Have you ever heard the expression health is wealth? The best way to maintain health in your household is by adopting healthy eating habits. Your body is your temple, so you must give it all the proper nutrients you can daily. When you have children, they often have a sweet tooth that you may have to manage so they don’t go crazy over a sugar rush all day! To help your family understand the value of nutrition and be healthy and strong, here are some tips to follow.
The best early childhood education will involve learning about the food pyramid. When your children are still little, you can begin teaching them about the values of fruits and vegetables. Tell them about how carrots are good for eyesight and how apples have fiber which can help them with digestion. Before kids begin school, they’ll rely on you as their first teacher. So you can use children’s media such as videos, cartoons, and old children’s educational programming. Shows such as Sesame Street had great episodes related to healthy eating. If your child is in preschool, make sure that they’re at a facility that serves healthy snacks, or pack a healthy snack for them so they don’t have to eat junk.
Kids can learn many things at school such as food science and nutrition. Of course, different schools have different curriculums, so make sure that your children are enrolled in institutions that pay attention to overall health and nutrition. Adopting healthy eating habits means staying healthy throughout the day, even when you’re away from home. Since your children will spend most of the day at school, you want to have confidence that they’re in an environment that doesn’t just serve pizza and junk food at lunch
If you’re ready to enroll your child in a local private middle school, take a tour of the school and see what they serve at their cafeteria. Ask questions about the typical school diet and what are some examples of food choices that they serve every week. See what kids may be learning about food science and if they have access to healthy cooking classes. Don’t forget about summer learning. After all, there are summer camps that also have kids do cooking classes where they can learn to make various healthy dishes. Adopting healthy eating habits starts at a young age, so make sure that children are educated about food and what it does for their bodies.
Feed Your Mind
Adopting healthy eating habits means feeding yourself food that could help clear your mind and mood. So everyone in your family must understand the correlation between food and cognition, better concentration, as well as proper rest. Young adult mental health is something to look out for, as teenagers can quickly become anxious or slip into depression. Remember, those teen years are stressful and your child may be dealing with lots of pressure once they hit middle school and high school.
For ideal family mental health and wellness, make sure that everyone eats a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to improve your mood. So if you have a moody teenager, encourage them to eat a fruit salad or a natural granola bar, as opposed to reaching for a sugary snack that might make them crash.
Teach your children about what inflammation is and what it does to your body. Let them know how processed foods and sugary foods can help encourage inflammation such as arthritis and other ligament problems. Cook fatty fish and food that has nuts and vegetables and remind them of how these items can reduce inflammation and improve everyone’s mood and overall mental health.
After your child or teen has a healthy meal or snack, ask them how they feel. Asked them does their stomach hurt or do they felt energized. Make sure they understand how foods with omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, mackerel or foods that have antioxidants like foods that have a deep purple hue can help improve their brain function. So encourage your teenager to have a few pieces of red or purple fruit before studying for an exam.
Have Fun with Seafood
Fish are some of the best things you can eat. That’s why people and countries like Japan tend to live such a long life sends much of their diet is based around fish. So make it a regular habit to go to your local fish market at least once or a few times a week. You can take the kids with you and you can all pick out your favorite fish or seafood item.
You can try grilled salmon, baked mackerel or trout, canned sardines, and tuna fish sandwiches. The ideal seafood for your family dinner can depend on what region you’re in. For example, if you’re in Maine, you’ll easily be able to find lobster. However, any state in a general New England area tends to have high-quality seafood. Grouper fish is very popular in Florida, while salmon is a mainstay in Alaska and Washington state.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
Farmers markets are more popular than ever. Regardless of where you live in the United States, you should be able to find one or more local farmers’ markets in your area. Farmers markets provide an abundance of organic produce. You may be able to find produce that you won’t find at your regular grocery store. For example, you can easily buy regular carrots at your local grocery, but the farmers market may have purple, white, and yellow carrots to also try.
Taking the family to the local farmers market every week is a great way to start adopting healthy eating habits at home. You can let your kids pick out some of their favorite items so everyone can get their choice of fresh fruit and vegetables to try. Some farmer’s markets also have samples of certain items. These markets mean you and your family will have access to the highest quality food that tastes the best because it’s in season. Now that fall is here, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a range of apples and fresh cider at your local market.
Cook at Home
Eating out as a family can be a fun time to bond and avoid cooking. However, you should try to cook more meals at home as a way of adopting healthy eating habits. When you cook your food at home, you help to control the ingredients and make healthier choices. You’ll know everything that’s in your food, so you won’t risk ingesting anything that can be harmful or has allergens. You and the family can all cook together or take turns cooking. One person can be the main chef for the night, while everyone else helps to prep the food. So cooking and eating together as a family is a great bonding time as well as a fun way to try new recipes and experiment with healthy food.
Limit Processed Foods
As you begin adopting healthy eating habits, it’s a good time to limit or eliminate processed foods. Processed food items or anything that’s not in its natural state. These foods may include hot dogs, cold cuts, and anything in a package. Many processed foods can be tasty and convenient. Unfortunately, these food items often contain excessive sugar, fat, and calories and can cause a range of health problems. An excessive amount of processed foods has also been linked to colon cancer. If you and the family love eating sandwiches, you may want to switch out the processed cold cuts for fresh carved Turkey or chicken.
Discuss Food and Oral Health
A beautiful smile is one of the first things people will notice about you. Plus, you need healthy teeth for proper eating and digestion. That’s why you and your family must always go to your dentist for regular visits. According to the American Dental Association, you should visit your local dental practitioner at least twice a year. In addition to making these regular visits, your family should understand the correlation between food and good oral health. In other words, emphasize how when they eat healthier foods they’re building strong teeth and bones. Remind them how too much sugar can cause decay, such as cavities.
Help your children understand the different scenarios that can happen if their teeth begin to have problems due to poor eating habits. Remind them how adopting healthy eating habits reduces their chances of cavities and decay, since the less sugar you eat, the less likely you are to have decayed teeth. Talk about how over time, they may have to worry about root canals, dental bridge cost, or dental implants if they lose teeth because they didn’t care for them with a proper diet.
Adopting a healthy eating habit means drinking plenty of healthy water. After all, people don’t just eat their calories, they also drink them. Encourage your family to drink more water and less sodas and juices. When you go grocery shopping, just stop buying soda completely. To make things easier, invest in water softeners for your sink. That way you can have a quick supply of fresh water available to drink anytime. You may also want to buy some bottles of sparkling water or a water carbonation machine.
According to Healthline, people should drink eight 8-oz glasses of water daily. If it’s difficult getting your family to drink more water, you may also encourage the use of fruit. Take some of the organic fruit from the farmers’ market and make fruit water. Produce such as Kiwi, lemon, oranges, and cucumbers not only makes water more refreshing but can also add some healthy nutrients.
Adopting healthy eating habits is easier when you plan your meals for the week. With a proper meal plan, you’re less likely to avoid impulse purchases or resort to Uber Eats and DoorDash. Make a thorough grocery list, so you can get all the healthy items you need. The family can vote on some of the meals they want for the week, as long as it’s healthy.
Find Quality Treats
There’s nothing wrong with treating you in the family to some tasty treats now and then. A good way to do so is by finding a quality bakery that has yummy cakes, pies, and treats made with the best ingredients, as opposed to man-made chemicals. You can look for a local bakery specializing in fruit pies or French pastries. If your family is going to eat chocolate cake, it might as well be a cake made from organic ingredients that you can name. There were also local bakeries that specialized in vegan food. In other words, you can eat a fruity cheesecake that’s healthier than it looks!
Try Healthier Versions of Traditional Items
Does your family love food like lasagna, pepperoni pizza, or hamburgers? Your family can still enjoy these food items, but you can make healthier versions with some adjustments. For example, instead of having a lasagna packed with meat and full-fat cheese, you can switch out the meat for vegetables and use less cheese. Instead of stuffing your faces with pepperoni pizza, switch out the pepperoni for chicken or veggies. You can try replacing those hamburgers with turkey burgers or black bean veggie burgers.
Instead of white pasta and rice, switch to brown rice and wheat pasta. You can make the same conversion when it comes to bread. Speaking of bread, you can even remove the bread from some of your sandwiches or burgers and replace them with a lettuce wrap.
Adopting healthy eating habits is worth it when keeping your family healthy and strong. After all, eating and drinking the right nutrients can go a long way to ensuring a healthy body. With the right diet, you can maintain good oral health, sleep properly, avoid fatigue, and prevent diseases. You can even have more family time as you go grocery shopping and cook meals together. In other words, adopting a healthy eating plan at home may be more fun than you may have thought!