When we think of teaching our children, we often focus on lessons we can tell them and show them. For instance, being on time, completing homework, and helping out with chores around the house. These are all valuable lessons, but what we can fail to consider are the lessons our children are absorbing from our behaviors. My 3 spirited kiddos each have their own struggles, of course, but Kelly & I try our best to lead more by example not so much by words alone. I believe the best way to get your kids to eat healthy is to focus on "everything in moderation" and leading by example! Below are some great tips to help you and your family on your quest for a healthy lifestyle!
"In everything set them an example by doing what is good" Titus 2:7
- Model healthy habits. Children who see their parents buying and eating healthy food, as well as exercising on a regular basis, are more likely to adopt these habits themselves.
- Start good habits at an early age. Help your children establish good eating, sleeping, and exercising habits at a young age so you won't have to break them of bad habits later. Try exposing your children to a variety of different flavors by mixing healthy ingredients into foods they already know and enjoy. In addition, make sure to model good behaviors like playing outside instead of watching TV so your children will adopt these habits too!
- Keep healthy foods at home. By keeping the pantry and fridge stocked with healthy foods, you will be more likely to cook and eat healthy foods, which in turn will make your children more likely to do the same. This doesn't mean you have to swear off all sweet foods--try frozen yogurt or frozen berries instead of ice cream for dessert and top with fresh fruit instead of sprinkles.
- Make eating healthy easy. Oftentimes when hungry we reach for whatever is the most convenient. Make eating healthy easy for you and your family by planning nutritious snacks in advance and having them available. Cut up veggies such as celery and carrots and keep snack sized portions in individual bags for quick snacks.
- Have meals as a family. Research has shown that in families who shared at least three meals a week, children were 24 percent more likely to be eating healthy foods than those in families who ate few or no meals together. The children were also 12 percent less likely to be overweight, 20 percent less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 35 percent less likely to engage in dangerous weight-loss efforts like taking diet pills and laxatives, or vomiting. As a bonus, you'll be able to connect over meaningful dinnertime conversations and save money as compared to eating out.
Here is a great recipe you can make with your family- that everyone will enjoy! My sweet friend, Gena Knox shared one of her families favorites! You can bake in a loaf pan or mini muffin pans and add flax or chia seeds if desired.
Whole Grain Banana Bread
By Gena Knox
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 16 slices
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup plain flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed or chia seeds (optional)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1½ cups mashed, ripe banana (about 2 medium)
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup plain sugar
FIRST Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine flours, flaxseed, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and allspice and set aside.NEXT Using a food processor or mixer, combine bananas, yogurt and eggs. Gradually add sugars and beat until combined. ¼ cup at a time add flour mixture to banana mixture until combined. LAST Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool on wire rack. Slice and serve with fresh fruit.
In order to help some of my friends who wanted to start making healthy choices and modeling healthy decisions for their families, this past month I offered a January Jump Start program. It was so successful, that I have created a new program called Faithfully Fit February for the upcoming month. The Faithfully Fit February Program will include 4 workouts you can do at home, 4 weekly meal plans and recipes, weekly bible verses and inspirations, a February workout calendar, and recipes for healthy Valentine's Day snacks for only $75. If this interests you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the PayPal link below to sign up.