Parents play a key role in combating the obesity epidemic that affects one in three American children. Duke Global Health Institute notes studies indicating parents who take their kids outside, eat family meals and provide healthy snack options are more likely to meet their children’s recommended nutritional and fitness demands.
The best thing you can do for your children is to let them see you making healthy choices. Try to exercise, eat healthfully and cut out bad habits from your daily life as you encourage your child to do the same. In your efforts to model healthy behavior, you can also add some quick and easy recipes to your repertoire, or even beverages that are jam-packed with nutrition, like the LadyBoss Greens drink. With a couple of go-tos for hectic days, it’s far easier to set the example you’re aiming to be.
Healthy Chef Recipes wants you and your family to experience the happiest, healthiest life possible, so read on for more terrific tips to help you do just that:
Eat Dinner Every Night as a Family
According to the Atlantic, children who don’t eat dinner with their families are 40 percent more likely to be overweight. On the other hand, children who regularly eat dinner with their parents tend to eat healthier, report better performance in school and are less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol. Cooking meals at home instead of grabbing takeout on the go will allow you to provide nutrition-packed options for the whole family and cut out junk from your diet.
Plan Your Grocery Shopping Ahead of Time
It’s important to stock your home with healthy meal choices for your kids since children have high nutritional demands. It’s important that they receive key nutrients in their meals to feed their growing brains and bodies. Nutrition also supports your child’s immune system and provides them the energy they need to excel at school.
Before you go to the grocery store, make a plan for what foods you’re going to buy. Grocery shopping on a budget isn’t an excuse to grab cheap, unhealthy foods full of empty calories. For example, you can stock up on fresh produce when it’s on a good deal and freeze it for later. You may even be able to score some discounted veggies at a farmers market!
Load Up Your House with Healthy Snack Options
It’s no secret that kids love to snack. It’s also important to give them independence and the opportunity to choose the foods they consume. So, stock your kitchen with healthy options so your child has no choice but to grab these when they’re hungry. Keep sugary snacks and salty chips out of your cupboards and only offer them to kids as a special reward. It might also be a good idea to invest in a good kitchen scale so you can measure our serving sizes to know exactly how much your child is eating. It’s never too early to learn portion control!
Encourage Kids to Go Outside and Get Moving
As Huffington Post notes, encouraging your kids to exercise involves paying attention to the activities that they like. Younger kids tend to enjoy fun activities rather than exercise routines and older kids are more likely to participate in fitness activities when their friends are involved. Limit screen time and encourage your kid to go outside. Take the family out for regular walks in nature, or bring them to the park for some family sports. When you need to switch it up with something new, try out a rock climbing gym or go out for some lazer tag.
Educate Your Child About Drugs and Alcohol
Encouraging healthy behavior also means removing temptations for your kid to experiment with drugs and alcohol. DrugFree.org provides some useful advice about talking to different age groups about drugs. Keep an open conversation with your kids throughout their childhood and ensure they know they can talk to you about any concerns that they have. More importantly, stay alert of your child’s mental health and stay supportive as they go through difficult transition periods.
Encouraging children to adopt healthy behaviors at a young age will help them make healthy choices on their own as they grow up. Get involved in their health by providing options to them and making time to get active together. And turn to Healthy Chef Recipes for more valuable insights and information—and help with planning your meals!