(BPT) - It's important to establish healthy eating habits for your family, but it's not always easy to know where to start. We spoke to Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), to find out what she recommends her clients do to form healthy routines that can be maintained through even the busiest seasons.
'It's all in the little things,' Scritchfield says. 'Every day, find something that connects health with enjoyment - something that works for you.' Here are a few tips to get you and your family started:
Fill your home with enjoyable foods. Kids' eating habits start at home, so make sure they have healthy options to choose from. I keep healthy foods like yogurt, cheese, berries, avocados, eggs and vegetables in the refrigerator, as well as frozen fruit, veggies and fish in the freezer. You can also stock up on oatmeal, granola and nuts for the pantry, and having a big bowl of fresh fruit on the countertop makes it easy for the whole family to grab and go.
Cover your nutritional bases. Despite our best intentions, we don't always get everything we need from a healthy diet. I recommend vitafusion for adults and L'il Critters for kids - they're gummy vitamins that taste great, so you'll remember to take them every day.
Create colorful plates. Bring kids into the kitchen so that they learn how to build their own beautiful meal. Let them choose vibrant vegetables like carrots, beets and peppers to decorate their dinner plates, and encourage them to try new vegetables and fruits made in different ways. For young kids, you can even turn it into a fun art project, creating shapes and figures made from produce.
Set a good example. Kids learn best by watching you. Fill your own plate with fruits, vegetables and other healthy options even if they aren't eating them as much as you wish they would. Ask the kids to express their likes and dislikes so they learn about preferences. Ask the family for more meal ideas. Everyone has a role.
Gather around the table. For the family that eats together, meals are a time to reconnect, reprioritize and reinforce healthy habits. Let them know how much you value this time together. Eating on the run or in front of the television makes it easier to overconsume without realizing it. Instead, sit together over a freshly prepared breakfast or dinner (or lunch, if you can!).
Remember that healthy living doesn't begin and end in the kitchen. Make exercise a family affair by allowing each family member to choose a weekend activity that everyone can get involved in. It can be as simple as trying a new walking route with the dog, or as adventurous as trying a new sport like rock climbing. It's a great way to bond and build memories associated with health and enjoyment.
'Take it one step at a time, and don't aim for perfection,' Scritchfield says. 'Do what works for you, and remember to enjoy it!'
To learn more about vitafusion and L'il Critters gummy vitamins and Rebecca Scritchfield, registered dietitian and vitafusion and L'il Critters partner, visit www.gummyvites.com.