As the year progresses, the resolution to continue to move toward nutrition in family meals can start to wane. Rather than only inspiration, consider new habits to help carry your intentions. Therapist Holly Schweitzer Dunn, LISW, works specifically with individuals on food and body related issues and knows the benefit to keeping the body running on nutrient-dense foods while not approaching food in a way that creates a mind of “good foods” and “bad foods.” Instead, creating baseline healthy habits will help children grow into more adventurous and well-rounded eaters that listen and honor their body.
1. Start small: add a spinach salad with dinner, put out cut veggies with other after school snacks
2. Eat the rainbow: This is a quick and easy reference to ensuring you get a full variety of nutrients every day. Make sure that your meals have color.
3. Smoothies: Easy ways to pack in veggies and fruits throughout the day. Breakfast smoothies are portable (can drink them in the car on the way to school) and tasty enough for picky eaters. Using whole milk (Probst Farm
is a great source!) and honey makes a creamy, thick drink that tastes like a milkshake. Throw in a handful of spinach and you get a serving of veggies that can not be tasted in the final product.
- Milk, frozen mixed berries, honey, and hemp seed
- Milk, frozen banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder and chia seed
- Milk, frozen peaches and mango, yogurt, mint, honey, hemp seed
- Milk, frozen strawberries, peaches and bananas, chia seed
4. Use a food processor to help “hide” veggies in the food you typically cook. Finely processing carrots, celery, zuchinni, onion, and squash as a base to tomato sauce, soup and casseroles thickens them and adds lots of important nutrients to recipes.
5. Eat real food. This means no artificial sweeteners, diet or low calorie, shelf stable items. Author Michael Pollen says that real food is that which your great-grandparents would recognize as foods. (They probably wouldn’t know what Cheez Wiz is). If fresh veggies are too pricey or hard to manage, use frozen instead of canned as frozen are picked at the peak of freshness and maintain more of their nutritional value.