In America today, most parents will say they want to feed their family nutritiously. According to surveys, however, there is an on going struggle with giving our kids healthy foods—for various reasons. Other adults admit they’re not sure what foods are good or bad. Here, we’ll try to clarify some confusion and offer some suggestions.
What The Parents Are Saying
A national poll on children’s health out of the University of Michigan’s Children’s Hospital showed that most parents think their children should be fed nutritiously. However, only one-third of the parents who participated in the poll felt they were doing a good job in that arena.
Of the 1,700 adult participants, only about 280 believe their kids eat mostly healthy. About 800 of the parents claimed their kids’ diets were somewhat nutritious. And approximately 340 adults didn’t think fast food or junk food was a problem.
Simply wanting to feed healthy food to your children and actually having that as a result comes with many obstacles. Some of them are:
- Hectic work schedule
- Kids’ after-school activities
- Shopping inconvenience
- Kids don’t like the way it looks or tastes
- Lack of information on nutrition
Finding Some Solutions
Following through on your goal to feed your family nutritious foods will be an effort. But meeting any goal requires motivation and effort. Ask yourself how important it is for you to teach your children about health and good habits.
Fast foods are high in calories, sugar, and bad fats. We’ve watched how incidences of obesity and type-2 diabetes have risen astronomically in this country over the past couple of decades. When convenience food becomes the norm for kids, it’s much more difficult to create healthier habits later on.
Shopping may be one of the most important aspects to maintaining a healthy-food home. If you make a list in advance, it shouldn’t take as long as you think. Also, don’t fret that you’ll then have to spend hours cooking. There are many nutritious foods and meals that are a snap to prepare.
-whole foods, fruits, and vegetables; nuts and seeds; unprocessed lean meats and fish
-high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fructose, sugar as the first or second ingredient, isolated soy protein, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sucralose, aspartame, among other sugar-free or low-fat chemical substitutes
The less you can by from a package or a can, the better. They are infused with unhealthy preservatives to give the product a long shelf life. Aim to buy items that fly off the shelf quickly.
Breakfasts and Snacks
Protein smoothies are a quick, great way to get nourishment into your kid’s body. There are reasonably priced protein powders on the market, just check on the sugar content. Pea-protein is great, especially if anyone is dairy or gluten sensitive.
Hard-boiled eggs can be made in bulk in advance. Grabbing one from the fridge for lunch or a snack is easy and healthy.
Hiding a handful of fresh spinach (or a slice of avocado) in a smoothie containing berries, almond or coconut milk, and a spoonful of peanut or almond butter isn’t a problem. Tossing in one small scoop of chocolate-chip mint ice cream, if you must, will help explain the weird greenish-color.
Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and offers more probiotics and much less sugar than standard yogurts. You can add nuts and seeds and it’s a nutritious quick snack. Yogurts in the tube are not a healthy food source.
Fresh fruit can travel. Fruit leather, gummy fruits, even dried fruits are incredibly high in sugar and don’t offer the fiber that a whole food does. The same applies to veggies. You can send carrots, celery, jicama, are other stick-shaped vegetables with a package of nut butter.
Kids love chips and buying the right ones will be key. Stay away from hydrogenated oils. Potato chips made with sunflower or avocado oil are good; sweet potato chips are better. They make bean chips, too. They’re high in protein and offer variety. Hummus makes a nutritious dip!
If the focus of the meal is concentrated on a protein, produce, good fats, and whole grains, you can’t lose. This means that you can put a chicken in a crockpot with fresh vegetables and some spices and there’s most of your dinner. Add to that some quinoa or brown rice, for example, and you’ve got a nutritious, complete meal—with maybe even leftovers.
There’s a wealth of recipes online for quick, healthy meals. Vegan recipes tend to use healthier ingredients overall. You can always use those as a base, and add in your own meat or fish. Poultry is also a better choice than pork or red meat.
GetThrive has other articles on healthy eating, including ideas for kids’ lunches, and ways to “trick” them into eating healthy. Peruse and enjoy. We hope you’ve found our content helpful.