Get the family involved in meal planning. If your kids are old enough to flip through magazines and books, find some healthy recipes (I like Clean Eating Magazine and Eat Clean Cookbook) and give each of your children a different colored highlighter. Let them flip through the pages and place a mark by the recipes they wish to try. If your kids are old enough to help in the kitchen (even toddlers can wash fruit!) allow them some hands on time in the prep process. This helps most children get over the fear of the way things look "different". If they've had a hand in preparing a delicious and nutritious meal, they are more apt to partake in the spoils! Limit desserts as a whole. Sugary desserts should be a "sometimes" treat. Never use food as a reward or punishment. Teach your children that food is to be used to nourish the body and occasionally enjoyed as a treat (yummy birthday cupcake anyone?).
If you and your family feel up to the task, make grocery shopping a family affair. Have your kids read labels so they can learn about healthy ingredients and make healthy food choices. If your family has a favorite comfort food (mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, fried chicken, etc.) search for healthier, cleaned up versions.
Remember to involve everyone so that they don't feel like healthy eating is being pushed on them. Plan meals, go grocery shopping together, and enjoy the occasional treat. This will ensure healthy eating habits and long, healthy lives to come.
More Answers from Michelle Carlson, NASM Elite Trainer