Grocery shopping with my future foodie!
I often get asked by other moms “how do you get your kid and family to eat so healthy?”
First of all, let me just be transparent and say that things are not as perfect as everyone else thinks and on a daily basis, my best laid out plans don’t always go as smoothly as planned.
Today was a prime example, I could not for the life of me get my toddler to eat the lunch I made for him simply because it was a new recipe that he had never had. So after over an hour and a half of coaxing and threatening 🤦🏽♀️, this tired mama eventually gave up and fed him his favorite dish - a mash of rice, butter and avocados.
So all this to say, give yourself grace mamas! I once read somewhere that if we want to look at how well our kids are eating, it helps to look at the bigger picture. Look at how they ate over the period of a week rather than in a day. Often times you’ll find that they’re actually not as bad as you thought.
-Because we want kids with better immune systems, less frequent colds & flu, no ear infections, better energy & focus in school, no skin issues, less food sensitivities, less obesity and really just bringing up kids that have built resilient bodies that are healthy enough to withstand chronic illness and thrive!
- Because it’s so much easier to build good healthy habits when they’re younger than later on in life and it also sets up a solid foundation for health thereby preventing so many unnecessary illnesses and decreasing overall stress to the whole family unit.
That’s why Frederick Douglas’ quote “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” is so fitting.
Here are some tips I WISH I had known when I first started my healthy eating journey:
- Start early - with that said, it’s never too late to start. I started this journey almost a decade ago as an adult and I was that person that you couldn’t pay to eat a green vegetable 🤫 and now it has come back full circle with me being blessed with the pickiest toddler ever!
- Start slow - especially if kids are involved, maybe choosing one thing to change at a time so it makes things less painful.
- Find healthy replacements for the things that you’re getting rid of. Over the years, I have found there’s almost always a replacement for the things we need to ditch / switch in our diet so we don’t really feel like we’re missing out on what we eat! We eat cookies, burgers, pizza you name it! We just make them with ingredients that are nourishing to our bodies instead of sabotaging our health!
- Get the whole family involved & make it fun! Start some family traditions & activities that foster healthy eating habits. Some examples include menu planning as a family, cooking together, going grocery shopping or to farmers market together, starting a small garden etc.
- As much as possible, plan your meals ahead of time so you don’t fall into the trap of grabbing the quickest & sometimes the unhealthiest option out there!
- If you’re just starting out, slowly clean out your pantry and don’t buy any new foods that you know are going to sabotage your family’s health. If you have healthy food in your pantry & fridge, you will eat healthy food!
- Figure out your why: find your motivation to continue to do better and stay on track of your family’s nutrition and health!
- Lastly, remember it’s about progress, not perfection. It’s ok if you fall off the wagon as long as you get back up.
Dr. Dee Gibune, DC