As parents and caregivers of our children, we have the opportunity to be a role model and establish healthy habits early. While this sounds easy, we all know that busy schedules can easily disrupt even the best of intentions.
Planning and using technology can help us plan for success. Here are some tips and resources for making our dream of raising kids with good healthy habits a reality:
1) Plan ahead: Make a food calendar. Not only will this cut down on food waste, but it allows you to prepare food and snacks in advance since you know what will be in your refridgerator.
2) Drink more water! It's easy, fast, and (essentially) free from the tap. Water is one of the best beverages for our bodies and our teeth. Not only does it hydrate, but it has no sugars that will harm our teeth if we sip on it all day. In addition, hydrating before meal time will cut down on overeating.
3) Establish a meal time that is free from screen time. Eating in front of a screen promotes overeating. Instead, gather around the dinner table and learn about eachother's day. This family time is something you can never replace, and is also good for our emotional health as well. Eating meals on a regular schedule is also a great way to cut down on overeating.
4) Grow your own food or utilize a local food box program. Gardening can be fun, can teach your kids valuable skills, and can be tasty! If your kids grow or help prepare healthy foods, they are more likely to eat them. If you don't have the ability to have your own garden, try a local food box program or farmer's market to gain access to fresh produce.
5) Use technology: There are so many apps these days, particularly applications that can help you track your meals and nutrition. Find an app that works for your needs and try it out. There are other websites too such as MyPlate.gov or Letsmove.gov that are designed specifically for healthy eating and living.
6) Start small. Don't try to change everything all at once. Try something new each week and make your change a lifestyle rather than a diet. Reward your successes with a healthy treat, such as spending time at the park.
7) When in doubt, ask your doctor! Your doctor can a great resource and may be able to refer you to a nutritionist if you have difficulty with obtaining your goals or if you have a child with special nutritional requirements.