to get rid of that prejudice against home-cooking, you have to face your fears and start cooking. This doesn’t mean that you have to start making elaborate turkey dinners every night. What it means is that you should start small and experiment with really simple dishes. For example, a salad with grilled chicken is really easy to make and it’s tasty as well. You can also make home-cooked versions of family favorites like chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Buy the right appliances
If you’re concerned about spending hours in the kitchen, it’s worth your while to purchase the right appliances. Think of kitchen appliances as mini assistants that can help speed up the cooking process. For example, a food processor can cut up veggies in about half the time it would take to cut them on a cutting board. You can also show your kids how to use these appliances so that they aren’t intimated by them either.
Get your kids involved in the kitchen
This is maybe the most important thing when trying to introduce healthy foods to your kids. If your kids are consistently involved in the cooking process then they’ll associate home-cooking with fun and excitement. They’ll also gain a better knowledge of foods that are good for them. If you involve your kids in cooking then they’ll be more likely to do it as they grow up.
As you can see, getting your kids to eat healthier takes a lot of effort and dedication. You can’t just put a plate of vegetables in front of them and expect them to eat it. They need to be involved in the process and you have to be dedicated to spending quality time with them. If you’re pressed for ideas on recipes, there are various quality food sites like http://kitchopper.com that you can check out. Introducing healthy food to your children should be fun and it’s a great way to get to know your kids better.
What do you do to try to get your family to eat healthier?