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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Making sure your children eat well - when both parents work

It can be hard making sure your children are eating healthy fresh food at the best of times, let alone when you are both busy working parents. We can’t always be there to see what our kids are eating, but we can make sure they are eating healthily when we are not around.

Children that eat healthily are known to have better energy, stabilised moods and increased brain activity. A healthy child is most definitely a happy child.

When your children are at playgroup we can make sure that we send with them a good nutritious packed lunch or snacks. Fruits and wholegrain snacks (an apple and a cereal bar maybe) are great for packed lunches or snacks. Water or pure fruit juices are a nice beverage for them to sip on too throughout the day. Water keeps their bodies and minds hydrated and working at their peak, it also lowers the risk of urine or bladder infections, Things that are not fun when you are a toddler!  Ask your child what they would like to take with them. Maybe a lot of kids at nursery take grapes but your child takes an apple, they might want to try grapes for their lunch one day.

Limit portion size. Don’t make your child eat a whole plate of food if they do not want to. If they are full up, they are full up. Making a child eat when they do not want to may encourage obesity or over feeding. Remember to never use food as a reward or a bribe either. This sort of behaviour encourages naughty behaviour if they do not get what they want, or they may use it against you. Stick to healthy fun foods for snacks and treats.

If your little ones spend a lot of time with babysitters, and you want them to have a nice yummy dinner when you are not around, why not make things easy (and healthy) for your kids by giving them a healthy option ready meal. Many people doubt and disbelieve that there are actually any healthy ready meals out there but there are!  Make sure you choose a meal that does not contain too much salt, is prepared with fresh vegetables and is low fat. A nice hearty Sheppard’s pie, or children’s favourite Sausage and mash! These ready meals are quick and easy to prepare, and it means you have peace of mind that your little one has eaten a nice hearty dinner.  Meals on Wheels are not just for the elderly, anyone can have meals on wheels style dinners delivered to their door. Services like this are great for working mums and dads who perhaps need a little help when feeding the kids when busy.

Teach your children to cook healthy meals from a young age. This is a much needed life skill and makes food that are maybe seen as a bit ‘boring’ because they are good for you a lot more fun! Spend time together in the kitchen. Maybe make Sunday a ‘Family Cooking Day’. Let your kids invent and design a new healthy recipe, then cook it and eat it together!

This is a sponsored post by James Newhouse who writes for Oakhouse Foods - delivering fresh groceries, toiletries, home ware and frozen ready meals to your door.

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