Nutrition for your family
With the easy accessibility of convenience foods, busy lives and seemingly more commitments than ever before pulling us in different directions, most of us will struggle to eat healthily all of the time.
I find that as a mother of 3 boys who are either approaching or in the midst of their teenage years, these factors mean that persuading them to think about food in the same way that I do is even more challenging!
It can feel like a losing battle with teenagers.
I started Ondine when I had quite a young family and although I still cook for them a lot, I have obviously had to relinquish some control over what they eat. There have been times where I’ve despaired, finding pockets full of junk food packets and wrappers and wondering if they’ve had anything nutritious to eat that day.
They just want to be like their peers and, as in a lot of areas of parenting, reverse psychology and giving them more responsibility for their own decisions is sometimes a more effective tactic.
I’ve had to allow them to have some of the stuff they crave and get it out of their system until they come to their own conclusions. Teenagers want to be like their peers but by showing them that I consider what I eat and the effect that it has on my mood and overall wellbeing I’ve found that they’ll talk quite openly to me.
I was (inwardly!) ecstatic recently when my eldest told me he’d eaten too much sugar and felt sick, could I show him how to make the protein shakes which I drink?
When we do have the opportunity to eat meals as a family I try to think about what will keep them full for longer, such as eggs, and about making something which will be appealing whilst still having some nutritional benefit, like a cake made with grated vegetables, particularly for my youngest.
Another challenge we all face is eating well on the go. If you’re in the car or on public transport there are very few options for healthy snacks and food to keep you going from the shops and service stations you’ll come across en route.
Preparation is key here, easily transportable snacks which will keep everyone full are ideal so I will try to make protein balls or something like my Dark Chocolate and Coconut Bites.
The other snack I swear by, and which always goes down well with my boys, is beef jerky. I’m lucky enough to have a great farmer’s market which is held regularly near to where I live and I can chat to the farmer while he freshly slices beef jerky from a large joint of dried grass fed beef.
Jerky from a supermarket is still a good snack option, just ensure you check the ingredients list and avoid brands who add lots of sugar or flavourings – these shouldn’t be needed with good quality meat.
I hope this has reassured you and maybe given you some inspiration. Do you have any go-to recipes which your family loves? I’d love to hear from you on my instagram channel.
Founder of Ondine