Embracing a Healthy Family: Cooking Healthy Tips for Children #BensBeginners

Cooking Healthy Tips for Children #BensBeginners

Getting healthy is an important step I started last year and it has paid off.  Not only have I lost 30 pounds but my children are now focused on getting healthy and being healthy.  It hasn't been as easy for my four year old but we're making strides and I know we'll get there.  I've seen remarkable improvements in the choices from my eight year old as well as getting my oldest, 23, motivated into losing weight and getting healthy.  Getting healthy is not something you can do overnight with a click of the switch as it's a mindset and a lifestyle change that involves work and commitment.

Some of the ways that I'm incorporating healthier eating and cooking include:

  • Again, it's not a snap of the fingers and it's done rather it's a step by step change of habits.  I didn't remove all the cola and junk food at once and I haven't eliminated it completely.  Rather I do allow some but it's about moderation.  If I went cold turkey, they would have revolted so I ensured that I was starting on the right foot.
  • Second, I get them involved in the meal planning.  I find out what they want to fix and let them help prepare the menu.  I look up recipes and show them for their input.  Sometimes we make a menu and they can color it to feel more empowered in our meal preparation.
  • Third, I have them help cook.  What child doesn't like to cook and if they partake in the process, they might be inclined to eat.
  • Finding fun recipes such as vegetable animals where you can make shapes and add other vegetables can create some fun edible garnishments for that extra push to eat.
  • Cooking from scratch versus popping everything in the microwave is also healthier in my opinion.  I control the ingredients and can select organic foods if I want.  They have learned that cooking from recipes is healthier from my standpoint.
  • I also use products such as brown rice, whole wheat bread and foods that have been processed less to make them healthier.
  • Sneaky cooking is another option as there are great recipes that you can supplement items for to make the recipe healthier such as cauliflower, sour cream, and so forth. Sneaky cooking is a great way to get that picky eater something a bit healthier without them even knowing.

There are many ways to encourage children to eat healthier for the sake of their health now and the future.  We have the ability to train them now for a lifetime of better eating if we lead by example.  Simple things such as involving them in food planning, preparation and other fun activities will encourage them to eat healthier and stay healthier.  We have a lot of fun experimenting and even when I can't get them to eat something I want, being sneaky is never off limits.  A little hidden vegetables can go a long way!

Uncle Ben's U.S.A.

Do you have a child between ages 5 and 12?  If so, submit a 2-3 minutes video of you cooking a rice-based dish with your children and you could win $20,000 along with a $50,000 grant towards a cafeteria makeover for your child's school with Uncle Ben's Ben's Beginners contest!  Check out more on Ben's Beginners on Facebook.

*Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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jenrenh said...

These are great tips to keep your kids involved in making healthy choices. Thank you for sharing!

butterflies974 said...

I love baking with my son! Thank you for doing your giveaways!

Jennifer Pickering said...

Thanks for all the great tips...i love it when my kids help cook

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