How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

There are many simple ways that you can encourage your children to have healthy eating habits. It starts with keeping all the good foods in sight and readily available, and can lead to such interactive things as helping to prepare meals and planting a garden.

Everywhere we go we see the phrase ‘eat right’. Sounds great but how exactly do you get your kids to start eating right? Most of us have a good idea of what some of the healthy foods are: fruits, vegetables and whole grains and what the unhealthy foods are: processed foods, sugary snacks, regular soda. Even if you shop smart it’s another thing to get your kids to eat it. If it’s not in a shiny package, a pretty color or makes funny noises when they chew they may say “no thank you.”

One of the simplest ways to get your kids to eat healthier is to be the gatekeeper and don’t bring the unhealthy options into your house in the first place.

When you do purchase the occasional treat,  do yourself and your kids a favor and think like a supermarket. Once in a while foods on the higher shelves, sometimes foods on the middle shelves and almost anytime foods on low shelves. When stocking a healthy, kid friendly pantry, that eye level is where the cartons of yogurt, snack packs of carrots, and apples go. Remember that eye level for them will be on the low on the shelves where they are most accessible. Also, arrange your home so the not so healthy-high calorie foods are out of sight and the healthier foods are in full view on the countertops or in a favorite drawer. That way the once in a while foods are not something your kids will be seeing every day. Always remember – everything in moderation. Sometimes a little treat is absolutely fine.

More often than not, you’ll want your kids to have a healthy snack but wholesome foods can take a longer time to prepare. In order to make sure that you don’t simply grab what’s available, take some time after your shopping trip or in the evening after dinner and cut up, wash and store your veggies so they become a take and go healthy snack. When doing this, keep an eye on portion sizes! This is a source of stress for many parents. A child’s portion is not the same as a large adult portion. Your children don’t need to eat the same amount as a hungry adult-although sometimes they seem as if they can eat twice as much. 

If you have a picky eater, a simple way to take the mystery out of food is to have your kids help out in the kitchen. When they help you prepare and cook a nutritious family meal they will be more willing to be try what they have helped to make. It’s also a good way to give mom or dad a hand in the kitchen.

Another way to encourage healthy eating is to plant a garden. This will help your kids learn about where food comes from and can give them some control as to what comes into the kitchen. This will not only help to educate them about where certain foods come from, but it will also teach them responsible since a garden will require regular attention. When the vegetables are ripe, let them pick what they have grown. Planting and cultivating a garden with your children is a fun and educational way to encourage healthy eating.
 
Encouraging healthy eating habits in your kids can be both fun and educational. The best part is that they will develop good habits that will last the rest of their lives. 

I’m Mark and if you’re a parent like me, you want to do your best to make sure that your kids grow up healthy and strong. Helping them to develop good eating habits is a one of the best ways to make sure they stay healthy their entire life. If you found this article useful, you can get more information at Prepare Healthy Meals for Kids. In addition, I’ve got information on nutrition, recipes, kitchen appliances, and more on my blog at http://homechefcookingtips.com/

Healthy Solo Eating

There is a growing trend of people living alone. Eating out and fast food have become the norm for many. Healthy eating should be a part of their daily plans, but often is not. Dinner, in particular, seems to be a problem. Many feel making meals for one is a chore. In reality, preparing healthy meals takes less time than you think and, in the long run, saves money.

Eating healthy meals can improve your life. Combined with exercise, it will help you look younger and live longer. Skipping meals or eating fast food and high-fat snacks can be dangerous to your overall health. There is great concern among the medical community about the growing obesity of the population. Take control and develop healthier eating habits. It’s relatively easy to cook for one and have tasty, healthy meals.

I have lived alone for many years and developed a healthy eating style. That doesn’t mean I don’t indulge myself every now and then. Overall, I try to follow the guidelines for healthy eating. You can do the same. Following are some tips for creating healthy meals.

Each week make out a menu and grocery list. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables once a week. By planning in advance, you can have tasty and healthful meals.

If you don’t have any cookbooks, purchase a couple. There are a number of cookbooks for making meals for one or two. Purchase one. It’s worth it. You’ll find recipes that are easy to make.

Invest in a slow cooker and slow cooker cookbook. You can create meals with little clean up. Buying slow cooker liners saves you the trouble of scrubbing the pot. You can make many of your favorites including that comfort food you like.

You can also buy frozen vegetables and steamer bags. These bags allow you to put the vegetables in the microwave for a few minutes. Again, no clean up. You can add them to your slow cooker meal.

Divide the meals into plastic container and freeze them. A few minutes in the microwave at dinner time and you have a healthy, tasty meal.

Have a salad with your meal or just a salad. Bags of lettuce can be found in the produce department, or you can make your own. A number of years ago I learned a trick for keeping my own salads fresh for several days. Cut up the vegetables you want except tomatoes. Put them in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Place a paper towel over the top of the bowl and snap on the lid. Turn the bowl upside down and place it in the refrigerator. The salad will stay fresh for several days.

You can also make your own fruit salad using fruits that are in season. Choose the fruits you like, cut them up and place them in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Easy to pull out in the morning and have a fruit salad.

Don’t hesitate to eat out alone. I enjoying dining with friends, but every now and then I go solo. Restaurants have made it easier by including healthy choices on their menus. You can even order half salads and smaller portions of entrees

Find the time to eat healthy. Resist a diet of fast food and junk food temptations. Stay active and eat healthy. With healthy solo eating you will feel better, look younger and save money.

Lois Bernstein is a former master teacher, adjunct professor, student teacher supervisor and curriculum developer. She is currently tutoring in reading, writing, study skills and math.