The more I read labels on foods I’ve eaten all my life, the more my eyebrows raise. There is SO MUCH JUNK in our food! Sure, the “junky” food seems easier to grab and prepare, but in the long run, healthy eating is way more worth it!
When it comes to healthy eating as a family, time management and budgeting can make it a bit difficult to get the hang of. Especially if you are a parent (which is really where my brain is at these days), it’s important to foster healthy habits in your children when they’re young so they can carry those habits into the rest of their lives. Here are some ways to stick to a healthy diet on a budget, and to encourage positive habits for your kids.
Find a Farmers’ Market
The price for fresh produce at farmers’ markets is nearly unbeatable. You can stock up on locally grown food that’s in season to use for the week or freeze for a later date. At some farmers’ markets, you can find free-range eggs, delicious homemade jellies and jams, and raw honey. Since you’re buying food that’s in season and cutting out the transport costs, you’ll save quite a bit of money on produce.
Cook With Your Kids
Nothing is more frustrating than preparing a healthy meal just to have your child turn it down. To avoid this, try collaborating as a family to find meals that you’ll all enjoy. Once you’ve made a plan for the week, involve your children in the cooking process. Even young children can take an important role, like snapping green beans or topping a casserole with cheese. When they’ve helped to create a delicious meal, your kids will be more motivated to eat it and their confidence will grow in the kitchen.
Cooking with kids educates and empowers children and families to make healthy food choices through hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods. For example, easy no bake protein cheesecake is a good option to cook with kids. Their involvement in the cooking process is a way better than spending time on computer games.
Start a Garden
If you have a backyard or even a small patio, you can start a garden. It’s up to you how big or small you want to make it, but you can save some money on produce once it gets going. Before you get started, do a little research to find out what grows well in your area to avoid the disappointment of an attempt gone wrong. Encourage your kids to garden with you, as everyone will benefit from getting regular sunshine and exercise. Tending to a garden is also great for fostering responsibility in children.
Find Healthy Alternatives
If your child won’t eat whole grain bread without a little mayo, don’t worry. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to high calorie, high-fat traditional versions. For example, HamptonCreek offers delicious, sustainably produced eggless mayo, salad dressing, and cookie dough. Available at Target and Walmart, these products are plant-based and taste great. Instead of avoiding mayo and salad dressing, simply opt for a healthier version.
Spend Time Couponing
A little couponing goes a long way. It’s not difficult to get started, and there is a potential for huge savings. Try to start out by spending just 20 minutes a day on couponing, and you’re almost sure to see a big difference in your monthly grocery bill. To save even more, meal plan ahead of time so you’ll be sure to use everything that’s on your grocery list instead of letting it spoil.
Try New Recipes
Both kids and adults get bored eating the same recipes over and over. Mix it up occasionally by trying out a new healthy eating recipe found on your favorite food blog or Pinterest. For example, if your kids love macaroni and cheese, try adding some veggies to the dish. You might be surprised that the pasta tastes just as great with some vegetables mixed in.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to develop healthy eating habits as a family. With a few minutes of extra planning, you’ll be able to find plenty of fresh, affordable produce to use in your meals. To create a sustainable healthy lifestyle, it’s important for families to work together to find recipes and routines that work for them.
What is YOUR best tip for eating healthy as a family?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!