We have purged the house of junkfood (I am extremely weak willed when it comes to having cookies, chips etc. in the house. If it's there, I will eat it. It had to go, so the temptation wasn't there. I have no choice but to choose something else). We do however have, what we call, "Funday Mondays" (this does not mean binge-ing). This is the one day of the week where the kids can have a fun cereal for breakfast, and a fun snack in their school lunch. (There is a good reason I do this on Mondays too. Nobody likes Mondays because the weekend is over and it's back to the grind. I figured this was something small to look forward to on Mondays)
I have taken breakfast more seriously. We always had cereal for breakfast. Now we shake things up. Eggs are a big one, especially since they are a brain food. Really good for memory (heaven knows I need any help with memory I can get).
Each day of the week is a different breakfast.
~scrambled eggs, whole grain toast, fruit, yogurt.
~french toast (if your kids don't like eggs, this is a good way to get them to eat them. Use whole wheat bread) and fruit. Glass of milk.
~Farmers Casserole (kind of like a breakfast quiche)
~Oatmeal (you can add fruit, raisins or honey to it)
~ Whole Grain Cereal. (ones with 5g of fibre or more)
~Bran Muffins and fruit smoothies.
Smoothies are awesome, and if you keep it simple, it can be a very fun and different way to give your kids those fruits.
The smoothie pictured was very simple:
1 cup orange juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
Blend, and drink.
It was good. I am not such a huge fan of the banana in a drink. The next time I just did frozen strawberries and orange juice blended.You could add some flaxseeed meal to it. You could add honey for sweetness. Change it to yogurt instead of orange juice and see what happens. Use any natural ingredients you think would go good together, and make something you and your kids will enjoy.
For school lunches, I have stopped buying all of those over processed things. Each child packs their own lunch with guidelines. (I feel that if they pack it themselves they will be more likely to eat it, and will get used to choosing healthy options for themselves)
They have to have one fruit: small container of cut up strawberries, a banana, they love the mini mandarin oranges called "Sweeties" and take a few of those to school, apples are a big deal in my house...they never seem to be sick of them, grapes, cantalope chunks, melon balls, watermelon, raisins, unsweetened apple sauce etc..
One Veggie: carrot sticks, cucumber slices, pepper strips, mini salad, pickles (this one is good, because most kids don't relate them to a vegetable) cherry tomatoes, celery sticks etc...
One Dairy: cheese (sometimes I cut them up in shapes for fun), yogurt (cups or tubes).
Main Portion: like a sandwich (whole wheat bread with meat and lettuce), a wrap (meat, grated cheese and lettuce wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla wrap), crackers (like triscuits), muffins (I have always made mine with a mix, but I think the healthier option is to make them from scratch...I will have to check out some recipes and try some out)
Then water for a drink. I used to send juice boxes, but they are definitely not so good for them. It's cheaper and healthier to send water. I have little reusable water bottles they bring now.
I think I will have to make a different post for dinners at some point. One tip is meal planning. I find that now that I am planning my meals in advance, I am choosing balanced meals with a variety of healthy options, I have a grocery list full of things to make my healthy ideas happen (rather than wandering down the aisles and grabbing whatever I think might work), since I have a schedule I don't get so stressed out around mealtime (this was huge for me, because anyone who knows me, knows I hate to cook). I not only plan my dinners, I plan my lunches, breakfasts and healthy snack ideas. This has made such a huge difference in our home. I am just skimming the surface on this whole "healthier eating" thing, but thought I would share in case it inspires anyone to make a few changes, or if anyone has any ideas to share with me.
Oh, and believe it or not, my kids have accepted this drastic change (if you know me, you know it was "major" taking the junk out of my house) and are actually enjoying most things. Shocked! I thought this was going to be much more of a challenge.