Living as a family often means eating together too, so it’s important to get the right foods in, to help make your family as healthy and active as possible. You won’t always be perfect, but making small sacrifices can be important in the long term, and make sure healthy habits are formed early, which means they are likely to last long term studies have shown.
Here are some ideas i have given out to all the parents i train, to help them make healthier lives for their children and themselves!
The right way to eat for your family
– We all have problems eating breakfast, especially eating good stuff. Here’s some ideas.
- You can throw some sultanas, berries or some banana over your cereal, how about mixing 2 or 3 fruit juices up together as a drink or making your own smoothie by throwing in some fruit with some milk in a blender, you can make your own muesli more fun by putting in some apricots, dates, figs, chopped orange and apples.
- How about chopping up a ripe banana on some toast instead of a big spoon of butter or marge?
- Eggs are great for protein and can taste great on toast. These ideas work well especially when you’re trying to get more fruit in your diet without really noticing.
– Remember this is a way of life and not a diet! No starving yourself please?
- Smaller apples with more flavour work well as well as tangerines which can be easier to peel than oranges.
- Kiwis taste great as well as cherries, blueberries and strawberries.
- Nuts like brazils, cashews and almonds are beautiful as a handful and give you a lot of good fats for a change!
– Because you’ve eaten twice before lunch time, you should feel less hungry than you normally do. If you’re starving eating lunch, then you’re likely to pick the wrong foods and have a real binge.
– Packed lunches are often the choice for most children and with a little planning, they can make a successful day for you.
- Sandwiches are often king and although wholemeal bread is king, white bread kids love and with some wholemeal flour can be better than just plain white, also you could combine white and wholemeal slices in a sandwich?
- Whole meal pitta bread is also a great choice and is lower in calories and can make a great change. Also, when making a sandwich, try and pack it with veggies as well as the meat, fish, chicken etc, it may be a toughie to start with but you’ll soon get used to it.
- Fish is a great food for the brain as well as rest of body which can be mixed with things like pesto and veggies, and can go great in a sandwich. Chicken also works well and seems to be universally liked, providing a high protein source and goes well with any combo of veg and salad. Lean beef is also good as it’s tasty and much lower in fat than it used to be .
– Remember to keep the spread small too, don’t slap it on, merely a smearing will do
- If you want to use mayo, use a small amount and the lowest in fat please.
- I used to have yoghurts in my sandwich box but most seem full of sugar these days. Natural yoghurt sounds horrible but with some berries, chopped apples, dried fruit, nuts in a re-usable sealed pot can be very tasty and hugely energising.
- Rather than put cheese in a sandwich, use it as a snack. There a lot of cheese snacks these days but most are full of additives, a simple piece or two of tasty cheese will do the trick. Low fat versions for parents or cottage cheese versions much better again!
- However good your lunch box, don’t serve the same stuff every day or kids get bored, mix it up with different fruit, different bread for sandwiches, different yoghurts etc and interest will be maintained. Same with parents, we all get bored if you don’t change it!
- Using dips works too with things like hummus and a cool box for the lunch box will keep all of these healthy ingredients cool and much more appetising after being in a school bag all morning. Same with parents food boxes, we all want nice food and cool to taste.
– You’re never going to completely ban treats so just trying scaling them down to very other day to start. Most of us adapt quickly to this and soon get used to having treats sometimes just once a week. A good idea sometimes is to make your own cakes perhaps using a little less sugar than normal. And if you put mostly natural ingredients in, at least they are going to be much better than what we can get in shops!
– This is a typical time when all of our energy levels are tested.
- A small handful of nuts (almonds, brazils, cashews etc) would be a great choice and give you some of the healthy fats your body needs.
- A piece of fruit such as an apple, banana or orange would be great too for some added energy.
- Remember to keep a variety of food every day so you’re not eating the same old stuff all the time or you will rebel and grab something that’s high in fat and sugars and normally off limits for you.
- Evening meal
– How many of us have got home and felt starving even before we’ve got through the door. We pick something sometimes like a cheese sandwich to tide us over before the bit meal comes along. There’s nothing we can do about it either unless we have followed the typical day’s eating we have just talked about which will sort out those feelings.
- Good examples of an evening meal would be some chicken/fish, with vegetables in whatever way you want as long as they’re not drowned in rich sauces, from a stir fry with a little olive oil to any healthy cooking method you want, and some brown rice, whole wheat pasta or some new potatoes and more examples to follow.
- You can get buy or make your own tomato sauce/pesto to add to these meals.
- Always look to add veg to whatever meal you’re having in the evening, extra veg on some pasta and top of a pizza, use hummus as a dip,
- use fruit salad a gorgeous dessert, or some natural yoghurt with fruit chopped in, with some nuts and maybe dried fruit also, a bit of imagination can go a long way in making the most important family meal of the day a roaring success!
- Eating often is fun and good for you!
– This day’s eating is all about eating every 3 hours or so, raising the rate our bodies burn calories so we burn more fat, feeling full throughout the day so we don’t feel the need to binge at certain time, and actually feel about hundred times better than we have before.
Positive trade off’s
– You CAN keep this way of eating up if you really try and all it takes sometimes is 5 minutes preparation the night before making a packed lunch.
– Plus, all that money you will have spent on junk food can go on something worthwhile, like a new dvd or some new clothes!
– changing your lifestyle to a rewarding healthy one starts with what you put into your body. Make it a priority when you go to a supermarket to influence your parents on what you want to eat. As a parent, you can inspire your kids to eat well too. They will listen if you tell then you want good food (and vice-versa) and soon it will become second nature.
– Make sure you try and work up to 5 servings of fruit and veg a day
– Try and get 2 servings of protein such as fish, chicken, eggs, lean beef, nuts, lentils etc per day.
– Choose 2 portions of milk, yoghurt, cheese etc for calcium and extra protein
– Use whole meal/wholegrain versions of pasta, bread, rice, cereals, potatoes to give you lots of energy every day.
– Try to limit these in your diet using them more as a treat-Crisps, cakes, biscuits, pastries, chips, mayo, salad cream, margarine, cooking oil, pop/fizzy drinks
Do your best and give it a go!