Most parents know that fruits, vegetables and whole-grains are healthy. They are already concerned about their kids getting enough calcium, protein and fiber. And they know that lots of sugar isn’t good for children. However, most parents also know…
Feeding your family a healthy diet (in the real world with real kids and real food) can be a challenge!
As a parent, you are trying to:
- Follow current nutrition guidelines.
- Teach your kids healthy eating habits.
- Avoid too much junk food.
However, you have to balance those goals with kids (and adults!) with strong food preferences, fights over what, when, and/or how-much your kids eat– and a super busy schedule.
Here’s great news. It’s absolutely possible to balance nutrition goals with real life! The Feeding the Kids system, now available as a quick-to-read book, makes hunting down and eating healthier food simple, quick and–best of all–delicious! Here’s how it works:
1. Learn how to find healthy food easily (and learn to recognize stealthy junk food).
Teach your family which foods fall into each of these three categories:
- Smart foods: super healthy foods packed with nutrition
- Empty (junk) items: food that provides little nutrition but fill kids up
- In-Between choices: partly Smart and partly Empty
By knowing whether a food is Smart, In-Between or Empty, you can pick out the healthiest versions of family favorites.Feeding the Kids provides lists, charts and simple tricks for reading food labels. These will help you quickly pick out Smart and In-Between snacks, drinks, yogurt, cereal, chicken nuggets, and more. And by using these tools, you won’t ever be tricked into buying junk food cleverly marketed as healthy food.
Check out our Recommended Brands page for some of the brands that pass theFeeding the Kids field tests as Smart or In-Between foods.
2. Create a plan to help your family get the nutrition they need. Create a plan for making Smart and In-Between food a part of your family’s daily eating habits. For example, make it a routine to serve fruit first thing each morning. Or always serve vegetables as an after-school snack. Need some ideas? Check out our Healthy Eating Articles. Using the Feeding the Kids system, you can create a customized routine that will make meal planning incredibly easy. Even better, the plan will insure that your family gets into the habit of eating enough Smart foods each day, including: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy foods and protein-rich foods. But don’t worry, your plan will not depend on following pre-set menus or eating foods your family dislikes. Instead, you will be able to find (or make) healthy versions of all their favorite foods and work those into the daily pattern.
3. Deal with picky eating and other family dynamics in a positive, loving way. Learn about:
- Simple family rules that side-step battles over food
- Boundaries about what you, as the parent, will and won’t do (like not making a new meal if someone doesn’t like the one served)
- Behaviors that help make meal-time more relaxing for everyone
4. Collect healthy, kid-tested recipes that you can make fast. Check out our Recipe Page for some great ideas. Or, for parents who want to make quick, nutritious meals, you’ll find 50 healthy mini-recipes in Feeding the Kids. They’re sure to get you started on your path to eating a healthier diet. . . and loving every minute of it