There are many choices your family makes that won’t be left up to you. Every time they take a risk or choose something unhealthy, it may not be under your control.
If you’re the one who does the shopping and cooking in your family, then you can help your family achieve better health. Recently, there have been many books that teach moms and dads how to “sneak” healthy ingredients into meals, like pureed vegetables going into brownies, for instance.
What’s going to happen as your kids get older? They’ll just reach for a brownie – because they’re not being led in how to make healthier options. The problem for most families occurs when one member (usually the one who shops and cooks) declares some sort of health-fest for the family, resulting in groans and backlash.
Instead of making this a punishment, help your family make smaller tweaks to their diet that build up into lifetime better nutritional habits. For example, instead of having a platter of brownies on the counter, have a bowl of fresh, organic fruit.
If your kids want something fun, then find ways to make it fun, like creating a shish kabob with fresh fruit that they can dip into Greek yogurt, filled with probiotics. Or use special fruit-cutting tools to make shapes.
If your kids are used to eating a favorite meal, but you think it’s unhealthy, look for ways to improve the health of the meal instead of throwing it out for good permanently.
For example, if they love it when you make fried chicken, mashed potatoes and rolls, just make some basic swaps Take the skin off the chicken, drizzle it in olive oil and bake it instead with some fresh herbs and spices on it.
For the mashed potatoes, try sweet potatoes instead. Or, if they still want the Russet variety, substitute the whole milk and butter you normally mash with for fat free sour cream or yogurt.
If rolls or any type of bread are a mainstay at your dinner table, switch to hose made with whole grains. It’s best if you bake it from scratch – a bread maker can even do the job for you!
And add more to your meals, too. Add leafy greens to the mix so that your kids learn to enjoy the right kinds of vegetables. Sauté them in a little drizzle of olive oil and garlic and let the kids enjoy the flavor.