Back-to-school health resolution, make it a family goal

Back to school health resolution, make it a family goal


September and January are definitely the months when people make the biggest dietary changes. After a festive summer, back to school rhymes with the return of good eating habits. Some will want to lose weight, others simply return to balance. But how do you adopt these changes without putting pressure on your family? My 10 tips! 

1. Explain to children and your spouse the many benefits of eating better. Concentration is optimized, as is vitality. Everyone will have more energy on a daily basis. 

2. Take the opportunity to discover new foods (buckwheat, camelina seeds, ground cherries, Swiss chard, kale, daikon, etc.) and introduce them to children by adding an educational component. The origins of the food, how it is grown, how it is cooked, etc.

3. Plan the weekly menus together. On Sunday morning, for example, everyone can choose a recipe that they like for the week. You can then improve the nutritional value of the recipe. If, for example, the child asks for pasta with cheese, you can opt for whole grain pasta, add spinach, roasted red peppers and edamame and gratinate everything.  

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4. Clean out the pantry. Replace granola bars, cookies and sugary cereals with better options. To this end, watch my reviews monthly in Le Journal in order to be guided towards the best choices.  

< strong>5. Play with colors. Talk about the importance of putting at least two colors on your plate every day. Ask the children to choose the colors they would like on their plate this week. One day for white and orange (fennel and orange), one day for red and green (tomatoes and spinach), etc. 

6. Involve children in meal preparation. They will feel much more involved and, as a result, will appreciate the healthy meal more. Washing vegetables, preparing a vinaigrette, setting the table, many activities can be accomplished by young children.


7. Ask your spouse to make the same speech as you. Conflicting messages (mom plays the importance of vegetables, dad takes advantage of his wife's absence to make a popular brand name macaroni and cheese without vegetables) takes away all the credibility of the message. 

8. Learn to eat better, even when eating out. Leave it up to your child to choose the dish they like, but add a nice salad or raw vegetables to share with the family. 

9. If you follow a special diet, make the same recipes for the whole family. Do not weigh or measure portions for family members who need to become familiar with internal signals of hunger and fullness.

10. As for desserts, always prioritize fruit and dairy-based desserts (or plant-based alternatives). Explain to the children that these desserts are very nutritious and that they contribute to their growth. Leave room for sweeter treats only a few times a week.

Good to know
Children who eat more often as a family have better eating habits (more vegetables and fruits in particular) than those who rarely eat with their parents. Be sure to eat several times a week together. 

Is your child overweight?
You shouldn't put a child on a diet. Explain to him body diversity, that several factors influence weight and that, regardless of weight, it is important to eat well and be active. Try to improve the eating habits of the whole family, without targeting your overweight child. Make eating better a family, inclusive goal. Also take advantage of the beautiful fall days to do sports activities with your family or simply be more active.  

The right attitude towards children< /strong>
If you are a dieter, try to avoid talking about weight loss diets with children. A mom who talks diet, weighs herself daily, and obsesses over food control creates an unhealthy climate that can lead to an eventual eating disorder in the child. Instead, explain that your goal is to get in better shape and live longer in better health. Demonstrate that you eat healthy for pleasure and that everything is not a constraint. Remember: you are a role model for your child. Eating well is not a chore, neither for you nor for the family.

Making healthy choices at the grocery store is not easy. To help you, get the 4th edition of Extra Week: Tested for You. I analyze 375 products, from breakfast to dinner, including lunch box choices. On newsstands now. 32-375-products-tested-for-you-the-extra-week