As adults we tend to forget that what matters to kids is really a big deal to them. That’s why it’s so important for parents to teach their children to do good things and to make better choices. Since I was a young child, my mom tried to instill in me important lessons of life and one of them was to do what I could to keep the environment healthy and clean. I don’t think I fully grasped what all of it meant back then but recycling and reusing what I could became more of a habit for me. Long ago when resources weren’t as vast and many people could only use what nature gave them, saving and reusing were part of daily life. Now, we may tend to take advantage of all the conveniences and necessities and we lose track of the good things our parents may have taught us when we were younger.
Ever since advocating for healthier alternatives to the products we buy and use, my friends often ask me about which products to buy for home and personal use. Some friends heed my suggestions and gradually include natural and organic products into their lives while others are still skeptic. But for those who are still skeptical I tell them to look at the current news and review past information and compare to what they heard before. The natural and organic industry has been surely but vastly sweeping the nation and our world and people are getting wiser about the products they purchase and use and the food they buy and eat. This however, goes triple for our kids. Children are easily accessible to all the toxins found in food and every day products they use and because of their growing bodies, these toxins hit them even harder than an average adult.
I’ve come up with 10 ways we can teach our kids the importance of living a healthier and less toxic life and that all starts with appreciating what Earth gives us. Nature is all around us and it’s up to us and our future generations to prolong the beauty of nature.
Every week I will introduce a new idea to teach your kids about the importance of protecting the environment and how it’s a constant cycle. If our kids understand the importance of taking care of the environment they will naturally learn to eat better and to make wiser choices in what they do.
Let’s start off this week with Back to School lunch and snacks. I admit I fall for the glamorous photos on Instagram and Pinterest where parents painstakingly cut out adorable shapes and sizes of sandwiches and fruit and turn their children’s lunches into virtual works of art. I honestly wish I had the time to do that and it’s not for lack of talent, I personally just don’t think my son would make a big deal about how jazzed up his lunchbox may look like. But lunchboxes are important just the same no matter how you decorate it or how creative you make it. Our children eat lunch at school every day and if you’re going to be packing their lunches, let’s make sure the food is both nutritious and enticing enough for them to finish all of it.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
– Let your kids pick out a few of their favorite snacks (healthy of course) so they feel some control of what goes into their lunchboxes. For a nutritious and sweet snack, try this No Bake Chocolate Coconut Protein Bar. *
– It’s okay if you don’t always include fruits or vegetables in their lunchbox. As long as you provide enough during breakfast and dinner, lunch doesn’t have to be a battle with your kids.
– If you do feel inclined to include vegetables and fruits, include easy to eat fruits such as grapes, clementines, and thinly sliced organic apples. Great vegetables would be sweet and juicy grape tomatoes, kale chips, and cubed cucumbers. These “finger” foods make it easier for kids to eat with their hands.
– Make a picnic style lunch where you include healthy cold cuts, cheese, and crackers so your child can create his own meal.
– When you take your children grocery shopping, show them the difference in ingredients label. Let them know what junk food is and what healthier versions are.
– Always include water in your child’s lunch. Try to resist juice or soda!
– Always read food labels of what you buy. Especially for kids!
– Buy organic whenever possible. It’s better for your health and for the environment.
Lunch and snacks don’t have to be constant battles with kids. As long as they know the difference between better-for-you food and food that are just bad for you then you’ll have a healthier eater and a less pickier complainer.
* Recipe taken with permission from New Hope Network/Delicious Living magazine.