Do not let this article fool you! Believe me, being a busy mom of three there are times we have goldfish and pudding for dinner haha. I have in fact stopped at McDonald's before and I cringe writing that I have, as if it is a confession! haha I SWORE before my kids were born I would never in a million years feed them that. I don't eat it, why would I let them? And there are days they have so much sugar I am sure they send their insulin levels through the roof.
The moments we are in a pinch is when we tend to make quick unhealthier convenient choices. If I am being totally honest there are also the moments I try bribing my kids to do something so I will give them extra sugar hahah please tell me we are all guilty of this? The good news is, most places DO offer healthier choices than ever before. So even though I may drive through McDonalds, you better believe I am getting the sliced apples instead of the extra french fries and the milk instead of the pop, these are the little things that help me sleep at night haha.
For the most part my husband and I do try to get our kids into eating healthy and by getting them "into it" I mean teaching them about nutrition. We will do our best to involve them with cooking/baking, grocery shopping, helping them understand the value of the food has on their body and helping them make better choices with the snacks they chose.
Other ways I try to include them are, I will ask them to make lunch at times to see what they pick. I bought a cook book for them and have them pick out some things they would like to try and help me with. We have gone strawberry picking when it is in season and came home to make fresh strawberry popsicles and smoothies. I make regular smoothies in my Ninja blender. Next spring I would like to start planting a garden with them and have them help me take care of it.
I feel like it is the protein and healthy fat intake that gets tough for them to get enough of. I tell them the protein shakes are chocolate and I use that as my opportunity to sneak in some things they do not get enough of like spinach, flaxseed, extra protein, avocados etc. (although, I think my oldest two are catching on hahah so I researched and purchased this pre-mixed protein meal that has quite a bit of quality nutrients and protein and they absolutely LOVE it!!!!) I will make one serving and split it three ways to ensure it is not too much for their little bodies. I pay extra attention to making sure they get those extra nutrients especially before and after a holiday of indulgence. I also will make snowmen or Mickey Mouse out of our Kodiak pancake mix we use! ( I will smash blueberries and add them into the batter as well)
When it comes to dinner I think is where my husband and I struggle at times. Roger (my husband) and I are usually tired at that time of day and it would be easier to feed them junk food. Occasionally we will do Annie's Mac and cheese ( I will mix frozen peas into the hot Mac n cheese and it makes it into the perfect temperature for them to eat) or Barilla protein plus pasta made with whole grain, or an Organic pizza. But when they ask for bowl after bowl of just carbs or too many slices of pizza organic or not, we try to encourage them to fill up on the healthier foods we have with dinner like fruit, veggies or avocado so we have a good balance.
I have bought fun glasses for them to drink the smoothies out of. Their favorite glasses are the ones that look like skulls that I linked down below with a few other things. I use sundae glasses to fill with vegetables. I buy them their favorite color plates. Anything I can think of that would make them excited to eat healthier.
I do not deprive my kids of anything. They have a 100 percent Sicilian Grandma that would shoot daggers at me if I dare tell her that they can not have goodies at Grandma and Papa's house! But, it is all about balance. Childhood obesity is at an all time high as well as childhood diabetes and unfortunately with such a rise in social media most kids are becoming less active. If we plant healthy habits in them now while they are young, the goal is that they will carry that with them as they get older. It is all about 80/20. It is what we do MOST of the time that counts. I also find especially with the e-learning we now have at home, keeping a schedule of meals and snacks really helps balance their energy throughout the day. It goes alot like this.
- Breakfast... Usually Kodiak waffle/milk with a banana or flavored organic oatmeal.
- Snack......They love hard boiled eggs and yogurt/Old fashion ants on a log/Annie's or Kodiak snacks.
- Lunch....Sandwhich/sliced cucumber/avocado with ranch/couple pretzels/milk and a little sweet snack.
- Snack.....Hummus/crackers/fruit/kid's Cliff bar/string cheese.
- Dinner........ Most popular in our house, Tacos/Annie's Mac n Cheese/Organic chicken fingers/Organic pizza/Pasta/always with a veggie, healthy fat and something sweet...a popsicle, cookie, pudding with cool whip.
- Sometimes a little snack if they are still hungry, usually Peanut butter and apples/Goldfish/Granola bar.
Do NOT let the demands of the day win with the convenience of making unhealthy choices for your children as well as yourselves. I am guilty of it at times as well, but I have to dig deep when I am tired and follow through with good choices! You will get to relax when the day is done, and you will feel better knowing you fed your kids the fuel their body needs to run healthy!
Always Thankful, Katie
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"We need to give kids the experience of what healthy food is-Our kids need to plant it, grow it, and prepare it." -Barnaby Spring
"Parents need to discriminate between a child who's born and one who's really hungry. Set some limits on limits on what foods and when."-Susan L. Johnson