It’s tough to come up with new ideas for healthy eating each and every day. People’s schedules are busy from the moment they awake until the end of the day. By the time we arrive home from work or school, most of us are too tired and worn out to want to prepare a good, healthy meal. But there are ways to eat healthy – even with time constraints and budgets.
The following are some simple ideas to help families bring together their desire to live healthier lifestyles through eating:
Ideas to involve the whole family in nutrition:
- Shop for food together.
- Cook together.
- Eat meals as often as possible together and make meal time a social time where no television is involved.
- Make snacks healthy with natural, whole, unprocessed foods.
- Encourage children to eat a variety of raw and cooked foods every day.
- As often as possible, eat meals at home or pack out meals from home. You will save money and eat healthier.
- Plant a garden with your child, and let he or she be involved in the process from planting to harvest
- Serve a vegetable at each meal. Studies show children are lacking most in vegetables in their daily intake.
- Avoid arguments about “junk foods” and desserts by not bringing them into the house.
- When you do have treats, use recipes and ingredients that are healthy to eat – use sweeteners that are healthy, avoid refined flours and grains, use healthy oils like extra virgin coconut, palm, and olive oil , and learn about ways to prepare foods that maintain nutritional integrity of all the foods you prepare (sprouting, soaking, and fermenting grains, rice, legumes) – snacks and desserts included.
- Support local farmers and merchants of local food – go to these places with your children and see where your food comes from. Food is healthier and fresh when it does not travel long distances; try farmer’s markets and look online. You will also be supporting your local communities and economy.
- Live “slower” by taking time to consider, prepare, and savor foods with your family.
- Set aside time each week to make something delicious and healthy for your family with your children. When you involve children in what you want them to eat, they are more likely to want to eat what is being served.
- Raw, whole-fat milk and cheeses with sprouted, whole grain toast (try Ezekiel breads)
- Apples or bananas and almond butter
- Carrots and celery with almond butter or hummus
- Raw, sprouted or soaked nuts and raisins
- Applesauce or other fruit sauce with homemade yogurt or kefir
- Cucumbers and bell pepper slices with homemade salsa
- Broccoli and cauliflower florets with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Fruit kabobs (different fruits cut up and skewered)
- Soft or hard-boiled eggs with sprouted, whole grain toast
- Organic turkey or ham rollups from pasture-raised poultry and hogs with favorite fillings – organic, homemade cream cheese, vegetables, homemade mustard, etc.
Reinforce that healthy foods are (as much as possible):
- Foods that you make from your home, and avoid processed, pre-made items (packages, cans, or boxes).
- Whole, raw, natural (organic), and do not contain artificial ingredients or chemicals. If in doubt, read labels.
- Real or whole fats (dairy and meats) actually allow the body to arrive at normal weight and metabolic levels, and can help prevent illness and disease.
- Consider raw dairy products (such as butter, cheese, cream, and milk). These are excellent for health and make great snacks because they are not heat-treated (pasteurized) and contain healthy, active enzymes and probiotics your body needs. Visit Organic Pastures for more information about probiotics.
- Rethink your breakfast meals – the most important meal of the day! Read our article about great breakfast makeovers.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live cultural organisms present in your digestive tract that help the immune system by suppressing harmful bacteria that can make you sick and cause health problems. The best places to obtain these friendly bacteria are from reliable raw dairy foods like yogurt, lacto-fermented vegetables and sauerkraut, salsa, and good-quality products you can purchase in the store (Zukay is great!). Avoid packaged, yogurt products. See the Agriculture Society article on this site for more details titled, “All Probiotics are not Created Equal”.
What are Essential Fatty Acids?
These are fatty acids essential to your body and cannot be made within the body itself. In other words, these fatty acids (Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9) must be obtained from foods and fat sources such as:
- Safe-source fish like wild-caught salmon, mackerel, and anchovies
- Healthy oils like coconut, olive, palm, and flaxseed oil
- Raw, sprouted nuts and seeds such as almonds and walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Grass-fed meats, game meats, pork, lamb, and poultry
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Raw dairy foods like milk, cheese, butter, and cream
For more information on nutritional wellness, visit the blog of a person I admire very much, Nina Planck, who tells it like it is.