Looking for a Good Guide to Family Nutrition?
Organizing your workout schedules and nutrition as a busy mom trying to get fit is hard enough on its own, with the time crunches and roster of responsibilities you already have, but when you’re also the meal and snack planner for a crew of kids--who often are not thrilled about your healthy choices for meals or snacks--it can add to the difficulty.
Staving off your own cravings and dietary challenges is one thing, but trying to make good nutritional choices while still understanding that kids love cookies and resist eating vegetables is an additional level of challenge. Finding an appropriate guide to family nutrition--one that meets your needs and your kids’--is something that takes a little thought.
Is the answer keeping your goals and dietary parameters completely separate? Or should your kids be subject to your plans and needs?
According to at least a few sources, the answer is...both.
Developing your personal guide to family nutrition isn’t just a matter of planning what food you eat; it’s also about the manner in which meals are eaten. One study shows a direct correlation between shared family meals (at least three a week) and lower incident of disordered eating...as well as increased chances of making healthier food choices.
The National Institute of Health suggests a few practices as a guide to family nutrition; limiting the availability of unhealthy foods (your parameters for “unhealthy” may vary according to your goals for your family’s health, health histories, etc.), and encouraging the trying of new foods multiple times. (Research shows that some children only develop a liking for a certain type of food after several exposures).
Once there’s a routine about healthy meals and an attitude about good nutrition in place, like most other behaviors, it will probably get easier with time to adjust to a new dynamic in your family about food and nutrition. Pairing it with shared activity will help it be viewed as a lifestyle.
Like almost everything else, children learn what they live with regards to food. Understanding your own relationship with it, your beliefs about what’s healthy and isn’t, and your goals for eating will lend themselves to developing a solid guide to family nutrition for you and your crew.