By Theresa Harding
Now that you’ve made up your mind about transitioning to a lifestyle change of “clean” eating, you see a higher spending category in your good budget.
Here’s what I did when I first transitioned to a healthier lifestyle. I noticed that children tend to lean more to eating snack foods over a full cooked meal throughout the day. I took a look at the kind of snacks we were buying, and we noticed they were mostly sugar-laden, puddings, fruit snacks, gogurt cups, granola bars, etc. Those snacks are convenient, but have way over 10 grams of sugar added to them. A great rule-of-thumb in choosing snacks is to never exceed 10 grams of sugar in a serving of sweet snacks.
We increased our fruit and raw vegetable servings, and stopped buying most of the sugary snacks. We do, however, allow a treat every now and then, but treats should never be given on a regular basis if you want to eliminate the overuse of sugar in your family’s diet. We started encouraging our children to eat fresh apple slices and fruit smoothies, for instance, to snack on. They didn’t like the change, but after about 2 weeks of complaining, they got used to the change. Again, it’s a life style change.
What snacks can your family do without? Add more fruit to your grocery list, eliminate the juice, and eliminate the unhealthy snacks and you will see a decrease in your grocery budget. Do the same for cereal. Cook oatmeal instead, even make overnight oatmeal if you’re pressed for time in the morning. You’ll balance out your grocery budget with the “out with the bad, in with the good” method, in no time.
Here’s a list of foods we no longer purchase on a regular basis, they are given as “treats” on occasion: Sweet cereals, yogurt cups (I buy organic plain and add fresh or dried fruit, or add to smoothies), granola bars, unless they contain less than 10 grams of sugar, pudding cups, fruit snacks (you could try fruit leathers, in moderation), juice (drink more water), and flavored chips. Try this and they won’t look for the unhealthy snacks anymore.
What are some of your favorite healthy snack choices that you buy for your family?
Healthy Living isn't difficult. It requires an ongoing lifestyle change with patience and an open mind. I teach this mindset all the time. After 14 years of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a pain-free one, I think it's important to share my knowledge and research with those who are ready to make that shift in their health and wellness.