It's Family Fitness Month, and fitness is about more than exercising. Your diet is a particularly important component of your lifestyle. It allows you to look better, feel better, and be healthier throughout your life.
Unfortunately, according to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, a typical American diet exceeds the recommended amount of calories, fats, added sugars, sodium and refined grains. Plus, less than 1 in 3 adults eat the right amount of veggies each day and 1 in 4 children eats fast food each day.
For children, starting their young lives with healthy eating habits will help them continue to live healthy throughout their lives. Now is the time to make the change. It can be overwhelming, especially for your children, so start small with some simple steps to get you all on the right track to healthy eating, healthy recipes, and healthy habits.
Pack It Up
When you're heading out for the day or taking a road trip, pack your food. Make lunches and snacks at home and store them in a small cooler in your car. Not only will you be able to skip the fast food junk run, but you'll be saving cash too. A win-win.
Practice Portion Control
We tend to overload our plates with too much food. Keep it down to one serving by practicing this simple rule. Your meal should be ½ fruits or veggies, ¼ protein, and ¼ whole grains.
Water, that is. And ditch the soda and fake juices. Water helps keep your body healthy from outer skin to inner organs and will help you maintain a healthier weight, while soda will just dehydrate you.
Kids are happy to help with grocery shopping. Let them help plan your menu for the week and take them along to the store. Read ingredient labels together and learn about healthy ingredients versus unhealthy. Grab some healthy cookbooks while you're out too.
Kids love this; you just have to get them interested. Include them in the meal preparation and planning. They'll be excited to make their own creations and are more likely to finish their meals (or at least try them).
Take a Class
Cooking classes are a great way to learn how to cook real meals from scratch if you are struggling for ideas. Sign the whole family up, or make it mother/daughter or father/son bonding time. Cooking skills will be beneficial to your children throughout their lives and will be something they can teach their own children someday.
It may not be easy at times, and there will probably be meltdowns and setbacks for each of you. But don't let one candy bar get you down. Make the decision to keep going and never give up.