Making Meal Preparation a Family Affair!

Nutrition Month may be over but we are always thinking of how to incorporate new ideas into our daily routines. Looking back at March we thought we would highlight some of the great ideas we came across! This year’s theme was ‘Eating 9 to 5’ and was geared towards helping Canadians eat healthier while at work or school.

Eating well while at work is important, but it can be really tough because of time pressures, stress, unhealthy food options in restaurants, commuting, and junk food in the workplace. It’s no surprise that 45% of Canadians say that eating healthy meals and snacks while at work is challenging.

Sometimes it takes a team! Taking a bit of time in the evenings or weekends (or during the day if you work night shifts) to prepare meals and snacks in advance can make getting ready for work a lot easier. If you have children, recruiting them to help with preparing lunch and snacks can be a real win-win: children gain food skills and you gain helpers.

Some tips:

  • Get the children to help with tasks that are appropriate for their developmental stage. For example, it might be a good idea to ask toddlers to help with simpler tasks like washing and tearing lettuce or putting paper cups into muffin tins.
  • Good tasks for preschoolers may include mashing cooked potatoes or removing the shells from hardboiled eggs.
  • Older children can help by using simple kitchen equipment with supervision e.g. grating cheese or using the toaster.
  • Cut up a large batch of vegetables in advance for the week.
  • Keep nutrient-rich snacks in ready-to-go containers that kids can easily grab to assemble their own food e.g. cut-up veggies, nut-free trail mix, whole grain crackers, cut-up cheese.

For more tips, check out the 2015 Nutrition Month website at http://www.nutritionmonth.ca/.

References:
Dietitians of Canada (2014). Ipsos Reid Poll Results.
EatRight Ontario (2015). Cooking with Kids of Different Ages. Retrieved from http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Child-Toddler-Nutrition/Cooking-with-Kids.aspx#.VPjXvOFUUdY

 

 

Parents began using LEAP activities at home!

- Educator (SK)