No brainer ways to make your family eat healthier.

By, Gabby Reece

We are not above tricking our kids into eating healthier. Well, for that matter we’re not above forcing them from time to time either.

We all know the battle it can be to get anything green into your kid’s mouth. Threats and bribes is always a decent way to go, but probably not great in the life lesson section. Being the parent and having to play by the rules can be so hard.

We will never act like we’re turning over some new stone and tell you things you have never ever heard before. We are just here to tell you we are thinking about it and putting out a few friendly reminders.

1. Don’t keep it in the house
This rule of thumb is good for us adults too. If you don’t want to eat it then don’t buy it at the store. I allow chocolate in my house (hey I didn’t say this was a Democracy) and some Pirates Booty, but pretty much all other garbage (chips, soda and processed yummies in a sealed bag) don’t make it beyond the front door.

2. Plan ahead
Eating healthy meals and snacks takes a little foresight. Otherwise we will all be just reaching for anything we can get our hands on. I even will do three dinners ahead so my produce can hold up, and then do three more and lobby to eat out one of the evenings.

3. Teach everyone the difference between FOOD and FUN
Simply put- my kids are beginning to know (and accept) what things are meant to be fuel and what is for pleasure only.

4. Avoid the Nuker
Yes I said it and stand by it, don’t microwave your food. By the time that stuff gets in your gut it has been pasteurized, frozen, and then nuked to double make sure there is hardly any to zero nutritional value left. You know what they call that right? Empty calories.

5. Put some good stuff in a smoothie
Nothing like some almond milk and frozen berries to mask powdered greens loaded with healthy fruits and veggies. Poor little guys will never even see it coming.

6. Eat your fun/sugar but don’t drink it
How long are we going to think that store bought juices are better than soda? Sugar sugar sugar. Most of the time I have my girls convinced to waste it on fun stuff like cookies vs. some juice or soda. Remember Americans drink 20% of their calories. This is an easy one. Oh, and if you get bored then put a splash of lemon or less sugary juice in everyone’s water. This means you have to stop drinking those diet sodas. Remember they are watching your EVERY move.
Which leads me to…

7. Be a good example yourself.
Need I say more?

8. Substitute something healthier whenever you can.
I get it some things just don’t have a sub, but when you can, put in place something healthier. It’s not that difficult to serve whole or sprouted bread vs. heavily processed. Snack time cut up some yummy apples vs. handing them chips or crackers. On pasta night get some organic ground turkey vs. always using beef, and if you can find it put the sauce over rice or quinoa pasta vs. wheat. You can do it and they will enjoy it. No one has to know but you.

9. Keep busy
Avoid the empty stare in the fridge looking for something to fill the void. Most times we are just bored.

10. Get the kids involved
Bring them into the kitchen and have them help. Then you can say “honey did you know that little Joey cut up the tomatoes and peeled the carrots to make our amazing salad”? This kind of praise and involvement gets them engaged on a whole other level.

11. Keep it real
If the item can live longer than a giant tortoise- avoid. Again, I know it takes more work to eat food closer to its real source, but I think it’s OK to put a decent amount of effort into what you are putting into your mouth and the bodies of your family. Easy isn’t usually better.

I know eating organic can be expensive so check out 100daysofeatingrealfood.com and look for recipe ideas meal by meal by Lisa Leake. Very cost realistic.

Bon Appétit and dear Lord what are we all going to make for dinner tonight?
Gabby

2011 Gabrielle Reece . All Rights Reserved.

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