Today we have vast choices and variety in commercially available food and our kids often demand food that does not nourish their growing body but is full of bursting flavours and tastes! It’s a challenge sometimes, to convince them into eating homemade food that has no added flavours or colours. When we are busy and go through a hectic schedule, it becomes easier for us to feed our children readily available meals or takeaways. As we definitely are aware that our schedules are mostly going to stay busy, we can’t keep putting off giving our kids nutritious food that is an essential requirement for their healthy growth.
What do you think can we do to ensure that our children eat nutrient-rich food, and at the same time, our scheduled tasks are not ignored? It is definitely not going to be very easy but it’s not impossible for sure. Giving it a try is not harmful and when we start with a small step, we will keep going with new ideas, as you must have heard that, ‘small steps create valuable habits’. As time flies quicker than we think, these little children will have grown up and the eating habits formed in their childhood can’t be changed overnight.
Planning ahead: Before beginning a new week, getting ready with a meal plan for the week ahead will be helpful especially when there is no time during working days to decide what to cook. In this way, it is possible to manage time and have a planned menu in place for the entire week.
Grocery shopping: Based on the meal plan for the week, we can go shopping for what we need in order to prepare those meals in our next week’s menu. Making a list of ‘what to purchase’ beforehand, saves time and helps us avoid buying something that we don’t need. Involving kids in the shopping and asking them to read the labels on food packets will help them make healthy choices.
Healthy Options: Rather than repeatedly reminding children about foods to avoid, letting them know the variety of healthy food and their goodness is a better approach towards encouraging kids to learn more about nutrient-rich food and how good it is to eat healthily.
Family time: When at home for mealtime, be it breakfast/lunch/dinner or any snack time, it becomes a great opportunity to connect well with our kids when the family gathers at the table for the meal/snack. We can use this time to share how our day was and know what’s on the mind of our little children. As everyone eats together sharing each other’s thoughts, it will help kids enjoy a healthy meal.
Water: It is good to keep reminding our kids that, staying hydrated by drinking enough water keeps our body healthy. Kids easily get addicted to soft drinks, too much of which is unhealthy and harmful to the body. Being a role model by not storing sugary drinks at home is a great way to lead children into drinking enough water.
Time is valuable. Spending it with family and in planning for our kid’s healthy lifestyle is a beneficial way of using it, as this ensures that our family, especially children stay healthy and develop healthy eating habits, that become a part of their life as they grow up.