Both my girls have grown up loving fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy homemade meals.
They love healthy food and healthy snacks and while both have very different personalities and are 5 years apart in age both eat pretty much anything healthy food wise BUT I am the first to admit I myself was definately not always a healthy eating person and I was never a big fan of fruit and veges-instead I became one after having my first baby!
As I told in The Pram Diet book when I sarted on my healthy journey my daughter was my inspiration. My inspiration to find the healthy, energised version of me, to fall in love with healthy, real food.
Just like everyone, everwhere can too!
One of the greatest things we can pass on to our children is the tools to live a healthy, happy lifestyle and the best way of doing this is by actually living one ourselves!
So where do you start?
Start with you-be inspiration to your children.
As with a lot of things it is always important to start with changes you enjoy doing or feel the benefit from, changes that aren't overwhelming or extreme, changes you will keep doing. Start with small steps and let them become natural to you and then build on them and add more as it becomes a momentum that creates an exciting love of healthy living that flows through your whole life.
For more ideas and easy to follw advice on starting a home edible garden, composting, finding motivation, creating a healthy kitchen and a healthier less stressful home environment, cooking healthy meals that the whole family will actually eat, getting healthy and losing weight on budget and lots of recipes check out my book
Becoming a healthier family doesn't have to be hard, expensive or UNFUN in fact it can be a great bonding experience and have fantastic long term health benefits.
One of the best ways that as a mother I know you can get children eating healthier is by actually involving them with food. Real food. Not a packet you open or something you zap or that is handed to you through a drive-through window.
Real exciting food experiences.
- GROW some edibles at home. Kids just LOVE this! They get so much out of it; it provides you with beautiful fresh ingredients and kids can't wait to eat veges they themselves helped to grow-combine growing with some cooking together and they will never look back. Plus as a mum you will be far more inclined to cook with lots of vegetables and herbs when you have them right there, FREE in the garden. Beautiful as fresh as fresh can be, organic and so tasty.
Both my girls have grown up with edible gardens and watching your toddler and kids eating fresh organic snow peas, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, beans, celery and other ingredients straight from the garden is just priceless.
- Take them to market. Take the kids and let them help pick the fresh fruit and vegetables. Let them smell, feel, experience. Even at the supermarket make your first stop the fruit and vegetable section. This should ideally be around 1/3 of your trolley. Get them involved and have a look around together at what looks good, whats on special, what meals could be made out what ingredients.
If your a mum sometimes caught in that spot of an upset toddler where you might give them a little something to nibble on while you shop or once you get in the car to keep them occupied what about a stalk of celery? Leave the leafy top on to make it even more fun-or a punnet of tomatoes or strawberries that aren't sold by weight, much better than a biscuit.
- Find out what they like. There is not much joy to be had consistently putting fruit and vegetables in front of kids that they don't like or that is prepared or cooked in way they don't like. Why force apples if they love mandarins or pears? The same with veges is they hate boiled veg why not try them with a fresh, dressed salad, vegetable stir fry or raw crunchy finger food veges?
- Appreciate quality ingredients and foods. Try not to be caught up in the too expensive fruit headspace and then turn a few isles and put chips, soft drink and party pies in the trolley-in the end what would you really prefer they were munching on?
- Get healthy takeaway. Think creatively. When heading to the beach or park on a hot day why not swap the icecreams with a fresh whole watermelon chopped up on the spot for the kids to tuck into? You could even but it in advance and chill it in the fridge.
Make your own spinach and feta sausage rolls, pizza and party pies and use things like whole grain pastry.