Eating healthy food is so important for you as a mom. Food is the fuel that our body uses to make the energy for daycare drop offs, playdates, school project help and more.
Healthy Eating for You
Healthy eating doesn’t need to be super complicated or take a lot of time. Focus on fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Cut out sugary drinks and opt for foods without saturated fats. Here is a great resource for more info about the different food groups.
Here are some tips for healthy eating as a busy mom:
- Keep single serving fruit cups (packed in juice or water instead of syrup) on hand for a quick and easy snack.
- Buy frozen fruits and veggies for a less expensive and equally nutritious option.
- Toss chopped up veggies into scrambled eggs for breakfast.
- Add a handful of spinach to pasta or stir fried veggies for added nutrition.
- In recipes, try doubling the amount of veggies and cutting back on the meat or cheese.
- Add vegetables like peppers, onions and mushrooms to pizza.
- Choose 100% whole grain bread.
- Swap ground beef for ground turkey or chicken. If you use ground beef, choose the leanest option (like 90/10).
- Grill or bake instead of frying foods.
Make changes to how you eat over time. Start with a small goal, like eating one piece of fruit a day and build from there towards larger changes. Even small changes add up over time!
Healthy Eating as a Family
Healthy eating is also super important for our growing kiddos. Additionally, by starting healthy eating habits with your children early on, you can help set them up for success as a healthy eating adult later in life. Below are some tips to model healthy eating to help your child build healthy eating habits:
- During mealtimes talk about the health benefits of the foods you are eating with your kids.
- Try to show your kids that you enjoy eating the healthy foods on your plate.
- Avoid negative comments about foods such as “I don’t like spinach.”
- Even if you dislike a food, put some on your plate to encourage your child to try it.
- If you want a less healthy food like candy or chips, try eating them when your child isn’t around.
It isn’t just what you are eating that is important but how your family is eating also. Kids who eat more family meals are shown to have better grades in school, eat more fruits and veggies and have better self-esteem. Eating family meals also reduces the chances of substance misuse, eating disorders and obesity in children.
If you don’t currently eat meals as a family, start small by adding one family meal a week. Here are some tips for making family mealtime a success:
- Keep meals simple. Think chicken nuggets with a veggie as a side. Meals don’t need to be complicated.
- Don’t force foods on your child. Your role as a parent is to provide food to eat, your child’s role is to decide to eat and how much.
- Turn off the tv and put phones down during family meal time.
- Let children help decide what meals to cook, or even let them help prepare it when possible.
Healthy eating as a mom or family doesn’t need to be overwhelming or scary. Again, start with small changes that feel manageable and build over time.