The following is a post from contributing writer Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
Since I’ve changed my eating habits, our whole family’s eating has improved, to an extent. I’m still taking steps to get my kids eating healthier, though. If your kids are anything like mine, they like to graze all day. There are some simple steps that we can all implement to encourage healthier eating.
1.Keep fruits cut up and readily available in the fridge. If my kids can see fruit, they will eat it. The problem quickly becomes getting some for myself before they eat it all. I know some fruits can (and many should) sit on the counter, but my kids and I prefer most fruits cold. Our “meats” drawer never houses meat. Because it’s clear, it makes the perfect place to keep fruit cold and easily visible. It usually contains a combination of at least two of the following: apples, oranges, grapes, kiwi, or clementines.
I usually store strawberries and diced pineapple in clear containers on an eye-level shelf in the fridge. I also like to store bananas in the refrigerator once they get to the ripeness we prefer. The skins turn dark, but the fruit stays good for several days longer than it would on the counter.
2. Make sure veggies are available, too. Just like fruit, if veggies are available and easy to eat, my kids will eat them. Carrot sticks with ranch dressing are a favorite. My youngest eats tomatoes like they’re apples and cucumber like it’s banana. Cauliflower and broccoli are great with ranch dressing or a low-fat dip made with Greek yogurt. I love jicama and red pepper strips with hummus.
3. Keep bottles of water in the fridge. We have a filtered water dispenser in our refrigerator door, but all of us prefer keeping bottles in the fridge. It keeps the water colder. We’ve each got our own metal water bottles, so everyone knows whose is whose…but Megan, my youngest, still drinks water better if it’s bottled – as in, plastic bottles from the store. I have no idea why. I can’t bring myself to buy them very often. It seems an unnecessary expense and environmental irresponsibility, but she loves when we happen to wind up with some bottles. She’s always the one to drink them.
Whether it’s individual bottles – reusable or otherwise – or a pitcher, keeping water in the fridge is a surefire way of ensuring that more water is consumed by my kids. Limiting kids to drinks other than water only at mealtimes can be effective, too, but I don’t enforce that one.
4. Keep healthy proteins on hand. Some of our favorites are: hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, peanut butter (I like the natural varieties), nuts, and yogurt.
What are some of your family’s favorite healthy snacks?
Kris blogs at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She is the classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom to three amazing kids, the Christ-following, sweet tea addicted wife to one unbelievably supportive husband, and the formerly obese, couch-potato-turned-healthy runner of a bunch of 5K races and two half-marathons.