Healthy eating has become more important than ever to the average Australian, as we learn more and more about what constitutes ‘healthy’ every year. For a person living on their own, healthy eating habits can be hard enough, but when you live with a busy family it can sometimes feel downright impossible.
But don’t fret, as it is actually far easier to plan and serve healthy food each week when you do have a house full of mouths to feed. Whether you choose to have home cooked meals delivered on a regular basis or decide to revamp your shopping habits, there are many ways to make nutrition the priority for your family.
Continue reading for some helpful hints on how you can keep your family’s nutrition in check no matter how busy you get.
Routine Is King
Let’s face it, the hardest part of building healthy habits is just developing routines. But once a routine is in place, you’ll find that eating healthy as a family becomes easy as pie, so to speak!
We encourage families to start small. For example, simply making the decision to shop for groceries or do a little bit of meal prep each week can form the basis of a great healthy eating routine. And if you only have so much time for meal prep, then you can easily rely on healthy meal deliveries to fill in the gaps within your week. Even meal deliveries are guaranteed to see your family eating healthier than just relying on takeout on nights where dinner is a tall order.
It’s also a good idea to get kids involved in planning meals. That way, they can take ownership of their own commitment to healthy eating and work with you to meet their own nutritional goals.
The sooner you start pushing yourself and your family to develop a healthy routine around shopping, cooking, and eating food, the faster you will see the results. And yes, it may be tough for the first little while, but so long as you stick to your routines, there’s no reason why healthy eating will start to feel like second nature for your household.
Shop Bulk Sales
One of the major reasons a lot of families struggle to keep healthy, nutritious meals throughout the course of the month is because of the rising cost of groceries. Grocery prices are up everywhere in the world, and there isn’t much reprieve in sight. Thankfully, there are ways that you can sidestep the growing cost of produce and whole foods.
For example, you can start shopping for your healthier food in bulk. This is a great method for larger families as there are less risks of your bulk perishables going to waste every week.
As for smaller families, you may opt to buy in bulk and then freeze your excess to ensure that your grocery budget goes a bit further every week, or you could once again, organise a meal subscription service for your family that allows you to only pay for portion sizes that you need and no extra.
Of course, amending your household shopping habits is never immediate, as there will be some planning and preparation involved for both kids and parents alike. So take your time to really settle into these new changes and to be mindful of the benefits as you experience them. That way, you can improve your chances of maintaining these new routines in the long term.
Freezers Are Essential
There are many ways that you can use leftover foods or produce that’s nearing its use by date. For example, you could use berries or overripe bananas to make banana bread at home. Or you can pack up leftover dinners to eat for lunch the next day. Or as we mentioned earlier, you could freeze your leftovers to prolong the life of these home-cooked meals and avoid them ending up in your food waste bin unnecessarily.
With that, now has never been a better time to invest in a freezer or two for your home. With the right preparation and tools, you can safely keep some things in your freezer for up to six months. Combine this with your new-found shopping skills, and you can really start to see how healthy eating can stay affordable and accessible – even for larger families.
One of the most important things you must understand as a meal provider for a family is that meals need to be properly balanced. This means making sure that all your kids’ meals come with a serving of protein and fibre – ideally with a healthy balance between the two.
Protein is an essential part of our diet, like many other things, but that doesn’t mean that you need to eat a half-kilo steak for dinner every night. Plan your meals to have a balanced amount of protein, green vegetables, whole grains, and more to ensure everyone is getting the proper fuel for their bodies. Lean proteins and lots of leafy greens are always the golden ticket to becoming a healthy human.
And if you really want to stay healthy and nutritious, you don’t want to starve yourself either. Your metabolism likes to keep active, and by choosing healthy snacks between meals, you will make it happy. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other nutritious snacks should be readily available for your kids at all times. Not only will these do so much more for the family than pre-packaged and processed snacks, but it will also train your kids to seek out healthy snack options whenever they are feeling peckish rather than resorting to snacks that are high in sugar or saturated fats.
Finally, staying hydrated is just as important as getting your daily dose of fruits and veggies. In fact, you should really consider drinking plenty of water to be a fixture of maintaining a balanced diet, as keeping yourself well hydrated can aid in digestion and ensure that your body is able to absorb all of its newfound nutrients.
A lot of people don’t drink enough water each day, and unless you are already consciously aware of it, you may be one of them. Keeping yourself hydrated is just about the most important thing you can do for your health, so ensure you push the value of plain old water on the family.
We also advise parents to lead by example with their kids by carrying their own water bottles around with them. This demonstrates to your children that it’s just as important for adults to drink water everyday as it is for kids.
Planning Makes Perfect When It Comes To Family Nutrition
Eating healthy is not going to be as easy and accessible as just eating whatever the heck you feel like because it’s simple. It takes a lot of dedication, planning, and work to start building these habits, but it is worth it in the long run. Make sure that you get everyone in the family involved in the process, especially the young ones, as the more they get involved, the easier it will be to transition to a routine of healthy eating early on and stick with it moving forward.
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