As a mum, you want to feed your family healthy and delicious foods. But you also have a lot to get done every day. So sometimes, it can feel overwhelming to do it all. As a mum, I’ve experienced this feeling, even as a qualified dietitian! So I thought I would share my tips for feeding myself, and my family, healthy food.
How to include healthy foods
Sometimes, our family can get pretty stubborn about eating healthy foods. This might be our kids, or it might be the hubby! But the good thing is, food doesn’t have to taste healthy in order to be healthy.
If they don’t like pieces of vegetables, make soup and blend the veggies into the broth. Then add the foods that they do like, like chicken and rice noodles. If you’re making a creamy sauce, blend in some cooked cauliflower. For bolognaise, blend up a bunch of vegetables and mix it into the sauce. That way, there are no ‘bits’ to pick out.
Another strategy is to make foods look visually appealing. Kids love bright colours and patterns. This is why they love a selection of berries over a brown pear!
Making it bite-sized makes it easy for them to try new foods. Children are natural grazers, so they are much more likely to eat a finger sandwich or two than one big sandwich.
If they don’t like a particular food, try serving it to them again in a different form. Sometimes, it’s more about the texture of the food rather than the taste. For vegetables, you can try cubed, mashed, roasted or fresh, depending on what the vegetable is.
Finally, if they are craving healthy foods, let them eat it. If they want a banana every day, that’s a great start to a healthy approach. A child’s body is much more in tune with what it needs, so they are more likely to consume what they need to be healthy.
Get the kids involved
I believe there is no such thing as being too young to help in the kitchen. In fact, I encourage it – the more comfortable kids are around food, the more likely they are to try and enjoy it.
My daughter used to refuse to eat chicken. So I asked her to come and help me make a chicken dish one day. She had her own apron and stood with me while I made a batch of grilled chicken. Because she was involved in the process, she wanted to eat it afterward, because it was ‘her’ chicken!
So let the kids ‘help’ you, even if it means it takes more time sometimes! Let them mix the ingredients, get ingredients out of the cupboard, and then let them try it once it’s done. The more you expose them to food, the better.
Planning and batching
Making healthy food can take more time than conventional options. But by pre-planning and batch-cooking foods, you can save time and energy.
This is great to use when you know the healthy dishes that your family loves. Make a double or triple batch of bolognaise with hidden veggies, then freeze leftovers for another time.
Looking for more support and inspiration for healthy eating? Make sure you have a squiz at The Lifestyle Collective. There are meal plans, recipes, tips and ongoing group support to keep you on track with a healthy lifestyle. To learn more, click here.