*This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I know I have shared here many times over how my youngest is a truly a picky eater.
So, meal times can be challenging even in the best of circumstances.
Yet, I know how important healthy eating is overall even from the youngest of ages.
For this reason, I have done my best to try to stress healthy eating as much as possible with my kids.
Recently, I learned about the 4-H Food Smart Families.
What is the 4-H Food Smart Families?
The 4-H Food Smart Families is a program that helps to create more food secure homes by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.
But how does the 4-H Food Smart Families accomplish this goal?
The 4-H Food Smart Families is able to do this by using “teens as teachers” model.
What does this mean?
See more than 400 teens have been trained to be mentors to teach families with younger kids and their parents to to shop better and cook smarter for themselves.
But why does the 4-H Food Smart Families exist?
Because nearly 16 million children live in homes that don’t have access to consistent food let alone healthy foods.
So UnitedHealthcare and 4-H have partnered to help with this program. They have been able by doing this to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states.
They have also had even more positive impact, such as :
- 90% of youth participants now think being active is fun and good for fitness
- 89% now encourage their families to eat meals together
- 87% said their families have purchased healthier foods
- 86% now eat fruit for a snack over unhealthier options
But back to how I have re-enforced healthy eating in my own home.
Here are the 4 ways I have keep healthy eating habits alive and well at meal times with my gang…
1. Meal Prep as a family unit.
By having my kids hands-on to help, I have modeled healthy eating in the foods we prepare and thus eat. Even with my picky eater this has helped her to eat more and healthier as we have tried to make eating and meals as fun as possible.
2. Avoid using the “H” word.
When I did make or serve food, I honestly do my best to not use the word “Healthy” if possible, especially for my picky eater. The word, itself, just seems to lend to more eating battles. So, whenever possible I refrain from saying the word out loud.
3. Go Slow, but DON”T give up.
Eating healthy is a process, but when beginning to introduce healthy eating I would recommend going slow. Taking it too quickly or replacing all the unhealthy eating habits all at once could backfire. As could giving up on your family too quickly could very well have the same adverse effect, too.
So there you have it some simple ways to help to make meal time fun, but healthy at the same time for your family.
To learn more about the 4-H Food Smart Families, find them below at: