Fighting the Family for Healthy Nutrition

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I was just talking to one of our members who is struggling with a common problem: he knows how to eat healthy, but he can’t bring himself to stay away from the not-so-healthy snacks he buys for the kids. “I’d rather gain weight than listen to my kids scream about not having snacks,” he told me.
 
I don’t have kids, but I understand. So, what’s the answer?
 
Get everyone else on board. Get the entire family to eat healthy.
 
A great place to start is by involving your kids (assuming they’re old enough to complete full sentences) in shopping and cooking. Sure, that’s easier said than done especially with young kids who are picky eaters. But involving your kids gives them a sense of control, which can translate into better choices. There are dozens of kid-friendly cookbooks out there that you and your children can pore over. Here’s a place to start.
 
Also remember that you’re still in charge. Until your kids have their own car and credit card, what you buy is what comes into the house. That’s doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate snacks. But you can make better choices. Fried chips or baked? Packaged cookies or homemade (where you can control the ingredients)? Sugary drinks or flavored seltzer water? Try keeping containers of cut-up fruit and veggies, single-serving hummus and guacamole packs, and sugar-free yogurts handy where your kids (and you) can reach them on their own.
 
And don’t forget the potential of gamification when it comes to healthy eating with your kids. How about making a game of grocery shopping? Can you get everything you need by keeping to the perimeter of the store? That’s where you find “real,” (read: unprocessed) food, including lean meats, poultry, and seafood, fresh or frozen vegetables, fruit, and low-fat cheese and dairy.
 
Pop into a couple of aisles for healthy oils, pastas, and a few canned goods and voila! Your kids have won the prize of health.