5 steps to raising healthier kids
My Polish aunt was my inspiration for healthy cooking and living healthy. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with her growing up. She had her own vegetable garden and cooked everything from scratch.
A child’s parents, or those they spend the most time with, play a huge role in the quality of their health and lifestyle. I’m grateful my Polish aunt became my inspiration for what I do now. Lay the right foundations for your kids, and that will reflect in their health and food choices as they get older. Here are my top 5 ways to help nourish your kids, and have fun in the process!
1. Plan for healthy meals
Make a plan for the week ahead and ensure all meals are healthy. Ask your kids what they want to eat and cook healthier versions of them. You can easily make delicious healthy pizzas, oven baked sweet potato fries and creamy home-made gelato just by blending frozen bananas with a splash of milk in your Vitamix.
2. Make nutrition fun
Kids are more likely to eat and enjoy their food if they help prepare it, so allow them to enjoy the full process and have fun. You could plant a veggie garden and eat what you harvest. Have a fun day out at the farmers markets and make a delicious meal from the ingredients you bring home. Educate your kids on where their food has come from and why it’s good for them.
3. Detox your kitchen
Make your fridge, pantry and cupboards free from high-sugar, high fat and processed snacks and treats. Replace the cookie or lolly jar with an inviting bowl of fresh fruit, and make your own healthier versions of your favourite treats a family affair.
4. Be a role model
Commit to setting aside some time every week to get active with the kids. Whether it’s going to a nearby park to play on the swings or going to the local pools, the important thing is to move and enjoy physical activity.
5. Reward kids with a fun day out, not junk food
If you’re like many parents who reward their kids with lollies or a snack for a job well done, why not consider having a beach day or picnic somewhere as a reward. Chances are they will enjoy the bonding time and get a healthy dose of vitamin D, for strong healthy bones, in the process.
Peanut butter protein balls
These protein balls take about 5 minutes to make and are the perfect portable breakfast or snack the kids will love!
Ingredients (makes 12 balls)
- 120 g fresh pitted dates
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon Healthy Chef Protein
- 150 g peanut butter of your choice of nut butter (almond, macadamia etc)
- a little water to mix, if needed
Combine dates, oats, coconut and Healthy Chef Protein into a food processor or blender.
Mix through until the mixture looks like crumbs and dates have mixed through the oats.
Remove the mixture and place into a large bowl.
Add the nut butter and mix through until combined. Add more water if needed to mix into a dough.
Scoop out 12 portions using a small ice cream scoop.
Roll into balls and roll in chopped nuts, oats, granola or coconut.
Store in the fridge for optimum freshness until needed for up to 7 days.
By Teresa Cutter – The Healthy Chef
The above health and medical information is general information only and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified medical or other health professional. If you are concerned about your child’s diet or if your child has special dietary needs, please speak with your GP or a qualified dietitian.