We all know kids watch everything we do, and that they mimic those behaviors. So, if we want our kids to eat healthy and be active, we have to set the example first. March is National Nutrition Month, so we’re gonna take a look at how we can improve our nutrition and how to set that example for the little ones in our lives.
First we need to know what we should be eating. Most people think that protein should take up the majority of our plates, I mean every steakhouse commercial ever has that steak front and center with some potatoes on the side. Well, that’s not really the case. In reality, you should have more vegetables and fruits on your plate than anything else, filling half of your plate. Protein should only be about a quarter of your meal.
Things like seafood, eggs, beans, soy-based products, poultry and lean meats are all good sources of protein. Peanut butter is also a great source of protein! Try peanut butter on whole grain toast for a nutritious breakfast.
Sugar is something that should be limited. However, many people don’t know just how many foods contain sugar. Fruits are an excellent source of natural sugar, but too much fruit is still too much sugar. Things like bread, canned soup, condiments like ketchup and mustard, and fast food all contain sugar. The best way to check how much sugar is in something is to check the label.
Of course, you don’t have to go all in on the healthy train right away. Easing into it can make it easier for you, and your kiddos. Try skipping sodas and juices for flavored sparkling water. Instead of having ice cream for dessert, maybe have fruit or a smoothie; white bread, trade it in for wheat or whole grain.
But really, the best way to get your kids on board, is to make them part of the process from start to finish. Allowing kids to help pick out groceries not only helps them understand the value of a dollar, but they can learn where to find healthy foods, what to do with them, and what goes well with them. When you get home, have the kiddos help with the cooking. Not only does this get them more invested in what they are eating today, but it also sets them up for a lifetime of success. While all their friends will be living on fast food and cold nuggets, they’ll be able to fix a quick healthy meal without batting an eye!