Mumbling Mommy

Most parents will be familiar with the struggle to stick to healthy menus all the time. A lack of hours in the day, fussy kids and changing plans at short notice can all make it tough to embrace healthy eating. The good news is that there are lots of ways to simplify creating nutritious family feasts and encourage your children to enjoy tasty, healthy foods. In this guide, we’ll share some easy, effective steps to take today. 

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Batch cooking

If you’re short on time as a parent, batch cooking is a savior! Designed to help you create multiple portions of classic recipes in one go, you can prepare a dish when you have time and freeze meals for later in the week. From stews and soups to chili, homemade pasta sauces and curries, there are all kinds of recipes available. Look for inspiration in books and search online. You can filter results based on the type of cuisine, the ingredients you want to use or your dietary requirements. Batch cooking is ideal for working moms and dads and those who don’t have time to cook from scratch every night. Once you’ve frozen your meals, all you have to do is take the required number of portions out of the freezer in the morning and then heat your dinner when you get back home in the evening. 

Quick and easy recipes

Cooking homemade dishes can take hours, but there are myriad recipes available that cater to those who are in a hurry. If you only have 15 or 30 minutes to rustle up a dish for your family, search online and use social media to find quick and easy recipes. Opt for a hearty corn chowder recipe, a big bowl of fresh pasta with vegetables or a piece of fish with boiled potatoes and salad, for example. If you use a search engine or a dedicated recipe website, you can specify ingredients or prep and cooking time to help you find suitable ideas. 

Reinvent family favorites

It can be difficult to persuade children to try new foods, particularly fruit and vegetables. Most kids go through phases of only wanting to eat certain foods and they may be reluctant to experiment with new flavors. One way to encourage children to enjoy mealtimes while boosting their health is to reinvent their favorite dishes. If your kids love pizza, for example, or they ask for burgers and fries all the time, treat them to a healthier version. You could swap beef mince for leaner turkey mince, swap white bread for wholemeal and grill sweet potato wedges instead of serving fries, for example. If you’re having a pizza night, buy or make bases with your kids and add your own toppings. This will enable you to control the amount of cheese and salt and you can add healthy foods, including pineapple, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions, greens, tuna or zucchini. 

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Add a side

Health experts recommend consuming a rainbow of fruit and vegetables every day to enhance nutrition and boost health. If you struggle to get your children to eat vegetables and fruit, try adding a side to every meal and have fun with presentation. If you’re having pasta with tomato sauce, add some leafy green vegetables on the side. If you’re having meat and potatoes, grill or steam some broccoli, cauliflower or eggplant. Try to make the plates look fun and enticing. You could create a crocodile out of a cucumber, make a smiley face using pineapple chunks, carrots and mushrooms or turn strawberries into ladybugs, for example. 

Talk to your kids about nutrition

We often tell our children that certain foods are good for them, but they may not be aware of why it’s important to eat well. As your kids get older, talk to them about why nutrition is essential and what kinds of benefits healthy foods offer them. You can buy or borrow books about healthy eating and find activities and resources online. If children understand why it’s beneficial to choose specific foods and food groups, they may be more inclined to get on board. Always ensure that the information you provide is accessible and digestible. Simple explanations are ideal for young kids. As your children get older, you can go into more detail about health benefits. 

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Every parent wants their child to be healthy, but it can be difficult to persuade kids to embrace healthy eating. If you’re eager to encourage your children to enjoy a nutritious menu, there are lots of ways to make healthy eating fun, quick and simple. Look for easy, rapid recipes, try batch cooking and recreate healthier versions of dishes they love as a treat. Talk to your children about the importance of nutrition and add a healthy side to every meal.  

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