• Child Development

Eating Healthy On A Busy Schedule

This post is based on a talk recently presented by our Paediatric Nutritionist - Lindi Stein.

Creating nutritional, healthy and tasty meals for our children and families can be challenging and is important to understand as it can have an effect on our children’s behaviour. Nutritionist Lindi Stein, Mother of three, understands the struggle all too well and has been coaching and sharing her knowledge with other mums to help them manage their family’s needs whilst juggling their busy lifestyles and feeling sane!

Doesn’t sound possible? Well, according to Lindi as long as we stick to a very simple formula it can be. At a recent talk she did here at our CDSA office, she walked us through what she says is her ‘secret’ formula for family meal success. That is a three-step process which includes:

1. Organise

“There is no right or wrong way”, Lindi says. It is simply what works for you and your family. For example, Lindi finds Monday’s fairly quiet so that’s when she organises what her family needs for the week ahead and makes a shopping list. She says It’s important to look at how your weekly routine is and factor in any events that might be on. For example, if the kids have extra curriculum activities on a Tuesday and come home ravenous, you want to be able to have something nutritious ready for them. And you can make it fun by having home-made pizza ready for them, that can easily be heated up in the oven. She says once you have the shopping list down, you’re ready to stock up.

2. Stock

Again, you have to do what works for you. But when you are organised, it is more likely you will make better choices and less likely to impulse buy. Lindi likes to do her food shopping for the week in one go and so will stock up on everything she needs in the shopping trip. She says it is important to ensure items from each of the food groups are being considered. She believes in making it simple and not too complicated. Of course, if your family have special dietary requirements, it is important to factor that in but if your child can, make sure they are getting enough nutrients from each food group, carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins. And remember, it is okay they have a treat every now and again. Lindi finds, with her own children if she packs a chocolate in their lunch box every other week, as opposed to every day, they are less likely to crave it every day and learn it is a sometimes food.

3. Prepare

So once you are stocked up with everything for the week ahead, you can start preparing your meals. Having variety is one of the challenges most mums have but Lindi says if you’ve got some of the basics ready in the fridge, you can always mix it up. And the other tip is, if you like preparing the night before you can always use dinner left-overs for lunch. For example putting left over chicken in a sandwich. Lindi also says she washes her lettuce in bulk and has salad ready to add to any meal for extra nutrition.

So that’s it, in a nutshell. Other tips Lindi talked about is keeping an eye on “nutritional claims” and how to read food labels properly.

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