But when my husband Luke and I decided about 3 years ago to start learning how to eat healthy for us and our family, we quickly realized how much better it was for us all.
At first it can seem really expensive and hard. But I have found with a little self control and moderation it's a beautiful thing. It's all about changing the way that you think about what is good, what you do and don't like, and diving into the learning experience of healthy eating.
You may ask, how do you get 5 kids to eat healthy?! Here are a few things we have learned.
1. Your kids will eat what you show them to eat.
For example, if your kids will only eat french fries just simply do not buy any more. Instead buy some real potatoes cut them up, put a little oil, it can be coconut oil, olive oil, a little salt and pepper, put them in the oven for 20 min at 350 and BAM a healthier french fry.
2. Make learning about healthy eating for the whole family.
Even our three and two year old's like feeling that they are in on the loop. They may not fully understand but they like to feel that they do.
"Mama why do I need to eat an apple instead of candy?"
That's a great time to make it fun and to learn what the sugar does to your body. It's not that there are not some tears sometimes or a fight even, toddlers will be toddlers, but as they grow and as that's all you are offering they will learn. For instance, our seven and six year old now when they do eat sweets like to talk out loud about how they don't really want to eat to much because they know what it does to their bodies. Thus already putting a little bit of that self control in their mindsets.
3. You are going for consistent long term, not perfection.
As a family we are far from perfect at eating healthy all the time. There are times when you have to stop, evaluate what you are eating as a family, and pull it all back to the main focus. But the main thing is that you are making it a family life choice for you and your family. It's more about being educated and sticking to it through out the years. Our kids learn from watching us, I am not always the best example and I stress eat a lot, but they learn from our mistakes too. They see me trying, learning and coming back to it!
Here are a few of our favorite healthy foods and snacks:
Plain Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries. Luke and I both have a major sweet tooth, and this is a simple, healthy snack that is an alternative to ice cream. Try this trick to make it the best- simply take some plain Greek yogurt (the vanilla flavor is loaded with added sugar so go for the plain for the healthy choice), and add some frozen blueberries in and mix it together- however much you want. Stick the mixture into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes and pull it out- the greek yogurt will freeze over the blueberries a little and makes for a super tasty treat. Its healthy, no added sugar, and 8 oz of greek yogurt has a whopping 23 grams of protein with 0 grams of fat! This is our healthy treat JAM!
Greek yogurt and cereal in the morning, you get more protein that way to start your day. Our kids love this and actually prefer it to milk and cereal.
Another huge favorite around here is Greek yogurt with garlic salt, garlic powder, dill, and basil - mix it up really good and dip baby carrots or any other veggie that you may love. Home made veggie dip!
For a sweet snack cut up some fruit and dip it in plain Greek yogurt. We go to plain Greek yogurt a lot for these different snacks because again with no added sugar and all that protein it is really a healthy snack.
For dinner, throw some veggies, a type of meat into a crock pot, season to taste, then when it's almost meal time cook some quinoa put it together with an avocado, soo good and easy.
I use lots of spices instead of junk food for my flavoring. Throw out the chips and get veggie chips, and pita chips instead. Throw out the chip dip and get hummus instead.
These are just a few of my healthy eating tips. But Chobani is doing a great project on helpful tips to eating healthy with your kids!
Go and check them out HERE and HERE. They also have some great recipes with using Greek yogurt instead of all those other nasty things.