It’s the New Year, and what better time to make 2015 a healthier time for you and your family! The key to success is to make small changes and for your resolutions to be attainable and meaningful. Before long, this year’s goals will become lifelong, healthy habits! Below are my top five food and health resolutions for a lean, clean 2015!
- Choose organic more often. There’s no doubt that organic farming is good for the environment, which helps secure a better future for our children and our planet. The USDA Organic label on a food is also your guarantee that the food is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was made without the use of synthetic pesticides and that animals were raised without antibiotics. All Mom Made Foods adhere to organic standards and carry the USDA Organic seal.
- Eat your veggies! Let’s face it, fruits are easy to like – they’re so portable and sweet. Vegetables can be a little harder to love, especially at first and in particular the more bitter ones like Brussels sprouts and broccoli. While fruits and vegetables should make up half of every meal and snack, most people aren’t eating enough – especially vegetables, which are loaded with fiber and vitamins and low in calories. Make veggies the prominent part of your dinner, and don’t be afraid to experiment. To a child, a cooked, coin-shaped carrot is a completely different food than a raw baby carrot. Don’t be afraid to pair veggies with a favorite food or condiment to help kids eat them. I’d rather a child eat cauliflower with cheese or ranch dressing versus no cauliflower at all!
- Pack a healthier lunch. School food may get a bad reputation, but recent studies show what’s served in school can often be healthier than what’s brought from home. When you think about it, pre-packaged “lunch” foods for kids with ready-to-assemble “pizza”, cookies and gummy “fruit” is hardly what I’d consider health food! When packing your children’s lunches, use MyPlate as your guide: make sure half of what’s packed is fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of the meal should be protein, and one-quarter grains (preferably whole-grains). Add a carton of lowfat or fat-free milk, and your kid is fueled up for the afternoon ahead.
- Eat a meal together. It may seem impossible with competing activities and work schedules, but setting aside even just one night a week to eat dinner together as a family has immeasurable benefits. Some studies suggest that children of families who eat together do better in school and are less likely to abuse drugs. If dinnertime is too hectic, then set aside a day for breakfast or weekend brunch.
- Give yourself a break. The goal should be eating dinner together, preferably something prepared at home. But that doesn't mean everything needs to be made from scratch! Frozen and canned foods can be the perfect shortcut while supplying essential nutrients. Just look at the ingredients list to make sure the label is clean, without added preservatives, salt or sugars. I love the Mom Made meatballs for this very reason (and they’re better than anything I could make myself!)
The best way to make resolutions stick is to make your resolution public and not to do it alone. Support from family and friends can go a long way to keeping you on track – and to getting you back on track if you’ve had a slip-up. To help keep your resolutions, sign up for the Mom Made Foods Healthy Pledge 2015 and tweet or post your intentions to your social media community. By making a commitment to make 2015 more nutritious and delicious for your family, Mom Made Foods will send you some coupons to get you on your way. And be sure to join the Mom Made Community on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Post your nutrition questions in the comments below and we’ll look to address them in future blogs. In the meantime, here’s to a healthy, happy new year!