Eating healthy can be hard work! We have two growing boys who seem to shovel the food in their mouths most days. I’m not sure if you know this, but growing boys eat. They are also grazers. They like to graze throughout the day so we have to supply them with healthy snacks otherwise they will graze upon whatever is available. Candy, sour milk, stale cookies they find hiding in the couch cushions, literally anything.
I’m not real big on feeding them candy or sour milk. Stale cookies… I’m debating. So instead of letting them scavenge the couch cushions for breakfast, I’ve found that with a little prep work after a big shopping trip can be worth it.
These aren’t your typical what to eat. But tricks to keep you eating healthy…
1. Create a snack shelf
Create a shelf in the fridge where all the snacks go. Easily or not easily accessible to little hands, your choice. I keep ours stashed with yogurt, apple sauce, cut up fruits and veggies, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and a jug of water.
2. Pre-wash veggies
No brainer right? Just listen: As soon as you get home from the store fill up your (clean) sink with a vinegar and water solution and wash all fruits and veggies right then and there. Dry fruit and put away. No more getting up from Facebook to wash that piece of fruit your toddler is having a melt down over.
3. Snack Jars
Reuse those old spaghetti sauce jars, pickle jars, and jelly jars to hold some good healthy munchies. Keep a variety of sweet, salty, and savory.
4. Bulk spices
The health benefits of using spices in your cooking can be amazing! Not to mention the flavor benefits as well. Make your own taco seasoning, steak seasoning, etc. Another wallet-friendly tip (it’s ok to love me at this point)… check your local international markets as they usually sell bulk spices much cheaper than grocery stores.
5. Keep fresh produce. Always.
Find out what you use all the time and keep it stocked. Staples we always have on hand: lemons, limes, garlic, ginger, green onions, cilantro, lettuce, apples, oranges.
6. Freeze fruit
We have bags of berries in our freezer that we picked throughout the summer and stashed away for the winter. No, it’s not as good as fresh. But they are great to make smoothies with, add to oatmeal, or just munch on. Frozen fruit is like the ultimate treat for the Juniors. Better than ice-cream… almost.
7. Create a tea shelf
Nothing fixes things like a pot of hot tea. Making a tea altar for yourself is just good karma. Keep a well-stocked shelf with a variety of teas to drink between your cup of coffee and glass of wine (both of which I support, in moderation of course). I’d recommend loose leaf, but we all can’t be amazing all the time. Don’t forget a little Buddha figure, and a tiny blessing bag blessed from the Monks in Thailand, because everyone has those lying around. And a jar of expensive chocolates, if it’s expensive you’ll think twice before indulging and just treat yourself to one piece once in a while.
8. Get rid of your microwave
We’ve survived over a year without one. Check out the benefits, and get rid of it.
9. Make items from scratch
With Pinterest out there, you can find so many homemade recipes and snacks. Things from fruit snacks, or doughs, to homemade granola bars and ice-cream. They tend to be more healthy and more wallet-friendly, too. We are always trying to make things from scratch instead of buying them at the store prepackaged. (Try these homemade Coconut Mounds bars.)
10. Make Healthy eating FUN
Make Peanut Butter Toast faces with bananas, raisins and almonds. Use cheese sticks and pretzels and make a scooter. The options are limitless! It’s not hard to make food new and exciting. You think this is just for kids? No way, make yourself some Lego-shaped cheese chunks, or get fancy and do some fruit flower carvings. Call it art.
We are always trying to come up with new ways to keep our diet clean and healthy. Now it’s your turn: have fun healthy hacking, and let us in on your tips!