Kids Health

If your child's happy, you're happy

How to eat healthily on the go

Filed under: Food and nutrition — Diane Peters at 4:05 pm on Tuesday, May 1, 2012

whether you are at the park or on the beach, you always need a healthy snack to hand

Because there is always time for nutritious food.

Let’s face it; it’s hard to stick to a healthy diet when you’re constantly on the go. Between taking your children to school, to different activities and to all the other places you to go from day to day; fitting in snacks and meals that are healthy for you and your children can be difficult.

When you are in a rush, it is easy to grab what ever is at arms length; most of the time this is processed unhealthy food which is conveniently available at every turn.

Shopping centre food courts rarely have healthy, nutritious options to feed your children; restaurant children’s menu’s typically offer nothing more than chicken nuggets and chips and even the local leisure centre is filled with vending machines that are packed with chocolate and crisps.

Eating on the go is a fact of life for most parents, however, with a few simple preparations it is possible for you and your child to eat healthily wherever you are, here’s how:

1) Start the day with a healthy breakfast. If you foresee that the day ahead is going to involve unhealthy snacks or meals that are grabbed on the go, make sure that you and your family start the day healthily. Skip the greasy breakfast and opt for healthier options such as whole grain cereal , hard boiled eggs or fruit.

2) Prepare healthy snacks in advance and take them out with you. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, celery, apples, oranges and grapes. Wash and cut them into bite size pieces and put them into small plastic containers. These can be stored in the fridge ready to take out with you, so when you or your child get hungry you have a healthy snack at hand. Other great, healthy snacks to take out with you are yogurts and string cheese.

3)Keep non perishable foods in your bag. Easy snacks on the go are packets of crisps and chocolate bars , but these are really unhealthy. Try carrying cereal bars, nuts and dried fruit; these snacks are healthy and won’t go off in your bag so they can stay there until they get eaten- perfect!

4) Negotiate with your child. It’s hard to tell your child that they can’t have chips, a chocolate bar or a fizzy drink so sometimes compromising is the best option. Tell your child that if they have a fruit juice now they can have a fizzy drink in the restaurant, or let them have one treat during the day instead of one with every meal.

5) Stay hydrated. Make sure you and your child have a bottle of water or a fruit juice at hand when you are out. Often being thirsty is mistaken for hunger, so be sure to have a drink before tucking into a snack to see if you are hungry or just need to be
re-hydrated.

6) Try to avoid ordering your child food from the kids menu. It is rare for the children’s menu in a restaurant to offer healthy meals, usually it’s filled with food like beef burger and chips. Whilst it is doubtful that your child will opt for a salad, try to compromise and split a salad an a portion of chips between you and your child. That way at least part of their meal is healthy.



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