With the kids back to school next week here are some simple ways to introduce healthier eating habits
- Start with something you know they will enjoy. A big pasta bake can easily be thrown together with chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs and any vegetables you have lying around. Simply blitz to hide the evidence if you need to. This is also a great way to use up the leftover ham from Christmas dinner. Chop it up in to cubes and treat it like bacon. Leftovers are great for the kids' lunches the next day too.
- Make one pot of soup a week. Before you do the weekly shopping fish out all the odds and ends from the fridge. Vegetables that would otherwise be dumped. Add it to a pot with some stock, herbs and seasoning and blitz. You can freeze it in batches and you will be delighted to have a stock pile for lunches for you and the kids.
- Leave the treats out of the children's eye-line. Out of sight, out of mind. Once the kids have seen a treat they will obsess over it. Sound's simple but it buys me some time here.
- If your children enjoy white bread, try one of the “best of both” styles to introduce more fibre in to their diet. They probably won't know the difference.
- Purchase a slow cooker. It is the best kitchen device I ever bought. Stick on a stew, curry, spaghetti bollognaise or chilli in the morning and you are unlikely to succumb to something quick and easy later on. The smug factor is great too.
- Take your children's favourite treat dinner and try to create a healthier version of it. For example, pizza can easily be made using wholemeal pita bread, tomato purée, vegetables and cheese. The kids will love helping you make it too.
- Don't be afraid of treats. We would be hypocrites if we didn't allow the children to have treats because we enjoy them too. Treats are fine provided they are not constant. I allow my child to have something “nice” every single day. Something small but he looks forward to it and it really does help me convince him to eat more of his dinner. You have to do what works.
- Try to introduce the odd book or I pad app that focuses on healthy eating. Talk about the food you are buying as you walk around the supermarket. It's all about education and children really are sponges.
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