I do not consider myself a "health nut" by any means. I admit indulging in a Ding Dong every now and then. Cold cereal with milk is a great snack and it's not Kashi by the way, but Frosted Flakes or Golden Grahams. The hidden Rubbermaid container of candy collected from many birthday parties and school events throughout the year calls my name from time to time. And all you coffee lovers out there, unless you ask for "skinny no sugar", let's face it, your latte is packed with fat and calories. And who orders it like that anyway? Certainly not me! But there are small changes I do make to provide healthy meals/snacks for my family. Here are some of them:
- WHOLE GRAIN PRODUCTS: White bread is like play dough and the same goes for instant white rice. There is no nutritional value in it even though it states "enriched". Processed, white flour turns straight to sugar in our bodies. And, yes, even on a gluten free diet, I make sure Matt's wheat free bread, muffins and pancakes are made with whole grain brown rice. For tips on buying whole grain products click here.
- MILLED FLAX SEED: It has no flavor or strong texture, yet this heart healthy seed is packed with Omega 3. Add it to everything from breads, cookie dough, oatmeal, brownies, breadings.....you name it. Seriously, your children won't know the difference.
- VEGGIE/FRUIT DIP: Pull out some raw cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or colorful peppers and let your kids double dip to their hearts content! Anything to make them eat their veggies, right? Slice up an apple with some caramel dip on the side or better yet, try peanut butter (my boy's favorite). Makes these foods fun, not dreaded!
- BE BALANCED: Is having that occasional treat ok? Sure. In moderation. Studies prove if we dictate every little thing our children eat, they will rebel and desire the forbidden food more and more. Don't live in health food bondage! Teach your children good choices and indulge when appropriate. And here's a simple solution: if you don't want your kids eating it, then don't bring it into your house!
What small changes do you make to provide your family with healthy eats? Please share. I can't wait to read and learn from you!