By Monisha Iswaran
There is so much conflicting information out there nowadays about what we should and shouldn’t be eating in order to be healthy. Sometimes it would honestly be so much easier if someone would just tell us what to do! Here are a few easy-to-follow rules that will help you and your family feel well nourished throughout the day – from working adults to newborn babies!
It’s so much better to have a few small meals a day, or at least break up your day with snacks, than to go several hours without so much as a carrot stick. This helps you to avoid the awful feeling of a blood sugar crash and also means you are less likely to go crazy on unhealthy food late at night (and that never makes anyone feel good)! Not to mention, you are likely to be more productive at work or school if you have a couple of snacks to keep your energy up.
Sometimes with children, it can be difficult to ensure they are having snacks regularly. Set up a high chair in your kitchen, so your little ones will have to sit in one spot until they finish their snack – and then they can go play. This will give them focus so that they know when they are popped in their chairs it’s time for their snack break.
Get Enough Calcium!
Having enough calcium in your diet has been proven to make you feel better and boost your overall mood – regardless of age! Great sources of calcium include kale, yogurt and milk, so if you can incorporate these ingredients into meals or snack time they’re bound to provide an energy boost.
Iron Is Just As Important!
Another thing you shouldn’t be skimping on is iron, as it supports energy levels and is extremely important in transporting oxygen! People who are anemic, or lacking in iron, are known to experience bouts of fatigue which is something you definitely want to avoid. Foods that are rich in iron include red meat, oatmeal and lentils.
Get Lots Of Veggies In Throughout The Day
There are so many creative ways you can include veggies throughout the day. In the morning, consider getting up a little earlier and making a blended vegetable juice. You won’t get a sugar spike like you would with fruit, and it helps you to retain fiber throughout the day. You can even pack them in to-go cups, so you can drink them on the way to dropping the kids off at school. Other ways to include vegetables at meal times are omelets, soups and wraps!
Choose Snacks Carefully
Remember when we said eating regularly was a good idea? Let’s revisit that. It doesn’t mean grabbing a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar. Eating regularly is only a plus point for your health if you’re picking the right ingredients. A small serving of nuts, a granola bar, a banana or some berries are perfect ideas for light snacks, either mid-morning or in the afternoon. If you’re the type who loves a coffee break, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! A hit of caffeine in the morning can actually jumpstart your metabolism (although it’s definitely not good to get the kids started on caffeinated products too young!) Just make sure you’re taking in lots of water throughout the day to keep yourself properly hydrated as well.
*Note: Families With Babies
Of course you’ll need more specific tips on how to properly nourish your family members if you have an infant in the house. One tip is to feed your baby in a nursing chair, as this allows both you and your infant to be comfortable and relaxed, making the breastfeeding process a lot simpler. It’s also important to remember that if you’re a new mummy, nourishing yourself properly and keeping healthy will result in much better quality milk for your little one.
In short, keeping your family healthy, with a good level of nutrition in their systems doesn’t have to be a complicated affair with heaps of meal prep on the weekends. Sometimes the best way to start is just to follow a few tips or guidelines that are relevant for your family, and you’ll find that everything else starts to fall into place!