Eating Healthy as a Family

If you are what you eat and good eating habits can reduce skin and health problems, it makes sense that everyone should eat healthily. I may be going out on a limb here, but I really am trying to circumvent putting the pressure on my teenage daughter to stop eating junk because it is not helping her acne. Continuing to put pressure on her to worry about what she looks like, her acne and what she eats takes away from her being a carefree kid. Informing kids of things does not always have to come in the form of a conversation or a statement telling them “not to” do something. Role modeling is just as effective a teaching method as words.

Role modeling good eating habits is my goal for the next week. My family is going to establish better eating habits without even realizing it! This strategy will help everyone in the long run.  I can’t control everything my children do, nor can I worry about everything they eat all of the time. I can however control what I cook and what I have available to them when they are home.

Food is so much more available in the summer because eating has become a social event in our society. Fast food restaurants are a dime a dozen, ice cream stands, hot dogs on sticks and French fries are so much more accessible to kids in the summer. Being out of school creates the opportunity for kids to go to the fair, attend carnivals, picnics or grab a chocolate shake at the ice cream stand down the road.

I realized that I cannot compete with the availability of the good tasting, high calorie foods that are so attractive to my children. I have to be honest, dinner time, especially in the summer, does not always consist of the meat, potato and vegetable that I grew up with. Sometimes we have hot dogs on the grill or chicken fingers with some fries. It is easy, quick and tasty. We have gotten into the habit of ordering out on Fridays, usually pizza or subs. We do have balanced meals also, but let’s face it, it is easier to open a can than to cook a roast.

So my plan is to be a little bit sneaky. I plan to add more fruits and veggies to the family menu. I am going to sneak it right into the house and onto the table without any conversation or discussion. Since I do the grocery shopping regularly I will be carefully planning a menu in my head this week before heading to the grocery store. My new menu will have a few exclusions and a few additions. It will exclude the fat, calories and salt and include fresh, green and healthy. The hot weather will definitely make this easier, as we don’t want to be eating heavy meals, but fresh salads can be just as tasty.

Slowly I will start substituting other things like the soda and snacks for more creative healthy options, like smoothies. For right now, I will take baby steps and start small. I do not plan to eliminate the order out on Fridays just yet because I don’t my shift to healthy eating to be too obvious!

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