The real wealth in life is your good health. You must make the well-being of your family a top priority because it is hard to reverse the ill-effects of a bad diet. There is truth to the adage you are what you eat. If you continuously reach for junk food, don’t be surprised if your body becomes ill. Thankfully, you can optimize your health by being conscious of what you put in your mouth. Fret not, for there are numerous ways to encourage your family to eat clean. Consider implementing the following the nutrition improving hacks for the whole family:
Set Your Meal Times
You must ensure that your family mealtimes are convenient for everyone. Breakfast should be nutritious as it fuels the body for the rest of the day. Brewing a cup of coffee isn’t a bad idea for adults because a cup of java has all the benefits of caffeine, like boosting your metabolism and stimulating your brain. If everyone is out for lunch, offer a healthy brown bag. Dinner must be set at least four hours before bedtime, so the organs don’t overwork while you are at rest.
Most of all, make it a point to eat together as a family at least three or four times a week. Apart from being a great way to bond, eating together is an appetite booster. Everyone is encouraged to eat well when the atmosphere on the table is happy and warm. Studies also show that kids reach for more fruits and veggies, plus they score higher on tests when they eat with mom and dad.
Avoid Emotional Eating
Don’t use food as a way to make yourself feel better. This is setting yourself up for disaster because you eat a lot of empty calories that lead to massive weight gain. You must teach your family how to cope with deep emotion. Whether they are sad or happy, food is not the only way to comfort and reward yourself.
Emphasize that stress eating is not only bad for the stomach, but it will make you feel worse after you are stuffed. Eating to fill emotional needs is a temporary relief. Instead, you must encourage your family to channel their energies into something positive like painting, exercise, yoga, and the like. Model how to use other productive approaches as a way to satisfy those feelings.
Steer Clear of “Healthy Drinks”
Everyone loves those so-called healthy drinks with fruit flavor. But here’s the thing, the fruit is just a faux flavor with none of the essential vitamins and minerals. This fake fruit drink is also loaded with sugar that will spike your cravings. Worst-case scenario: it can incite diabetes.
Instead, reach for more water, which is vital for your hydration since the body is 75% water. Aim for eight glasses a day, or more if you sweat a lot. You can also go for tea and coffee, which will give you the benefits of caffeine. Apart from perking you up, caffeine helps you burn fat, improves your performance, makes you smarter, and lowers your risks for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Type2 Diabetes.
Use Vegetables All Family Members Love
As a parent, you are the most crucial example for your kids. If you are cringing at the thought of eating those carrot sticks, chances are they will hate it too. Apart from seeing you eat fruits and veggies, they must see that you are enjoying your nutritious food. You have to practice what you preach because kids follow what you do, not what you say.
To make things enticing for everyone, rotate the vegetables that all your family members love in your weekly menu. This way, there is one or two nights, where everyone gets to eat their favorite veggies with gusto. Additionally, bringing your kids along to choose their veggies in the grocery and asking them to help with dinner prep will make them more excited to eat their vegetables.
Be Careful with Portion Sizes
Remind your family that your mealtimes are not an eat-all-you-can buffet. Every person has a recommended daily dietary allowance, so there is such a thing as portion-control, which everyone must abide by for optimal health. Doing this will allow your family to eat what they love while being able to keep those calories in check.
Be sure to teach your kids what are the standard portion sizes. Moreover, demonstrate how to read a nutritional serving label at the back of their favorite snacks. Make them everyone realize that this paves the way for easier food digestion, controls blood sugar, and helps them maintain a healthy weight.
When you practice these healthy eating habits at home, you make it easy for your family to make the right choices. You are your children’s most influential mentor and advocate, so you must teach your children that everyone must eat to live and not live to eat. Food is not a reward nor punishment, but it is nourishment.
Written by Lianna Arakelyan for Greensbury Market, Corp.