With that first month of the new year under my belt, I’m also starting to feel those resolutions slipping from my mind. Here are a few little hints and tricks that help keep my family healthy eating all year round, enjoy!
#1 Cook with love!
I’ve never had an awesome meal after I spent hours slamming pots and pans and muttering about the days grievances. Enter your kitchen with your loved ones in mind and remember what you are preparing for them now is what will sustain them. A good healthy meal/snack shows how much you care and when it’s made with love it tastes that much better!
#2 Start early…in life.
We are what we eat, or so they say. If we encourage our kiddos to eat mindfully at a young age, it stands to reason they will grow up to be healthy eaters. Or at least you can feel good that you gave a great foundation.
#3 Get everyone involved- in all of it! The menu planning, the shopping, the cooking and plating.
It’s actually eye opening to ask for input on some of these things once in a while. Why should I have to be the only one coming up with ideas and being creative when it comes to meals? I love writing things like “2 side veggies” on my husbands grocery list, I’m often surprised with something I would have walked right by without noticing. I’m also a fan of establishing meal nights for each member to plan. It’s fun to see a recipe that hasn’t been made in months or a new one added to the menu, it’s also a good way to gauge what everyone is “craving” or “into” at any given time.
#4 “Mix it Up” and don’t quit trying!
This is quite literal. Mix it, blend it, puree it, dice it, shred it, slice it and don’t quit trying! A ton of foods that are so good for us, aren’t our favorite when prepared in different ways. It’s fine to not like certain foods, but its a disservice to not give everything a fair shot. I love the challenge of learning new ways to prepare the “same old” ingredients.
Something like spinach is very versatile and often disliked by kids. I never hated it but it wasn’t until I was a nanny that I learned I loved it cooked, thanks to a 3 year old girl who requested it daily. Spinach is awesome blended in a smoothie, makes a great salad raw, can be added into pasta sauces and soups.
Cauliflower is another sneaky guy. As a dairy sensitive gal with a love for all things mac and cheese, this is my latest and greatest find. Cauliflower can be substituted as rice, mashed into “potatoes,” pureed into “Alfredo” sauce. It takes on flavors similar to tofu, so it’s pretty amazing roasted with your favorite herbs or spices. It’s also fairly easy to turn this veg into a thickening agent for chowder soups or to half the “dairy” in homemade mac and cheese.
#5 Make it a “treat”- once in a while.
Don’t tell any one but healthy food can also be super yummy. Ever heard of brownies made with beets? How about making your own trail mix, sure you can add chocolate bits but also dried fruits and protein packed nuts! What about a fruit packed Popsicle or making your own fruit roll ups? Here’s a new one…shredded carrot in the cake?!? What? Just kidding on that one, haha.