Morning beautiful friends! This week's blog is going to feature our TransFit nutrition consultant, Katie Woodall! We are going to continue to focus on families this week in celebration of our Healthy Families ebook, but if you are a sweet college student or don't have kids - stick with us! There are still plenty of awesome tips to be found and DELICIOUS recipes to try! As a busy mom of three, Katie definitely has some wisdom to share about how we can start getting our kids and ourselves eating healthier each and every day! Enjoy!
The question “How do I get my kids healthy?” comes up a lot in the studio. Often times, clients get accustomed to their new routines of exercise and eating clean, nutritious foods, but their kids don’t always adjust to new foods as quickly as adults.
Today, we want to share with you 10 very basic ways to help get your kids on track to better health!
1. Set an example!
Your kids are watching you — when you take time out of your day to exercise. When you choose an apple over a bag of potato chips. When you refill your water bottle. When you choose steamed veggies over french fries. They’re watching! And though we aren’t always perfect in our choices, we can make a big impact on our little ones with all the small choices we make day in and day out!
2. Feed your kids what you’re eating!
Instead of fixing your kids a separate meal, serve them the same foods you’re eating. If you’ve baked fish with steamed veggies and rice for yourself, don’t hesitate putting the same foods on their plates. They might not be as excited as you are about your healthy meal, but don’t let that discourage you. And don’t give up! Even if they aren’t thrilled about this meal the first time you offer it to them, offer it to them again…and again! It make take several tries, but often times, they’ll come around.
3. Offer incentives.
Kids love sticker charts and earning rewards! Use an incentive that motivates your kids. We have tried earning “stars” for every new food our kids try. Once they earn 10 stars, they get a $5 gift card to Target! It works, and they get very excited! Rewards don’t always have to come in the form of sugar!
4. Take them grocery shopping.
It may not be your idea of fun, but your little ones most likely enjoy helping out mom or dad in the store. Let them pick out the produce! Or let them try using the scales to weigh the vegetables you’re purchasing — any way to get them excited about new fruits and vegetables! Helping you at the store might be another way for them to likely try the foods they (not you!) put in the cart.
5. Let them help you in the kitchen!
If your kids help with dinner, it might encourage them to eat what they’ve worked so hard to prepare! Even if it’s washing fruit and vegetables (or if you’re comfortable, they can chop, too), give them a specific task!
Put them in charge of re-filling snack baskets. If you have the snack-sized Ziplock bags, they can pre-portion out their snacks for school, too!
6. Use meal planning charts!
Instead of you sitting down to plan out your families’ meals alone each week, enlist your kids’ help! This would be a great opportunity to talk about the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season and let them pick which ones they’d like along with the main dish. And once it’s on the chart, there’s no fuss about breakfast, lunch or dinner — it’s already been discussed and planned! Another bonus: you’re organized for the whole week! This will simplify grocery shopping as well!
7. Let your kids help prepare their own lunch boxes.
Make it fun — use shapes and a variety of colors. Cut their sandwiches, cheese and fruit into different shapes. Mix it up with color, like green cucumbers, red strawberries, orange carrots or yellow bell peppers. And send healthy dips to go along! Try finding a yogurt-based Ranch for dipping, hummus or peanut butter. Use muffin cups to separate foods and add color. You could also roll up sliced turkey with cheese and add a toothpick!
8. Make exercising fun!
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Get a stopwatch and have a relay race or see how many jumping jacks they can do in 1 minute! Get out the jump ropes and hula-hoops. Turn on some fun music and have a dance contest! If the weather is nice, ask them to join you for a jog! Sign up for family races or 5k events that have a Family Fun Run. Let them see you honoring your body through exercise! Most likely, if your kids see you on the floor doing push-ups, they’re going to want to join in! And if not, ask them — that might be all it takes is an invitation from you!
9. Have patience.
Remember that they’re kids. Just like in your journey to a whole body transformation, it takes kids time for their bodies to adjust. Changes won’t happen overnight. Extend your compassion, love and kindness. They’ll yearn for extra time with you. Time in the kitchen, trips to the grocery store or exercising with you!
Kids need our affirmation just like adults need it. They need to hear from us, “Great job!” or “I am so proud of you!” So any chance you get, take it! Tell them, show them, affirm them every single day!
A family favorite — homemade popcorn! We love family movie night and popcorn is a must! Here is an easy recipe to pop it on the stovetop:
- 1/2 cup all-natural popcorn kernels
- 3 Tbsp. sunflower oil (or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
- Salt to taste
Add 3 Tablespoons of sunflower oil to a large pot. Place 1-2 kernels in the bottom and cover with the lid. Turn the heat up to high. Once the kernels pop, reduce heat to medium-high and add the remaining kernels. Cover. Once the popping slows or stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt.
*You can add a few chocolate chips or M&Ms for a special treat!
Healthy Low Fat Frozen Yogurt
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1 cup plain, Greek Yogurt
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- Combine all ingredients in your food processor or blender and process until smooth. If you have an ice cream machine, follow your manual instructions.
- If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour processed mixture into a bowl and allow to slightly freeze in the freezer for about 45-60 minutes.
- Use an ice cream scoop and dish out some delicious, healthy, soft serve frozen yogurt or pour into Popsicle molds and freeze for about 2-3 hours until set.
Nutty Nice Cream
- 4 medium bananas, sliced and frozen overnight
- 2 Tbsp. nut butter of your choice
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- Few drops of stevia or maple syrup to taste
*Can add a few dark chocolate chips!
Blend in blender until smooth.
Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
- 2 whole Ripe Bananas, Mashed Until Creamy
- ⅓ cup Peanut Butter, Creamy Or Chunky
- ⅔ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- ¼ cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Butter Extract, Optional
- 1-½ cup Quick Oatmeal, Uncooked
- ¼ cup Chopped Peanuts
- ¼ cup Carob Chips Or Chocolate Chips, Optional
- Preheat heat oven to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, mix mashed banana and peanut butter until completely combined. Then add in the applesauce, vanilla protein powder and vanilla and butter extracts. Mix again until completely combined.
- Add in the oatmeal and nuts to the banana mixture and combine. (Add the optional carob/chocolate chips at this time if you want them mixed throughout.
- Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies into circles, about a 1/3″ thick. (If you want the optional carob/chocolate chips on the top of the cookies, push them into the cookies now.)
- Bake cookies approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown and done. Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack. (If you want the traditional fork tine marks on the cookies, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the tops of the cookies while they’re still warm.)
- When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container. Enjoy!
Enjoy these recipes this Easter weekend with your family! For more healthy family recipes check out our Healthy Families ebook!
Have a fantastic weekend, friends! As we continue in this week leading up to Easter, let's remember what Jesus left us with as He ascended into Heaven.