Family schedules can be hectic, but you and your family can still eat well together. Use these tips in the new year to make healthy choices with your family:
- Connect at mealtimes: Sit down together for a meal when you can. Turn off the TV and put away screens and devices, so you can “unplug,” interact, and focus on each other.
- Plan your meals: Reduce stress at mealtimes by planning out meals before the week starts. Include quick and easy recipes, or leftovers on nights that are extra busy. Find favorite recipes at our blog at – http://www.eatsmartidahointhekitchen.com/recipes/
- Keep it simple: Healthy and creative meals don’t have to be complicated. Choose simple recipes with a handful of nutrient rich ingredients. Keeping it simple will usually cost less money and be easier to prepare.
- Let everyone help: Kids learn by doing. Younger children can mix ingredients, wash produce, or set the table; while older kids can help with measuring ingredients and reading recipes. Everyone can help clean up.
- Serve a variety of foods: Include choices from each food group on MyPlate – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy and fortified soy alternatives – in meals and snacks throughout the week.
- Let kids choose: Get kids engaged with meal planning and preparation at home. Serve meals “family style” this will encourage kids to be creative with their plates. Also allow children to choose a new fruit or vegetable they are excited about trying and serve it at your next meal.
- Offer non-food rewards: Foods aren’t the only rewards that kids like. Younger kids may enjoy gathering points toward a special outing, and older kids could earn extra free time or an allowance.
- Create resolutions for the entire family: Find somewhere new to take a monthly hike, create weekly menus with input from all, or ways the family can be active together each week.