We all want to do the best for our children and making sure they eat healthy foods is one of the most important things we can do. The problem we have is that children don’t want to eat healthily. They are bombarded with adverts that market sugar-laden cereals, fizzy pop, sweets and chocolate that are targeted at children, with their cute cartoon characters and catchy music.
Junk food is no exception: fast food places are brightly coloured and give toys away with meals and, as a lot of these are collectable, your child wants to keep going back to get more food so they can get the missing character that they need.
It’s no wonder, then, that we seem to be fighting a losing battle when it comes to making sure our kids eat healthy.
The 80/20 rule
All I can say is this…Nobody’s perfect and life would be boring if we all were! As long as your child eats healthy meals 80 per cent of the time, then it’s OK to let them have the odd fast food burger or bar of chocolate. They can even have sugary cereal a couple of mornings a week. As long as they don’t feel deprived then everything should work out fine.
How to cheat!
There is a better way, though! You can cheat a bit…you can make them think they’re eating a load of sugary junk but they’re actually eating quite healthy. How, is this possible, you may ask?
All you need to do is to find healthy cereals with no added sugar and then use stevia to sweeten it. You can even put cocoa powder (not sweetened) in the milk so it goes all chocolatey. Most children will eat this. It’s a mindset thing again. If they think it’s sugary junk then they’ll love it!
You can find all sorts of biscuits and cakes you can make online that use healthier substitutes and you’ll both be happy – your kids will love the sweet treats and you’ll be happier as you know they’re healthier – you could even have one or two yourself!
I love NAKD bars – they can be quite expensive but you can make your own (check out our Pinterest healthy recipe board). They taste like cakes but are only made from fruit and nuts!
There are all sorts of things you can do. Why not make sweet potato fries or mash instead of chips. Kids love it because it tastes sweet and they love the orange colour.
Instead of pop, use sparkling spring water with cordial. The cordial still has sugar in it but it’s slightly better than fizzy pop. Try making fruit smoothies with strawberries, bananas, honey, peanut butter and almond milk as a drink – kids love it and it’s a lot better for them than fizzy pop.
You will probably find that, as your kids get older, they will start to want healthier choices, especially girls. My daughters used to be such sugar addicts, but now they’re older they are starting to make healthier choices and I’m happy to support them with this, while also making sure they eat a varied diet, so they get the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.
Follow us on Pinterest for regular healthy recipes you can make for yourself and your kids and don’t forget that nobody’s perfect and we all deserve a treat every now and again.