Today I would like to share about mindful eating and keeping families healthy. This is especially relevant for these interesting times while we stay close to home because of COVID-19. Many of us are well aware of money-saving strategies and have ideas of how we’d eat better or cook more if we just had time. We’ve put those ideas in our “back pockets” for the time when we REALLY need them. With the uncertainty of how long the social distancing and disrupted lifestyle may go on, I think it’s a great opportunity to employ some of these great ideas. The gift of time makes it possible to try things that just didn’t seem possible before due to hectic schedules. See if any of these ideas would work for your family!
- Include structure in your day with planning set meal times. Along with that, limit between meal snacking to set times with limited portions to ensure a good appetite at when meal-time rolls around.
- Plan your menus for an entire week, along with a grocery list. Let everyone be part of the process! Set some ground rules for planning, like including items from at least 4 food groups at each meal. What a great opportunity for nutrition education in the kitchen! Find out more about the food groups at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
- Trying a new recipe for something that you would usually purchase as a processed food, like chicken strips, refried beans, or maybe using up that leftover can of pumpkin in your cupboard and trying Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes.
- Cook together and learn some new skills. Check out our variety of videos to get started.
- Get inspired by watching a cooking show as a family and plan a dish from it into your weekly menu.
- Eat together as a family at the table, and make plans for sharing responsibilities of setting the table, serving, cleaning up and cooking.
- Explore the different recipe categories on the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. recipe page together.
- Inventory your cupboards, freezer, and refrigerator and brainstorm together about what you could use to create a meal.
- Have fun together!
What better time could there be than now to change up old habits and push re-set on healthy eating at home? If you start now, you just might have time to adopt some new, lifechanging behaviors before it’s back to “business as usual” and the hustle and bustle. Practicing new behaviors when we can be mindful and supportive of each other can be a great positive move toward the habits that you’ve only dreamt of in the past.
Judy Dittmar is a Registered Dietitian and mom with a wealth of experience in the classroom, kitchen, and garden. She enjoys hiking and running state park trails, and generally being outdoors.