School holidays are over for some and others still have a a week or two to enjoy. Getting kids back in to a routine with early morning starts can be difficult and even harder is resetting their taste buds to real food that is unprocessed and sugar free. Let’s be honest that during school holidays and especially those at Christmas time, kids are generally spoiled with sweet treats, candy and other goodies. Holiday eating habits are difficult to give up so I’m sharing some ideas and what I did with my kids to make that transition to eating healthy before the commencement of school so much easier.
I started changing our routine 1 week before school started. My kids went back to school today and I must admit our morning was an easy one. At the beginning of last week and subsequently the second day of the new year I began giving my kids veggies for breakfast. Yes that’s right VEGGIES. Throughout the holidays most of us neglect veggies (except on Christmas Day when its served with Christmas lunch or dinner) so at the beginning of the week I begin the day with exactly that – Veggies for Breakfast. Starting with savoury foods for breakfast will lessen that sweet tooth craving throughout the day. I let my children choose what topping they wanted on their gluten free or sourdough toasted bread which included smashed avocado, sliced tomato, and sides of olives and pickles to name a few. Guiding children with options you have sneakily selected and letting them choose, allows children to believe that they have made their own decisions giving them a sense of importance and also empowers them building a great approach to food and also your relationship.
Mid week I changed from veggies for breakfast and gave my kids porridge, overnight oats and chia puddings which are our favourite types of breakfast. These are filling, nutritious and down right delicious! I usually have a few different flavours in the fridge and top them with seasonal fruits of a fruity mousse. What I love about this type of breakfast is that my kids can get these themselves from the fridge without my assistance. What this means to me is an extra 15-30 minute lay in the mornings whilst they eat it. No complaints there, right?
It is important to get kids right back on to the veggie and fruit wagon as much as possible before the commencement of school. However, after a few weeks of sugary treats rebellion among the tribe may be sparked. Taking a fun and more gentler approach is a great way to ease kids into healthy eating. Get your kids into the kitchen and get them involved. Ask them to help peel or cut the fruit and vegetables, create platters or even fruit skewers. The more involved you let your kids be in the preparation, the more likely they will eat them.
When it comes to snacks a strong stance and approach needs to be taken immediately. There can be no sugary sweet treats on offer especially when you are trying to reset your child’s palette who is only craving all that and more. My suggestion is to remove any temptation from eye sight and instead replace it with fresh fruits that are sweet in taste. Fruits such as bananas, watermelon, pineapple or mangoes if available or others depending on what season it is where you are. Swap shop bought ice-cream for homemade ones and have healthy muesli bars, veggie filled brownies and bliss balls at easy reach when that 3pm sweet craving hits or when needed any other time throughout the day.
When introducing changes, it is important to also explain why these changes are being made. Sitting down as a family and discussing the reasons why it is important to eat healthy and making decisions together is a step forward you as a family can take. These simple steps of giving your children wholefoods, lots of vegetables and fruits, a minimum of 1 week prior to them returning to school will allow for an easier morning, less complaints and smiles all round. Staying away from high sugar filled boxed cereals for breakfasts and giving your kids nutritious and nourishing meals sets the day up for a healthy one. Leading by example and showing your kids the way will have enormous impact on them. Don’t be discouraged or feel guilty if you splurge on something unhealthy every now and again. After all we are human, need to live a little and life is all about balance.
Mini Muncher and the new Mighty Muncher range makes healthy refined sugar free breakfast and snack options including, porridge, muesli bars, healthy treats and launching later this week overnight oats, and chia pudding with delicious fruit mousse. Stay tuned for a back to school healthy lunch offer via our face book page Mini Muncher Baby Food Bali.