Our health is so important, so we need to make sure that our homeschool kitchens are serving up things that will nourish the body! It is hard to learn what we need to or accomplish our tasks if we are sluggish from the foods we are putting in our bodies!
The last two months of the year, we are usually eating a lot more sugar and other things that we don’t necessarily consume much of the rest of the year. January is the perfect time to reset the kitchen and eat healthier which gives our bodies what they need!
To get you started I have a few suggestions on how to do that without lots of moans and groans from the kids (and husbands!).
How to Refresh Your Kitchen
1. Start with the snacks
Before you start changing around all of your family’s meals, start with the snacks. Did you get in a bad habit of reaching for Christmas cookies or leftover pie as a snack? Get those out of the house and replace them with fruit.
Fruit is your friend!
Fruit will still stave off your sugar cravings, yet your body and mind will still be able to function at a high level and you won’t have the sugar crash later! Of course, there are other things that you can grab as well, but fruit tends to be the easiest and since it is sweet, it is easy to convince your kids to eat it!
To get started eat healthier with these few ideas for quick snacks (not just fruit) to grab in the middle of your homeschool day!
- Any fresh fruit that you can just grab and eat – bananas, oranges, apples
- Other fruits are great, too, but may be more labor intensive (must be cut up), like mango, pineapple, or pomegranate. Make those your every now and then fruit treats.
- Frozen foods! – We like to freeze grapes and store them in the freezer, this is a good way to take advantage of a sale, too. There are other non-fruit freezer snacks in this post if you want to check it out.
- Nuts and seeds – these are easy to grab and filled with wonderful oils and nutrients to feed the mind, making it a perfect snack while learning!
- Make ahead fruit salad – This is a great way to mix it up!
- Parfaits – This is fun to make and a little more than “just” fruit.
2. Recruit your kids to help out in the kitchen!
This is especially great if you have littles in your house. My “little” is 8 years old now, not so little anymore, but she LOVES helping me in the kitchen.
Kids usually love helping in the kitchen. They get to create something AND they get some great one on one time with mom.
Now, I’m not saying they have to create entire meals, but any time you can offer for them to do something while you’re in the kitchen, then let them. It gives them such a sense of accomplishment.
You can let them make their own snacks, too. For example, if you are having parfaits for a snack, then you can let them make that. I know it is easier to just do it yourself and less messy, too. Still you need to step back, Momma, because they can do it!
Kitchen Go To Recipes
3. Have go to recipes for when you are in a rush or you just don’t know what to make.
If we will be getting home too late for me to fix a meal or my brain is just too tired to think of something to fix for dinner, I have some easy go to recipes that still allow us to eat healthier that I can fall back on.
- Tacos (or taco salad)
- Sandwiches (hot or cold) – so many options here!
- Freezer meals – This is a new one for me, but I am loving it!
- Pasta with a steamed veggie of your choice
Do the Switch-a-roo!
4. Switch out your unhealthy snacks for healthier versions.
Old habits are hard to break, so if you are new to healthy eating and everything above just won’t work, then doing the switch-a-roo might be the answer for you.
Basically, you are taking your favorite (or your kids favorite) snacks and switching them out for something a bit healthier… less sugar, less preservatives, etc.
Here are some quick ideas for you:
- Cereal – opt for Cascadian Farm. They have some wonderful options that are very similar to brands you are fond of… like an alternative to fruit loops. It is sweetened with real cane sugar and colored with real fruit instead of dyes. You need to try it!
- Fruit roll ups – There are a couple of companies that have this in a more natural form… Annie’s fruit tape is the first one that comes to mind. There are also lots of different brands that sell fruit leather. It is the same as a fruit roll up or fruit tape, it is just not in a roll form.
- Fruit snacks – Again, I’m going to suggest Annie’s, but there are other brands, too.
- Organic chips – If your family can’t get rid of the flavored chips in the house, try replacing it with organic versions of the same thing. You can also get plain tortilla chips and eat it with salsa (this is the go to snack for my son… if I would let him have it every day… he would!).
Of course, these options aren’t as healthy as fruit, nuts, and seeds, but it is still a step in the right direction. The more choices we can make that cause us to eat healthier, the better off we will be!
I truly hope these suggestions are things that will help your family move in the right direction towards a healthier kitchen. It doesn’t just help your bodies, it helps your minds. You will be more alert and awake if you are filling your body with things it needs, rather than things you want.
What steps do you need (or want) to take to refresh your kitchen so your family can eat healthier?