Being super mom is stressful! We know you are doing it all—keeping the house clean, playing with your littles, making time for your marriage, and attempting to feed all those mouths with healthful, tasty food.
Feeding your family healthy foods can help set children up for physical and mental health. Kids (and adults) need their vitamins and minerals in order for their body to heal, grow, and function well. And a healthy diet can contribute to overall mental and emotional well-being.
Healthy eating on a busy schedule can be tricky, but we’re here to help! Here are our top tips for healthy eating as a family.
1) Start the day off right
Studies have shown that children who regularly ate breakfast are more likely to meet the recommended dietary intake for vitamins and minerals. Serving up a breakfast packed with protein and fiber ensures your family is ready to tackle the day. Think eggs, nut butters, fruit and low-sugar smoothies for a quick and healthy meal in the a.m.
2) Double down
When you prep a large dinner such as roasted chicken and vegetables, double the recipe. You can freeze one and use it for dinner in a couple weeks. Making double the recipe now will save you time and stress later.
3) Share the work
Sometimes letting our littles help means more work and double the time, but getting them involved in the meal process can get them excited to eat and can have lifelong health benefits. (Not to mention, their adult selves will thank you.) Give them age-appropriate tasks such as measuring ingredients, pushing the slow cooker button, or setting the table.
4) Stock up at home
Have a drawer or shelf of the refrigerator that kids can easily access and fill it with healthy snacks such as sliced fruit, vegetables, and cheese. Keeping healthy snacks available makes it easy for kids (and you) to choose nutritious foods over high-fat, high-sugar ones.
5) Use substitutions
You don’t always have to stick to what the recipe says when it comes to sugar or fat. Swap out greek yogurt for sour cream, applesauce for canola oil, and lean ground turkey for beef. Try these and other healthy food substitutions for healthy eating for the whole family.
6) Have a prep day
Take one day each week to meal and snack prep. Use this time to wash and cut fruit and veggies for snacks, chop up meat and vegetables for your meals for the week, and any other prep you need to do. Taking the time to prepare will help you make healthy choices when you’re in a time crunch and will make dinner a breeze.
7) Limit sugary drinks
Drinks like flavored milk, soda, fruit drinks, and other sugar sweetened beverages are high in sugar without much nutritional value. For a sweet drink, opt for 100% juice and consider these limits.
8) Make mealtime special
Set aside one meal a day where you eat together as a family. This can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner—whichever fits your family’s schedule best. Turn off the TV and put phones away during this time. You can also set the table with special napkins or decorations to really make this feel like a special time.
9) Encourage exercise
Exercise encourages a healthy diet, so your family will be more inclined to make healthy choices with regular exercise. Consider taking a hike together as a group, going for a bike ride, or playing tag together at the park. Exercising outside is an automatic mood boost and a great family bonding experience.
10) Be kind to yourself
It’s okay if you don’t sit down together for dinner every day or if you happen to pick up a pizza in a pinch. Take pride when you do make a great meal, or when your toddler asks for an apple instead of chips. Those are mom wins and deserve to be celebrated!
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