One thing I have learnt from my weight loss experience and working with over a million moms is that, if you really want to enjoy your weight loss journey and even healthy lifestyle, carry your family along. No matter how little your children are, carry them along. It’s so easy bringing your children into a healthy lifestyle, if it is something you do daily and consistently. The thing about children is, they watch you and most times learn that way.
Over time, I have learnt different approaches of introducing my kids to a healthy lifestyle and honestly as young as they are, they can tell you when you aren’t eating healthy. They are conscious and constantly tell themselves off.
How do you introduce toddlers to a healthy lifestyle?
- Do not keep any unhealthy food in your house: when kids know or perceive they have several options, they’ll rather go for the unhealthy stuff. I mean, the unhealthy stuff always come appealing and sweet in taste.
- Always keep healthy food handy not as an after thought. It should be your first choice when it comes to their feeding. Steamed broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, grapes, apples, bananas, water as against chocolates, fries etc.
- Write a meal plan around what is beneficial for their health: a plan will always keep you organised through out the day, without having to give in
- Eat with them: do not be a ‘do as I say not do as I do’ kind of mom. Be involved, give them what you eat.
- When you begin a healthy food routine stay consistent with them: with my kids, they know that for every meal, you must first eat your vegetables before anything else, no compromise. Trust me, when kids are hungry and sense that there’s nothing other than that to eat, they’ll eat.
- Be Tough: If you were to go to the hospital and the doctor says ‘I need to give your child an injection for them to get well’, What will you do? will you say ‘no’ it will make him/her cry or?, no matter how much they cry, you will never compromise because you know, it is good for their health. That’s how much you should be tough when it comes to eating healthy. That excuse of they’ll cry? does not work, when you know the benefits of what you are giving.
- Reward: learn to reward your child for trying. If they can eat a carrot, celebrate them. That is good motivation for them.
- Tell them about the food: I do not give my kids food without letting them know one benefit of what they are putting into their mouth. If you cannot think of any benefit, always remember say ‘it will make you grow strong and healthy, even beautiful.
- Don’t be Forceful: Your aim is to get them eating and loving what they eat and not to get them eating out of fear. You can be very stern in a very lovable way. Speak to them about it, make them know that’s all there is at home. Speak to them about the benefits in a very playful way and leave them to it. If it does not work, don’t worry too much. I will cover the food nicely and give you 3 hrs to decide. Before 3 hrs is over, they would have finished eating.
- It is very possible if you make it a goal.
Here’s a recipe that the family and I enjoy so much. Because it takes quite a bit of time to prepare, I make this on Saturdays.
4 Irish potato, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
5 ml olive oil
1 huge onion, sliced
140 g red pepper, diced
5 eggs (1 whole egg and 4 egg whites)
2 handfuls green salad leaves
3 sausages, 1 corned beef (optional)
1. Finely slice the onions and chop the red pepper, removing the seeds. Cut the potatoes into roughly ½ cm slices.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium (about 24cm) frying pan over a low heat and cook gently for 10 – 15 until starting to go brown, add the peppers, onions and cook for a further 5 mins.
3. Put the potatoes in a steamer over boiling water for 10 – 12 mins to soften. If you don’t have a steamer, put in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer gently for around 8 – 10 mins until just cooked through and drain well.
4. Break the eggs into a jug and beat with a fork, season with a generous grind of pepper and a pinch of salt.
5. Heat the grill. Add a little more oil to the frying pan and add the potatoes. Pour over the egg mixture. Cook for 15 mins until almost set and golden brown underneath – you can change sides to make sure it’s well cooked.
I hope you loved this recipe…
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