TV commercials and peer pressure may be getting your children to prefer junk over healthy meals. Many parents have had to fight this challenge to ensure their kids get to love healthy foods. But it appears the solution to the problem is simple and includes cooking the right foods for the family. Switching to a healthy diet will have a profound effect on your kids.
So if you are considering adopting a healthy cooking schedule, here are some ideas you could consider to cook delicious and healthy foods for your kids.
1. Cut down on sugar
According to the American Heart Association, it’s recommended that sugar intake for children to be limited to 12 grams a day (3 teaspoons). When your child consumes a 12-ounce soda, this is equivalent to taking 10 teaspoons of added sugar. Large amounts of sugar can be hidden in different snacks and foods like frozen dinners, fast foods, and bread. To win against this challenge, add a splash of fruit juice sparkling water to berries or bananas to create a delicious smoothie that you can regularly serve your kids.
2. Cook healthier junk food alternatives
Many fast foods are high in sugar and contain unhealthy fat. They are low in nutrients and could contribute to numerous ailments. Instead of getting rid of fast foods, you can come up with alternatives that are healthier. Replace French fries with baked fries, ice cream with yoghurt or fresh fruit smoothies, fried chicken with grilled or baked chicken, and so on. These alternatives do not need to cost you a lot as you can use coupons while shopping and get them cheaper. It is cheaper to shop in bulk when you need the ingredients to store in the kitchen.
3. Focus on healthy fats
Some fats found in snack foods, processed foods, and margarines are unhealthy and should not be included in your meals. These are often referred to as trans fats, and no amount of them is safe. You should consider using healthy fats that can be found in avocados, nuts, and olives. This category of fats is what is referred to as monounsaturated fats. Also include polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.
4. Make vegetables and fruits more appealing
Kids tend to prefer unhealthy foods like snacks. They would quickly go for junk when allowed to choose between vegetables and unhealthy snacks. One way to encourage them to eat healthy foods is to sneak vegetables into different foods they like. You can add shredded vegetables to sauces and stews to ensure they blend in. Also, limit access to unhealthy foods like sweets and salty snacks.
5. Regular family meals to provide comfort
Cooking healthy foods may not be the end goal because without the encouragement your kids may not take the foods. Encourage them by having regular family meals. This will instill comfort and enhance their appetite. Make breakfasts and dinners a family affair and they will comfortably eat what everyone is taking.
6. Get your kids involved
While out shopping for groceries, you should tag your kids along to show them some of the different food varieties that are good for their health. Also get them closer while preparing meals. Teach them about how to read labels of different foods to choose what is healthy.
Healthy living starts with knowing how to manage your diet. Kids are in most cases unable to understand what is good and bad for their health, so this is a role you must play to ensure your children take healthy foods. Prioritize on fruits and healthy vegetables to shield your kids from taking junk foods that may contribute to obesity and other health problems.