Sadly, in our modern world it’s cheap and easy to eat unhealthy and, as a result, many families develop bad habits when it comes to their diets. It can be very tempting to placate your kids with sweets or pick up a fast-food dinner rather than cooking after work, but these unhealthy habits are causing all sorts of heath issues for Aussie families. If you’re serious about keeping your family healthy, there are some simple changes you can make to get you on the right track.
Avoid Processed Foods
The best move you can make toward improving your family’s eating habits is to avoid processed foods. Try to cut out grocery items that come premade. A good rule of thumb to use is that you should be seeking out food that’s as close to its original form as possible and hasn’t been refined or processed. Fresh fruit, veg, meat, fish and eggs make up the ideal shopping basket because they’re still in their original forms and haven’t been altered or had anything artificial added to them. Buy wholemeal breads and pasta instead of the more refined, white versions, buy raw sugar instead of white sugar etc.
Keep the Sugars to a Minimum
Thankfully we’re much more aware of the dangers of excessive sugar consumption than we were a decade ago. Having too much sugar in your family’s diet can cause all sorts of potential health problems, amongst them; weight gain and diabetes. Soda, for example, might seem like a pretty harmless treat for the family fridge, but an average can of cola contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar! Try switching up the high-sugar treats for healthier options, but avoid “diet” versions of sugary products as they can often contain all sorts of nasty additives and chemicals. Instead, choose a treat that’s free of chemicals and low on sugar. Some families have switched sodas for sparkling water, lollies for dried fruits and biscuits for delicious, fresh produce.
Meat in Moderation
Our Aussie diet typically contains a lot of meat, many Aussie families eat meat at every single meal. Studies suggest, however, that we westerners consume more meat than we should for optimal health. It’s now considered that having too much meat in your diet can potentially lead to high cholesterol, heart disease and bowel cancer. Try introducing more meat-free meals to your family’s diet each week and when you do eat meat, keep the portions small. You’ll be surprised at how many incredibly delicious vegetarian-style recipes are out there.
Organic is Optimal
When it comes to food, especially mass-produced food, there’s lots of produce out there that’s had chemicals used on it at some point during its production. Pesticides, herbicides, artificial ripening methods and even genetic modification are commonplace in food nowadays so it’s vital to opt for organic if you’re serious about keeping chemicals off your family’s plates.
Keep the Balance
Remember that the key to a healthy lifestyle is moderation. Enjoy everything in moderation. This means you should aim not to have too much of one thing – try to get a good mix of all the different food groups in your family’s diet but focus mainly on fresh fruit and veg. This also means that it’s okay to treat your family occasionally. Occasionally buying a block of chocolate or a tub of ice-cream keeps you sane.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be chore. It can be simple and it can be enjoyable, but most of all it leaves your family feeling fantastic with more energy, healthier minds and bodies, along with that fulfilling feeling you’re doing something right for your kids and developing good habits that will last their whole lives.