Preparing healthy meals for your family can be challenging, especially if you have to work full-time. This is why you need to put a plan in place to make meal time and meal planning less chaotic for you and your family.
By doing this you are helping everyone in your family, especially your children, create a healthy lifestyle that will last for a lifetime. With that being said, here are some tips for getting your family to start eating healthy consistently.
What is a balanced diet?
You may have heard that it is important for you to eat a balanced diet. However, you may be puzzled about exactly what constitutes a balanced diet. Understanding exactly what a balanced diet constitutes is critical to ensuring that you are creating one for your family.
A balanced diet will give your body the nutrients that it needs to function properly. You can get the nutrients that you need from foods like whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and lean protein.
Why Is It Necessary?
A balanced diet is necessary because it ensures that your body is functioning as effectively as it can throughout the day. When your body does not have enough nutrients you will become fatigued and it will be difficult for you to do tasks efficiently. Your body may also be prone to infection and diseases.
If your children don't have a balanced diet it may be difficult for them to develop properly during their formative years. A lack of proper nutrients also leads to poor performance at school and may make them more prone to getting sick regularly.
The nutrients that are necessary for a balanced diet are vitamins, minerals as well as antioxidants. You should have carbohydrates and fiber in your diet too. Additionally, try to add protein and healthy fats as well.
You will know your diet is healthy when it contains lean meat, vegetables, whole grains as well as dairy products. These are the foods in which the best nutrients are found.
To get your family eating right you will need to remove trans fat from their diet. Trans fat are those fats that are responsible for increasing your cholesterol.
Good fats will do the opposite of that and decrease your cholesterol. If you read food labels before you buy food you will be able to pinpoint those foods with trans fat in them.
You must teach your kids to read the labels of products from early.
This is one way in which you can eliminate the amount of trans fat in your diet. Another way to avoid trans fats is to avoid fried foods. Instead, you should try to bake, broil, or grill, as this will be healthier.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
You must try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Train your child to reach for fruits instead of unhealthy snacks. Hunger pangs are better filled with healthy fruits and vegetables.
One of the easiest ways to get your child to make healthy choices is to eliminate unhealthy ones. Be careful what you bring into your home.
Children have no choice but to fill their hunger pangs with healthy snacks if they are in their homes. It forces them to make better choices.
You can get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables by making smoothies and green juices. Getting your children to drink their fruits and vegetables instead of eating them is often an effective strategy.
You can even turn these fruits and veggies smoothies into popsicles by buying a popsicle mold and pouring the liquid in and freezing it.
Reduce Salt Intake
Another important thing that you must do is reduce salt intake. Reducing salt intake is not just about how much salt you put into the food when you are cooking it, you also, need to read the labels of the products that you eat as well.
Snacks in particular can contain a lot of unnecessary salt. Potato chips for example are a major culprit of this. As you get older your salt intake needs to diminish as it puts you at risk for high blood pressure.
Limit Refined Foods
You will need to limit the amount of refined foods that you eat in your diet as well. Some examples of refined foods are pasta, rice, and white bread. Instead of these foods, you should try eating whole grains as this is healthier.
Try to ensure that at least half of the whole grains your family consumes daily are healthy. Healthy whole grains are brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole wheat bread.
Remove Meat and Poultry
The next step in the entire process of eating healthy should be to reduce the amount of meat and poultry that you are eating.
Meat and poultry give a lot of protein. These are essential, especially for hair growth but you want to make sure that you are eating the healthiest proteins possible. The best proteins come from fish, beans, and lentils.
Lower Your Sugar Intake
Getting family members to reduce their sugar intake can be a challenge. There are no shortages of juice boxes and this can cause kids to drink juices that are loaded with sugar.
Also, kids are often tempted to eat a lot of candy as well. This is why limiting the amount of sugar that you and your family eat can be a challenge.
For children, drinking too many sugary drinks will not only increase their calorie count but it can also be detrimental to their teeth as well. Tooth decay is a very real problem and it is something that you should try to eliminate.
Try to get your children and the rest of the family to stop drinking a lot of sugary drinks. The best way to achieve this goal is to have more water available than sugary drinks in your home.
You should also set a good example by trying to drink as much water as you possibly can.
Consider Low-Fat Dairy
When people hear about low-fat dairy products they tend to think that they're going to get poor-tasting food. It's true that when fat is removed from some products the taste can be less appetizing but this does not always have to be the case.
The amount of reduced fat in products varies. You must experiment to see which ones will be palatable for your family.
Once you find the best cheese, milk, or ice cream with reduced fat you should stick with those. The bottom line is that when it comes to low-fat products it's all a matter of trial and error.
Reduce Portion Sizes
One of the things you can do to help your family eat healthier is to reduce portion size. If overeating is affecting your family then one of the easiest tricks you can use is to get smaller plates and bowls.
Train your family to eat in such a way, that if a piece of food cannot fit on the plate it will have to be from the meal.
Balance things out by offering second servings when available. Try to have protein and vegetables in this second serving.
The bottom line is that keeping portion sizes at an appropriate level, so that you are not gorging yourself on food is important as well.
Meal Planning and Prepping
A great idea to help your family eat healthier is to do meal planning sessions at the beginning of the week. Regular meal planning sessions will help you to stick to healthy foods at all times.
There are meal planning templates available online that you can use to make the meal planning process a lot easier. If you want to go all out you can start the month off by doing your meal planning.
In addition to meal planning, you can also do meal prep. Meal prep will make it easier for you to stick to your diet plan too.
When it is time to make the meal all you will have to do is take out the container in which you have prepped the meal, finish cooking it, or pop it in the microwave based on the level of preparation
Be sure to have all the appliances you need to make meal prep easier. Appliances such as a coffee machine, sandwich maker, rice cooker, and more are very useful.
Getting your family to eat as healthily as possible is important. You can easily achieve this goal by making sure you educate yourself about healthy eating.
By educating yourself you are making it possible for your family to stay healthy at all times. Try to get your kids to start making healthy eating choices by your example.
By teaching them these important life skills you are ensuring that they do their best to live a healthy lifestyle as an adult.