Everyday nutrition _ A healthy lunch for a healthy mind

Lunch. It seems like such a simple time of day to handle. But when you start adding up all the meals you have to prepare, and trying to keep them healthy, it can exhaust a mamma. So how do you keep the costs down, or at least save a few pennies where you can?

I got some insight from real moms who have figured out a few ways to make their buck go further when it comes to providing healthy lunches for their offspring.

Suzelle, from moms.crazy.love, says “I have an apple addict so apples have to be packed in everyday and I buy them in bulk.. then dried fruit into small funky containers so he can open them and it feels like a prize... and if any fruit is on sale, buy them. Chuck in the blender with yogurt and freeze it... he thinks he is getting a naughty treat but I'm winning and I might even sneak some butternut in as well🤣😉🤣”

Bongi, from ndibambe says, “When it comes to meals, I try to give L as much autonomy as possible. I give him a few options and let him choose. I also let him help with the preparation. He enjoys that. If I try to micro-manage his meals too much then he just rejects the food”

Lizanne, from wildflowersandwildfires says, “I don’t pack lunches anymore coz we homeschool, but I buy big 1 litre buckets of yogurt and then put them in smaller containers, works cheaper than the 6 packs. Also bulk snacks, and then package in ziplocks.”

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According to www.familydoctor.org healthful eating has many benefits for children. It can:

  • Stabilize their energy.

  • Improve their minds.

  • Even out their moods.

  • Help them maintain a healthy weight.

  • Help prevent mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and ADHD

They go on to say that healthy eating habits are learnt while your children are still small so it is vital to teach them good habits now. Starting with:

1) Breakfast. If it is anything like my house in the mornings, they can be a bit rushed, but starting their day off right is crucial. Eggs, yoghurt, peanut butter on whole wheat toast and fruit are great sources of food to ensure that your little ones are getting a good start to their days.

2) Make mealtimes a priority. Sitting down at the table as a family is an important part of establishing healthy eating habits. 

3) Get the kids involved. Have your kids help you shop for groceries and choose foods to eat. Teach them how to read a food label so they know the nutrition in the foods they’re choosing. They can also help fix meals and take some ownership in what they’re eating.

4) Make small shifts to healthier food. Don’t do it all at once. Slowly start introducing healthier ways of eating and preparing food.

5) Limit sugar. Balance is key when it comes to healthy eating. Don’t deny your kids all sugar, but rather limit their intake and teach them when to stop.

6) Make fruits and veg more appealing. Keep fresh fruit on hand; let the kids choose; hide veggies in other food.

Above all, children learn from their parents so set an example to them about eating correctly and having not only a healthy appetite but also a healthy relationship with food.

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But eating healthy doesn’t mean that you need to ‘break the bank’. Shop smart, and learn how to use ingredients in different ways to make them go further. Use fruit in smoothies and freeze them. Buy in bulk where possible. The key to smart, budget-friendly grocery shopping is to plan ahead for the week. Plan meals around fresh produce, lean proteins and low-fat dairy items that are on sale to save money while eating healthy. I have found a great meal planner that you can download here for free: https://picklebums.com/more-menu-plans/

And they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so eating healthier certainly does aid in keeping the germs at bay as well as dentist visits much less painful when teeth have been well looked after (and not munching on too much sugar).

But having a healthy body is only important if your mind and outlook on life is healthy too. It is also important to have a financial advisor to you through your financial journey to ensure that you keep a healthy financial status as well.

For more information visit www.liberty.co.za and https://www.liberty.co.za/support/back-to-school-campaign/Pages/default.aspx

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