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My kids are always asking for special treats at the store or to stop by and get an ice cream from the stand down the road. I try and keep them eating healthy, but I also want to teach them that it’s ok to have those treats every once and a while. It’s hard when we are running to baseball and football practices, cheerleading and guitar lessons to eat healthy, but there are some things I do to make sure we are eating healthy so we CAN stop and have the treats and I don’t feel guilty.
- Limit sugary drinks I don’t buy soda at all! The only juice I buy is orange juice for breakfast. I get apple juice to add to our smoothies too, but they don’t really drink it. My kids mostly drink water and milk.
- Say “NO” to fast food Fast food is such an easy habit to get into, especially when you’re busy or traveling. I pack a picnic before we leave on trips to save money and eat healthy. It doesn’t take long. Most times I grab my cooler, then the meat and cheese or peanut butter and jelly. I don’t make the sandwiches before hand. We make them at the picnic area. We love to go hiking and we always pack a picnic and eat before our hike. It’s easy to throw some fruit and snacks in too. I usually keep a small “snack bag” packed in my pantry and I can grab it fast when I need it.
- You don’t have to have dessert every night If you need a dessert, try fruit as a great alternative. A sweet orange or cherries can satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Have healthy snacks If you don’t buy healthy snacks, kids can’t eat healthy. If you buys chips, they’ll eat it. Pick some healthier snacks like raisins, apple sauce, cheese, yogurt, and crackers. Keep those so the kids can grab those instead of cookies.
- Hide veggies in other foods I’m not a huge fan of this, but I do it sometimes. I do make these great zucchini muffins and the kids love them and have no idea what they are eating.
- Carry water EVERYWHERE you go I always carry water bottles. I don’t want to get somewhere and they complain they’re thirsty and then we end up at a gas station. When this happens, I always end up leaving with an unhealthy option. I keep water in my car too, just in case. If the kids are thirsty, they’ll drink it.
- Keep kids active My kids always eat better when they’ve been active. There isn’t as much complaining when dinner is served because they are usually starving.
It may be hard at first for your kids to adjust, so take it one step at a time. You’re kids may complain a little, but they’ll get there.