Eating Quality Food
Sometimes life conspires against your best intentions to feed your family healthy meals. Stressful life events, sickness, and family vacation can derail your perfect weekly menu. Perhaps your kids have come down with a flu… Or the hot weather has them demanding ice-cream… What’s a busy parent to do? Having a basic plan of how to deal with the following obstacles will help you not flounder when they occur.
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1. After a Trip to the Dentist
If someone in your family has been to the dentist for dental surgery, serve something that’s soft, but not high on sugar. The same goes for foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal. Some healthy choices include applesauce, mashed banana, mashed beans, or avocado. Soups that have been pureed are also a great choice, along with clear broths. Smoothies are good, too. Just be careful that both your smoothies and your soups are neither too hot or too cold, as your gums are more sensitive after a trip to the dentist.
2. Sick With the Flu
When children are sick with the flu, this can be a particularly worrying time for any parent. Most children lose their appetite, so giving them nutrition that they will not reject right off the bat is a priority. Bland foods stay down – such as liquids and crackers. Chicken soup with garlic and ginger helps to keep kids hydrated. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which provide relief from some flu symptoms.
3. Down With a Cold
Fluids are essential if a member of your family has been coughing or has a runny nose. Being hydrated will loosen mucous and make it easier for your child or partner to get rid of the phlegm. Here, too, chicken soup has been praised as a food item that goes down easy for cold sufferers while also packing a nutritious punch. Make a big batch as it will be in high demand until the cold runs its course.
4. Appetite Loss During Summer
Have your kids lost their appetite during the hot days of summer? It happens. This loss of appetite can make it difficult for you to measure whether your kids are getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. To make sure your kids get the broadest range of nutrients possible, observe when they are the hungriest and adapt your meal plans accordingly. If you notice that they’re hungriest in the morning, make sure breakfast is your most nutritious meal of the day. If you see them snacking but not eating dinner, then make sure the snacks on hand fills various nutrient requirements. And always have healthy snacks on hand. If your kids are more likely to drink something than sit down to a meal, make smoothies that include protein powder or other supplements.
5. Family Road Trip
Eating healthy while on vacation is likely one of the most difficult food tasks a parent faces. Every pit stop becomes a chance for the kids to buy snacks that are empty of nutrition. Also, restaurant food has been found to be much saltier than food prepared at home. How to cope? The New York Times suggests the following tip: Decide as a family where you will be eating even before your trip begins. Look up the restaurant’s menu and have each child pick what they will eat. Deciding beforehand will make sure that your choices are aligned with your healthy-eating goals. As for pit stops, if cutting out all snack-buying is too tall an order for your crew. Then consider instituting a daily limit, either with a financial constraint, or a nutrition constraint.
6. During the Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when all the feasting leads to weight gain, averaging at 1.3 pounds. Although this might not seem like much, over the years, the pounds pile up. In fact, holiday weight gain is such a concern that the CDC published five tips to help individuals eat healthy during the holidays. They suggest that you face each holiday party armed with a plan of how to navigate temptation. For a family with children, that might mean feeding your children a healthy snack before arriving at the event. For a potluck party, it could mean that you prepare a healthy option, which you and your children can indulge in. Eating healthy at a part is difficult. So if you know that you’ll be eating sugar laden foods at the party, then cut down on desserts at home. Focus on making your at-home meals the healthiest they can be.