Did you know that March is National Nutrition month? I found that out this past week (along with a whole bunch of great information on shopping, cooking, & eating healthy with your family) while on a conference call with Michelle Dudash, registered dietician, Cordon Bleu-certified chef and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. Michelle has joined forces with the Walmart Foundation to help raise awareness about the importance of nutrition education. In fact, the Walmart Foundation is giving $6.7 million in grants to five national nonprofits that are providing thousands of students access to school breakfast and nutrition education to people of all ages. This is an important topic as only 25 percent of adults, and even fewer children, eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day!
During our call, Michelle shared some great tips for eating healthy as a family! So, here are the 5 top tips that I think are especially helpful in helping you shop, cook, and eat healthy:
Spring Clean Your Kitchen
As I’ve found with the pantry challenges, it is MUCH easier to meal plan when your pantry, fridge, and freezer are organized. When I can see what I have, it not only saves time & money, but I’m more apt to cook well balanced meals because it’s easier. Everything is conveniently located and I know what’s in there. In addition to getting the kitchen organized, Michelle also suggests tossing items with “unclean” ingredients (lots of processed foods with words you can’t pronounce), saving clear jars for great visual food storage, and showcasing the produce in your refrigerator so you can see it!
Get Kids in the Kitchen
Kids are actually much more likely to eat what they have helped prepared. I find that true with our boys. They often get really excited about what they’ve helped make and are always willing to try the end result. Thankfully, our boys aren’t too picky and will eat a really nice variety of food. But, I think this little trick would be great for those with kids who don’t like trying new foods or eating their veggies.
Another suggestion is of course to make fruits and veggies fun for kids! We LOVE doing this. From rainbow fruit muffin tin snacks & fun lunch ideas to Easter fruit bouquets and “dinosaur trees” (what we often call broccoli around here), eating healthy can be really fun for kids (and adults too 😉 )!
If you can read the label and know the ingredients, then it is clean. If there are ingredients that sound like lab experiments, it’s not clean! So, make sure the food that your family is eating is good for them by reading the labels as you buy and paying attention to the ingredients in your food. Don’t purchase things that have too many added ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
Prep Breakfast Ahead of Time
WAY too many kids and adults are not eating healthy breakfast–or skipping breakfast altogether. To make starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast, you can actually prep so many wonderful options ahead of time! Here are a few great ideas:
- Hard Boiled Eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein & very economical. You can boil a whole pot of them on the weekend to have handy throughout the week!
- Use leftover veggies from dinner. Instead of having to chop up items in the morning, just save them from dinner and pop them into scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas, or breakfast burritos.
- Breakfast Sundaes. Layer greek yogurt and frozen fruit like a parfait the night before. Then, in the morning sprinkle on a little granola or almonds! Super YUM!
- Overnight oatmeal. This is SO easy. We’ve done just plain overnight oats and apple cinnamon overnight oatmeal. Super easy & you’ve got a hot breakfast ready to go when you wake up!
Gah! I struggle with this! We sometimes do great with meal planning and then we’ll sometimes go for long stretches with no plan in place. Having a plan definitely helps us stay on track with eating healthy and saving money! Michelle suggests planning out how many dinners you will eat at home each week on Sunday. Make a meal plan and grocery shop around that. You can even make it easy and fun by doing things like having a baked potato bar night, create your own pizza night, taco bar night, etc. Plus, re-use your meal plans! Swap out recipes for the seasons, but keep it easy!
Thanks for all of these great tips, Michelle! These were good reminders for me!
What questions or tips do YOU have about healthy eating habits for families?
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Motherhood. As always, all opinions and experiences are entirely my own.