5 Ways To Make Healthy Eating Fun

What are meal times like in your house? Are they fun, calm happy times or can they be stressful? How healthy are they? Are meal times happier, calmer and more fun the more unhealthy the meal? Typical!

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We all know that we should eat healthy but the reality can be a little bit more difficult. How often do you cook three different meals at the same time for your family? At YogaBugs we know that you and your family need the right fuel to have the energy to have fun. That’s why we are giving you our five top tips to make healthy eating fun.

  1. Dip it – Most kids don’t like eating vegetables and this can cause a lot of tension at meal times. You know they need vegetables so why not see what you can do to disguise them and improve the flavour. We suggest a mild salsa or yoghurt-based dressing.
  2. You are not a cafe – As the parent you are in charge of the evening meal, if you allow yourself to be treated like a restaurant don’t be surprised when your child places an order that is different to what you were intending to cook. Children will mimic adult behaviour. Get into the habit of cooking just the one meal. Take back control of the kitchen.
  3. Carefully introduce new foods – Allow your children to get used to new flavours. Don’t overload their plate, explain that their taste buds will need time to adapt. Also consider who their heroes are. Does their hero eat broccoli? We shall let you decide.
  4. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – Mornings might be chaotic but you need to make the most of them. Find a cereal that the kids want but that you agree with. Try and avoid chocolate but accept that there might be some sugar. A proper breakfast will decrease your child’s desire to snack. Get them into the habit from an early age. It will really make a big difference to their entire life.
  5. Get them involved – We all feel better when we have ownership of a situation. Take your children shopping with you. It can be a great place to have conversations about healthy eating and educate them to the right ways of eating. Then get them to help with the cooking. You will find their appetite grow for even the most mundane meal if they have been involved in it’s creation.

Happy Healthy Eating

ACROSS-THE-UK

Top Ten Tips To Get Your Child Fit & Healthy

Number One Tip... Get your child to YogaBugs

Number One Tip… Get your child to YogaBugs

1. Get your child to YogaBugs. YogaBugs is great exercise for all children and fully inclusive for children of all abilities with different classes for various age groups. YogaBugs not only works the body but also develops concentration, self-esteem, literacy and numeracy. YogaBugs uses yoga as a medium to tell stories and inspire children.

2. Eat slowly and in moderation. In a day and age when nearly a quarter of children are obese or overweight, this is really important. Control portion sizes and you will be able to continue to offer a wide variety of food. Also make sure they eat slowly. This will allow their brain the time to realise they are actually full.

3. A minimum of eight hours sleep. Sleep shall help your child keep to the right weight. Sleep will rest their metabolism and prepare it for burning fat the following day.

4. Give them a choice. Turn the television off but then give your child a choice of activities. This leaves them feeling empowered and more inclined to join in the physical activity because they have actively chosen it.

5. Get dancing. Use your love of music to get your child active. Have lounge discos and they will be getting exercise whilst having loads of fun and bonding with you.

6. Involve their friends. Children are far more likely to be active if they are playing with their friends. Just make sure the games consoles are out of reach.

7. Ditch the car. Walking to and from school is not only great for the environment, it makes sure your child has done some physical activity before they have even truly begun their day. It won’t hurt you either.

8. Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks. Nobody really likes it when adverts ruin their favourite show. Invent funny names for simple exercises like squat thrusts, press-ups, and sit-ups, and then do them together till the show comes back on. This will really add up over the course of the day.

9. Get charitable. Exercise for exercise sake can be difficult to motivate yourself for never mind your little ones. Yet, it becomes far easier with a focus. Sign up for a charity fun walk. Children have great empathy and they will love being able to help those less fortunate.

10. Get them in the garden. Love it or hate it there is no doubt that gardening is good physical exercise for everyone. Get you kids involved and not only will they be doing something healthy they will also be learning new skills.

ACROSS-THE-UK

 

5 A DAY and your family

kids-eating

Do you cook and shop for a household, including a fussy eater or two?

It’s easier than you might think to ensure everyone gets five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.There are many ways to introduce more fruit and vegetables into your family’s diet. The wider the variety of fruit and vegetables you eat, the better.Dietitian Azmina Govindji gives a few simple tips to get you started.

Think about your day
There are 5 A DAY opportunities throughout your family’s day.

“Not all those opportunities are immediately obvious,” says Govindji. “A cooked breakfast, for example, can give you several portions if you have grilled mushrooms, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and a glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice.”

If you have cereal or porridge for breakfast, add some fruit, such as sliced bananas, strawberries or sultanas.

Govindji highlights some other 5 A DAY opportunities:

  • Morning break at school. All children aged between four and six at Local Education Authority-maintained schools are entitled to one free piece of fruit or vegetable a day, which is usually given out at break time. If your child is older, you could send them to school with a piece of fruit to eat at break time. The School Food Regulations ensure that fruit and/or vegetables are provided at all school food outlets, including breakfast clubs, tuck shops and vending machines.
  • Lunchtime at school. A school lunch provides your child with a portion of fruit and a portion of vegetables. If you give your child a packed lunch, there are many ways to add fruit and vegetables. Dried fruit counts towards their 5 A DAY, so why not try sultanas or dried apricots? Put salad in their sandwiches or give them carrot or celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, satsumas or seedless grapes. A lot of swapping goes on at lunch, so talk to the mums of your child’s friends to see if you can all give your children at least one portion.
  • On the way home from school. At home time, kids are often very hungry. Take this opportunity to give them a fruit or vegetable snack. This could be a small handful of dried fruit, a banana, a pear, clementines or carrot sticks. When they’re really hungry, they’ll try foods they might otherwise refuse.
  • Dinner time. Get into the habit of having two different vegetables on the dinner table. You don’t have to insist that the children eat them, but if Mum and Dad always do, they may end up trying them. Vegetables in dishes such as stews and casseroles also count. When cooking these dishes, avoid adding extra fat, salt and sugar, and use lean cuts of meat.

Get children involved early
Getting your child involved in choosing and preparing fruit and vegetables can encourage them to eat more.

“Familiarise young children with the colours and shapes of fruits and vegetables as early as possible,” says Govindji.

“Each weekly shop, let them choose a fruit or vegetable they’d like to try. Supervise your child in the kitchen while they help you prepare it.”

Present your children with as wide a variety of fruit and vegetables as possible and make eating them a normal part of family life.

“If your children aren’t keen, canned vegetables, such as sweetcorn, lentils and peas, can be a good place to start,” says Govindji.

Disguising vegetables, by grating carrots into bolognese sauce, for example, can also work, but don’t rely solely on this.

“Try not to reinforce the idea that vegetables are unpleasant and always need to be hidden in foods. Instead, have fun together by trying lots of different fruit and veg and finding what your children like.”

Sourced from: www.nhs.uk