Eat: A Little Healthier in the New Year
It’s almost too clique to write about– healthy eating in the new year? But the reality is- many of us could do well to eat a little better this year– not to necessarily lose weight or look better, but to keep our bodies healthy and fit- ready to engage in the plans and activities before us each day.
Here in the Malloy house, we’re making a few tweaks to our eating this year. Perhaps some of these may be helpful to you and your family too!
1. We want to drink more water.
Too often we think we’re hungry when we’re really thirsty. Some ideas on how to do this better….
- Carry a water bottle around. One of my friends bought each family member their own Nalgene, and every day it’s part of their routine to fill it up in the morning together.
- Add ice. The kids especially are more likely to drink water if there is ice in it.
- Add a slice of lemon or lime.
- Reward all-day water drinking with a cup of Crystal Light at afternoon snack time.
2. We want to make sure we’re getting at least 5 fruits and veggies a day.
We have no problem eating fruit around here, but veggies can be more tricky. Our goal is to get a fruit and/or vegetable into the meal each time we eat. So, for breakfast, we’ll always have a fruit. For lunch, a fruit and a vegetable. For afternoon snack, a vegetable or fruit. And for dinner, a vegetable. Other ideas we have…
- Make a chart to put on the fridge for the kids to “check off” every time they eat a fruit or vegetable. Here are some for printing from Super Healthy Kids, Wild Olive, and Yellow Mums.
- Try out some new, healthy dips to use with our raw veggies (different kinds of hummus, greek yogurt+packet of ranch dressing, etc.)
- Find some new ways (and seasonings) to cook our vegetables for dinners.
3. We want to make breakfast a meal that will stick.
We love breakfast cereal around here. But the problem is, my kids often complain of being hungry only an hour and a half or so after breakfast. Because we’ve taken out our morning snack, we don’t let them eat again until lunch. It’s incredibly annoying to hear them whine and complain all morning. So, this morning we tried a breakfast that was higher in fiber and protein– and no complaints all morning! Need some ideas? I did. 🙂
- One single-serving container of Greek yogurt topped with 1/4 cup granola and frozen fruit. We really enjoy Cascadian Farms granola, which you can find in the cereal aisle.
- A 1 or 2 egg omelet made with cheese and veggies (peppers, mushrooms, spinach leaves, etc.) plus 1/2 of a whole grain bagel.
- Whole grain waffles or pancakes (homemade) with fresh fruit cup on the side. I have found that if I don’t offer the kids syrup or honey or something, they don’t really ask for it. This cuts back on sugar intake! Waffles and pancakes can be made in bulk and frozen in individual servings, so it’s not a big ordeal to make them in the morning.
- Steel cut oatmeal with fruit/honey/etc. There are some really great recipes out there for crock-pot versions- simmer all night and ready when you wake up! Our Walmart has just started carrying steel cut oatmeal, but you can also find it at places like Trader Joes and Whole Foods.
- Fresh fruit smoothies. I sometimes add baby spinach and the kids don’t even notice. My friend Jess did a great post a few months ago with her recipe.