Good health and good nutrition are top-of-mind for most parents today. Many parents worry that their child is not getting the proper nutrition they need to grow and be the strongest and healthiest they can be. Some of the top nutritional concerns for parents include managing weight, intake of fruits and vegetables, knowing appropriate serving sizes, managing picky eating habits and limiting junk food. In today’s busy and hectic world it can seem overwhelming for parents to put nutritious meals on the table. But it is not impossible to do. With a little planning and conscious grocery shopping, fun, nutritious meals can come together fairly quickly.
Today, eating well-balanced meals doesn’t mean slaving over the stove all day. There are many convenient, quick and healthy options that can make mealtime a snap! Ready-cut produce, bagged salads and frozen vegetables make fitting in recommended servings of fruits and vegetables much easier, and all-natural and organic convenience foods can help round out a delicious and well-balanced meal! Ian’s Organic Chicken Tenders, French Bread Pizzas or Baja Fish Nuggets are great-tasting, simple and convenient ways to ensure a healthy meal that kids will love to eat.
Suggestions to Help Improve the Nutritional Quality of Your Family’s Meals:
- Eat as a Family
Try to have at least one meal per day with your whole family together. Children who consume meals with their families have improved intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
- Involve your Family in Meal Planning, Preparation, and Clean Up
The process of preparing a meal is a learning experience for children. They enjoy helping with certain tasks and are more likely to eat what they have prepared.
- Be a Good Role Model
Teach healthy eating by example. This includes not only eating healthy foods but also trying new foods yourself, and avoiding negative references to healthy foods that you may not like.
- Try Something New Together
Set a goal to try one new food a week with your children. Try a new fruit, vegetable, or whole grain. This will help to find new foods that children like which can be incorporated into your regular meals.
- Keep Healthy Snacks Readily Available
Keep snacks available when out and about. Crackers and peanut butter, dry cereal mixed with peanuts and raisins, fresh or dried fruit, or popcorn will save the whole family from unhealthy snacks purchased at the convenience store.
- Be Creative With Meals on the Go
Pack a picnic for the family to enjoy before a baseball game or outdoor event. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with carrot sticks and cubed melon are quick, easy and a much better choice than stopping for fast food on the way home because everyone is hungry.
- Teach Children that Eating at Restaurants Can Be Healthy
Explain that portions are larger than what is eaten at home so sharing meals or taking home leftovers is a good option. Some restaurants will split a meal onto two plates before bringing it out. Enjoy a side salad before the meal.