1. Kickstart each day with a brilliant breakfast
WHY How many times have you heard someone say breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well that’s because it’s true! Children who have had breakfast and a drink before school find it easier to focus in class and have more energy to see them through to lunchtime.
HOW Make sure kids get used to having a balanced breakfast every morning – fruit, protein, cereal. Even if you’re pushed for time at the start of the day, try to grab just a few small ideas to try from our 5 best family breakfasts article.
2. Enjoy every bite
WHY The brain only registers hunger and fullness after several minutes, so the faster your kids eat, the more likely they are to eat more than they really want or need.
HOW Avoid eating meals in front of the TV; distraction takes their mind off the food in front of them and makes them more likely to over-eat. Also teach your kids to eat slowly and chew each mouthful really well. Your own actions will have the most impact on your kids, so don’t miss our short and sweet tips on How to be a good food role model.
3. Stay snack savvy
WHY Fruit, veg and nuts (so long as there’s no history of allergy) keep hungry tummies going far longer than sugary or salty processed foods, as well as providing more nutrients. Buy fruit in season to cut air miles and costs.
HOW Keep a fruit bowl topped up and always handy, and put treats out of sight for special occasions. Cut up some carrot sticks – sweet and colourful, many kids actually prefer them to apples and bananas. Try these ideas for Quick super snacks.
4. Understand food is the best body fuel
WHY Kids of all ages always want to get busy and have fun, but they need protein and carbs for strength and energy. Eating habits can also affect how we look – for skin health, body repair after we’ve been ill and generally making us feel good inside and out.
HOW If you have a little one whose tastes are limited, try out our recipes for 5 dishes for fussy eaters. And if you’ve got a teenager with lazy eating habits, appeal to their vanity and share this article with them – Good food for looking good.
5. Set a few ground rules – and stick to them!
WHY By making your own recipes a little healthier your child’s tastes get used to new textures and flavours, and that can provide fantastic foundations for good eating and healthy habits in the future. Here are some great recipes for easy dinners that taste great but are also packed with goodness – Superman suppers.
HOW Serve wholegrain bread and cereals, reduce the intake of red meat (once a week is enough), cook chicken without the skin, avoid too many sugary drinks and juices, and cook from scratch instead of eating too much processed food, whenever you can.