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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Despite all of the advancements of the 21st Century, it seems obesity is a problem that we still have to deal with. There is no doubt that there are many things that make my life easier on a day to day basis, but when it comes to the important things – family and health – this is distinctly lacking.

Every day I want to ensure that my children are healthy and are eating the right things, though it can seem fairly hard to do this. Especially if kids don’t take an interest and only want to eat tasty things, it can be really hard to get across to them the importance of healthy eating. But there are ways that I have found that can help, primarily through getting them to take an active role in their food preparation.

Why Does This Help?
Not only does it help increase the ‘fun factor’ within eating, but it helps give my kids an in-depth knowledge as to what goes into their food. Especially if I let them help me choose, it gives them a far deeper understanding of what food is good for them and what isn’t, while giving them some kind of choice in what they eat.

It also takes a lot of work off of my shoulders. Not only do many hands make light work, but it gets rid of the same amount of fussiness about eating that there used to be, as they feel they have a true say as to what they get to eat, while it is still healthy food.

As well as this, it is a great way to spend time with the kids. Working all day means that any family doesn’t get to see their children as much as they might like to, and turning cooking into a family event is a great time for bonding. It also helps overall with getting the meal ready, making mealtime a family thing once again, instead of everyone eating at different times.

How Do You Do It?
Unfortunately not all families are this easy to manage. Obviously a lot of it will depend on the age of your children, as this will affect:

  • What they can do
  • How much they can eat
  • How much they will be interested in helping

If you are able to find some time to put aside for involving them in cooking it can be a great way to get them involved in healthy eating.

The first thing to do that really helps is to start with a meal that they will love. My kids especially love meat, so I invested in one of the best meat slicers I could find, in order to start making really tasty dishes, while ensuring that the food which went in was only the best when it came to overall health.

Things to Remember
Being able to effectively sneak in vegetables in this way was a great way of ensuring that they had the overall diet that they needed, and afterwards we were all happy and proud of our accomplishments. The thing to remember is that healthy eating is not just about eating anything but vegetables, but about getting the balance.

There is nothing wrong with the occasional burger, or eating a fair amount of meat. You just need to get the balance, and ensure that you eat from all the food groups – meat, carbs, dairy, fat, veg, and fruit – all of it is important to maintaining an overall balanced diet, for both you and your children.

If you can start to get your kids to understand this, and to see where each bit of food slots in on the food group wheel, you stand a much better chance of helping your children to continue healthy eating, which will only be of benefit to them in the long run, and for your overall eating and nutrition too.

About the Author:
Melissa Cameron is a mother of two, who has recently discovered the benefits to family mealtimes. With her best home meat grinder at the ready, she creates amazing meals with the whole family.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their children to do some healthy cooking.

Image courtesy of sean dreilinger via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.