It sure would be nice if there was a university parents-to-be could attend that offered courses with parenting tips in children’s nutrition and behavior. Yet, even after 4 years of vigorous studying on the matter, parents would almost certainly still be hit with a few surprises along the way!
That said, there are some tried-and-true tips that every parent should know. These 10 healthy parenting tips will make grocery shopping a breeze and ensure your children get all the nutrients they need to grow.
Parenting Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping:
1. Pick items with as few ingredients as possible.
- If you notice only one or two ingredients on the list, chances are you know it’s natural.
- Seeing a half-dozen, unrecognizable ingredients increases the chance that it includes preservatives that cause allergies or health problems.
- Try to find unsweetened, unsalted foods with no additives in them.
2. Learn the alternative names for sugar.
- This sweetener comes in a variety of forms and derives from a vast number of foods. For instance: fructose comes from corn as well as fruits. Avoid “high fructose corn syrup” that manufacturers transform it into during processing.
- Other forms of sugar include glucose, sucrose and dextrose. Although not harmful in small amounts, watch out for them.
3. Look for certified “organic” labels.
- Foods that are officially organic will have been produced using USDA standards for growing natural foods.
- For meat, look for options that are “grass-fed” and produced “without the use of hormones.”
4. Do not be fooled by “all-natural.”
- This can mean many things and is often just a sneaky way to market a product. The best way to know what a food has in it is to check out the ingredients. Educate yourself and investigate on your own.
- Read the nutritional label to find out what vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber the item offers.
- Always look for “organic” or pesticide/insecticide free items.
5. Use foods in their rawest forms when possible.
- You can use blueberries, strawberries, spinach, carrots, lemons, almonds, flax seeds, wheat and oats in their purest form.
- In some cases, you might have to do some grinding or pureeing to gain the full benefits.
6. Be careful where you get seafood.
- Make sure to choose “Wild Caught” when looking for Alaskan Salmon.
- Stores like Whole Foods, Walmart, or Target should have fresh supplies of fish that are not harvested from contaminated waters.
Health- Conscious Parenting Tips for Eating at Home
7. Keep your recipes simple.
- Finding an assortment of simple, easy healthy recipes you love will make you more likely to stay on task.
- Quick meals include: baking chicken breasts, preparing fish, or putting a roast with some vegetables in a slow cooker. A fresh salad on the side is always fast, healthy, and delicious.
8. Bake instead of fry
- You can of course enjoy the occasional crispy potato, breaded fish or chicken wing. More regularly, it’s a wise choice to lightly bread and dust them with oil.
- Place the items in the oven instead of dousing them in partially hydrogenated oil to crisp them.
9. Make wise choices when preparing snacks
- Try varying your snack time routine by offering dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds or Calbee snapea crisps.
- Drugstore online has a large selection of unique snacks that are healthier than the standard potato chips or chocolate chip cookies.
10. Create balance in your child’s meals
- Make sure you introduce your child to a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins.
- People develop their lifelong eating habits from a young age, so implementing a balanced diet now will also serve your child in the future.
Use these parenting tips to ensure your child’s meals are nourishing and chemical-free!
Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to take on (just about) anything parenting throws at you. Well, at the very least the grocery shopping and meals are under control!