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Posts Tagged ‘unhealthy eating habits’

Introducing Superfoods to You and Your Family

What are Superfoods?

Raw Food Healthy Food - CarrotsIt is commonly known that our bodies require food for essential nutrients and energy, but some foods are better than others, and some are even better than that. These foods at the top of the list are known as superfoods, which are rich in vitamins and have been proven to improve your health and reduce your risk for many diseases.

What are the benefits of superfoods?

Superfoods are especially good for you because they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and extra compounds that are good for your health and easy to process. Things such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and many things that are hard to pronounce. Superfoods have been involved in scientific studies to back up the health claims made for them.

How do I get these foods into my diet?

To begin using superfoods in your diet, start slowly. Change your snack of potato chips or candy to a cup of low fat flavored yogurt, and trade out lunch for a baked chicken sandwich with light mayo, a side salad, and some string cheese. Once you feel comfortable with this change, you can incorporate more super foods.

Getting your family and friends involved will provide a support system and make things even easier. It is a very simple change to make, and the benefits you’ll reap are priceless, but it does require that you do it and keep up with it. Don’t change your habits just long enough to loose a few pounds. I promise you’ll be much happier if you stick with it.

What about getting my kids to eat healthy?

The easiest way to get a child to eat healthy is to start young. Every parent has to go through the process of finding out what their kids love, what they will tolerate, and what will end up on the wall. This happens whether you choose to feed your child healthy or unhealthy food. The problem arises when you decide to make a change for the better and your child, who is used to (and loves) their current unhealthy eating habits, resists with full force.

But changing the eating habits of your whole family doesn’t have to end in tears with every meal. Just like anyone, kids need to be introduced to healthy eating slowly. This can be a positive change that you go through together, rather than against each other. There are just a few basic rules.

Pick your Battles

If your child loves carrots but feeds broccoli to the dog when you’re not looking, don’t fuss. Don’t cause a fight that will push them further and further into rebellion. Don’t give them broccoli for dinner. Instead mix a small amount in a homemade salad dressing, or a smoothie. Someday, their tastes may change and they decide to they love broccoli. It happens all the time.

Include your child in the preparation.

Many children love to assist in the kitchen. They feel important and it creates a great bonding opportunity. So let them help by washing or tearing vegetables, help them set the table, or even ask them to help you choose the food to make (within boundaries.) If your child is to the point they hate helping, ask them very nicely to do small things for you and give them lots of praise on what a great job they did without patronizing them. It helps build their willingness to do it again.

Make it fun

One way to encourage kids both to help in the kitchen AND to eat the food, is to make the preparation fun. Make the food into fun shapes or play kids music while you prepare. You could make the preparation into a game, make sound effects and be as silly as you want. You’ll be surprised to discover that you want to be in the kitchen more and more, too.

As with all diet changes, getting your child to eat healthy will take a little bit of work, some understanding, a healthy dose of creativity, and a whole lot of patience. It will also take compromises here and there. The end result is well worth the battle, though. So keep it up and one day your child will thank you.

By: Chrissy Dean

For an ever-expanding list of the superfoods and more help on changing your family’s eating habits, click here