Raise Healthy Kids

14 Healthy Habits for Kids That You Can Help Them Develop

Learn how to raise healthy kids by encouraging healthy habits for kids! Check out 14 healthy habits that will improve your childs life that you can help them develop! #healthyhabits #healthy #habits #kids #kidsactivities #parenting #mom #stresslessbehealthy

14 Healthy Habits for Kids That You Can Help Them Develop

We all want our kids to grow up healthy and strong.

Eating the right foods, not becoming obese, and choosing healthy habits.

But, saying we want our children to be healthy,  actually encouraging healthy habits for kids in this country, and making the outcomes reflect our efforts; isn’t what we would hope it is.

As of August 2018 18.5% of children between 2 and 19 years old are obese in the U.S.; that’s more than 13 million children!¹

Of course, there are different reasons (and excuses) for raising a child who becomes obese. It’s sometimes completely out our control; have it be a medical issue, or something else.

But, there are also habits that we can help our children develop, from the time they start eating and moving, that will help them stay healthy their entire lives!

(Grab free printable worksheets here, to encourage your kids to develop healthy habits!)

But, first, let’s go over what a healthy habit for kids is.

What is a healthy Habit?

A healthy habit is simply a behavior that will benefit someone physically or mentally.

A few examples, right off the bat, would be exercise, meditation, and eating the right foods.

But, let’s dig a little deeper, because I’m sure you already knew that exercise, meditation, and eating the right foods are healthy habits. And, telling a child to exercise, meditate, and eat the right foods isn’t going to help them very much when trying to have them develop healthy habits. It’s too vague and they may not even know how to do those things or what it means to practice those habits.

How is a child to know what they should be doing to be healthy when told vague things to do. All it’s going to do is frustrate them and make developing healthy habits something they associate with frustration.

So, let’s go over some healthy habits that you can help, or encourage, your child to start developing.

Remember not to have them start too many at once. Starting too many at once is a good way to overwhelm them and have them associate developing healthy habits with frustration. Start with one, guide them, help them, encourage them, and practice the habit yourself if you can.

Once they have one down, move on to another.

Start with the easiest habit for your child to do; to build up their confidence that they can build healthy habits and improve their life! It’ll make all the other habits a littler easier, too!

 

Healthy Habits for Kids: Nutrition

Focusing on good nutrition is the best thing you can do to help encourage your child to start creating healthy habits of their own.

Be sure to be a good example and eat what you want them to eat, or there’s no sense in encouraging this.

Mama always has the best food on their plate and kids know this; make sure it’s healthy, not just delicious!

Healthy Habit for Kids #1: Drink water

Water is vital for everyone to consume!

If your child is in grade school or middle school, they may have even learned in school that the human body consists of about 70% of the human body. (Roughly 55% – 75% depending on age.²)

This should be the first healthy habit your child should start, if they haven’t already. If you don’t regularly drink water; start NOW!

My girls started drinking water as soon as they could hold a sippy cup.

Water is the only drink your child needs.

Many people may argue that kids need milk growing up, as well. And, I agree that certain types of milk for kids can be very beneficial. But, there are other sources for children to get protein and calcium. I’m not saying to not let your kids have milk, my girls and I drink soy milk every day (it has just as much protein and calcium, but is void of cholesterol and has less sugar than cows milk). What I’m trying to say is that water should be the main, or go to, drink for your kids everyday.

You can help them create, and stick to, this habit by:

  • only having water (and milk) available for your kids to drink
  • don’t buy the sugary drinks like juice and soda
  • let your kids have a special water bottle to take everywhere
  • be a good example and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water

If you like teaching your children new and fun things in a way they can understand; teach them of the importance of water.

Use the Water Tracking sheet in this printable packet to help them keep track of their water intake and turn it into a fun game!

Healthy Habits for Kids #2: Focus on Fruits and Veggies

Everyone knows fruits and veggies are the best foods we can eat!

Your grew up being told to eat your veggies, or maybe you weren’t. But, you still know that they are an important part of our diet, and should be included (and possibly even the main part) of our diets!

Have them choose meals that have a veggie, or veggies, as the base. Such as salads, pasta with veggie sauce (like my vegan ziti), or anything else they can think of. Pinterest may help with this. (Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest here!)

So, help your kids get enough fruits and veggies in their diets a day. Or, at least 5-8 per day.

A few things you can do to help them eat more fruits and veggies are:

(Or teach them to make smoothies by themselves; my 6 year old only needs a little help getting the top on our nutri-ninja cup for making a smoothie, she does the rest herself!)

If your child is a picky eater, check out these tips from 25+ moms to help get your child to eat veggies.

Find Printable worksheets to encourage eating the rainbow in this printable packet!

Healthy Habit for Kids #3: Eat a Solid Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

It’s the first thing our kids eat in the morning; it not only needs to replenish them from their nightly fast, but also fuel them for the morning ahead!

Our body needs nutrients, carbs, protein, and fat in the morning; all three macro-nutrients to keep us going all morning long. And, it’s the same for our kids.

Kids need a healthy breakfast; there have even been studies showing that kids who ate breakfast regularly had higher IQ’s. ³

So, let’s get our kids eating a healthy breakfast, whether it’s a school day or not!

Help your child stick with this healthy habit by:

  • making a smoothie for (or with) breakfast
  • make breakfasts ahead of time and freeze or keep in the fridge for the week (think pancakes with oat flours, or oatmeal)
  • encourage the to have fruit/veggies as at least half f their breakfast
  • eat breakfast with them in the morning
  • have everything ready to go the night before

There are a lot of different things your child can have as a healthy breakfast. Variety is your friend when it comes to eating, breakfast included.

However, try to avoid just giving them cereal, toast, or a single serving of fruit for breakfast.

This should ideally be the largest meal of the day!

Healthy Habit for Kids #4: Eat Whole Local Foods (or Grow their own Food)

Eating as local as possible will help the local economy, help support farmers in the community, and the food will generally be healthier (or have less pesticides on them).

Kids may not understand this when young. But, as they grow older, you can talk to them about this and they may feel good about themselves for helping support those in their community.

Or, take this one step further and help them plant a garden of their own to eat from!

Many kids love growing their own food and to take on the extra responsibility. You may be surprised at how into it they are once you start!

Help them with this habit by:

  • taking them to the local farmers market
  • check out localharvest.org to see if there are any farmers markets, co-ops, farms, or more in your area to eat more locally to support your community
  • dedicate a small section of your yard for a small veggie garden
  • have your kids help you grow berry bushes and fruit trees
  • buy potted plants with produce (especially if you are renting your home or don’t have a yard to grow food in
  • take your child to community garden to volunteer (if there is one in your area)
  • take your child to pick apples, berries, or other produce (check the link above for places in your area)

Helping children understand the process from seed to plate, and take on some of the responsibility of their food, can go a long way with creating life time healthy habits!

Healthy Habit for Kids #5: Limit Processed and Fast Food

So far you have learned what to help your child do to start their healthy habits. But, helping your child overcome bad eating habits is just as important.

Hopefully, with all the new healthy eating habits your child will start picking up, it’ll start pushing out the bad eating habits; such as eating processed foods.

By processed foods, in general, we’re talking about foods that come in boxes, bags, cans, or something else; foods that have many ingredients, some of which we don’t even know what they are.

Along with limiting, or avoiding, processed foods, kids should also limit or avoid fast food, as well.

Sure, these two types of foods are convenient and can make life easier when you have a busy life. But, in the long run, these are the foods that are going to contribute to disease and chronic health issues later in life.

You can help your child avoid these types of foods by:

  • meal prepping over the weekend to have healthy food easily available all week long
  • stop buying highly processed foods
  • read labels and ingredient lists on foods before buying
  • tell your child what each ingredient in a food is (even the chemicals, like BHT or MSG)
  • stop eating out (by using the first tip in this list)
  • teach your child how to make home cooked meals (and learn how to, if you don’t know)

Doing these things will help your child eat better now, and eat better after they leave home.

Set your child up for success by teaching them how to cook by themselves. My six year old is already pretty handy in the kitchen and is always asking to help with more. Hopefully, your children can get to the point where they are like that, as well.

Kids usually enjoy helping in the kitchen; it helps them feel included, important, and builds up their confidence!

Healthy Habit for Kids #6: Don’t Overeat

One habit that many people tend to have as adults is overeating.

This causes weight gain, along with other issues and health concerns that come along with that.

We all know that overeating isn’t good for us, but have a hard time stopping because it’s simply what we’re used to.

Help your child avoid overeating and turning overeating into a habit by:

  • setting guidelines for where it’s appropriate to eat (ex. can eat at kitchen table, not in bedroom)
  • keep serving dishes in the kitchen, or off the table
  • show your child how much one serving is
  • teach your child to eat until they are 80% full, then wait 20 minutes to see if they are still hungry or not
  • lead by example
  • don’t starve them (we, including our kids, have a built in system to tell us when we’re full; let that tell your child when to stop eating, not you)

The human body is amazing, in that it signals to our brain when full to helps us from overeating.

The trick is telling whether our child is still hungry, or just wants the next sweet thing that’s available to eat. Do the apple test with your child if this is an issue; if they’re not hungry enough to eat an apple (or another fruit or veggie) then they’re not truly hungry.

Learn how to raise healthy kids by encouraging healthy habits for kids! Check out 14 healthy habits that will improve your childs life that you can help them develop! #healthyhabits #healthy #habits #kids #kidsactivities #parenting #mom #stresslessbehealthy

 

Healthy Habits for Kids: Physical Fitness

It’s said that nutrition is 70% of being healthy and physical fitness is 30% (although, that doesn’t take into consideration mental health).

Whatever you believe, you know that developing habits to help with physical fitness is important to your childs health now, and in the future.

Start encouraging the healthy habits below!

Healthy Habit for Kids #7: Walk When and Where You Can

If you live in town this habit will be easier for you and your child to start.

Even if they don’t get any other exercise during the day; walking everywhere they can will do wonders for their health, and help them improve their health.

Ways you can help:

  • walk, instead of drive, places
  • park as far away from the store as you can
  • go for a daily walk down the street (especially if you don’t live in town and are unable to walk places)

It doesn’t matter where you walk to, just encourage your child to walk more, and walk with them. Be a good example. Use this time to talk to them about their day, or just to find out what’s on their mind. Bonus if you turn this walking time into bonding time, too!

Healthy Habit for Kids #8: Exercise Everyday

Whether your child takes a walk with you everyday, such as walking to school if close enough, or needs another way to get some exercise in their day; be sure to make this happen as often as possible.

A good rule of thumb to know when your child has had sufficient exercise in a day is to find out if they sweat at all that day from exercise. It may sound gross, but that’ll help you determine if the intensity, or length, of exercise if enough to get their blood pumping and heart rate up.

If your child didn’t sweat from exercising, then the exercise they did wasn’t enough for the day.

Now, the intensity and length of exercise a child will need may different from other children and that’s all right. And, of course, if they want to exercise longer, or push themselves, in general, that’s a really good thing!

It’s alright if your child is done exercising after doing 25 jumping jacks, or running around your house one or two times. The more often they do this, the more used to it their body will get, and the more they’ll be able to do.

(Use this rule of thumb for your own exercise, too)

You can help them with this habit by:

  • exercising with them
  • asking them if they can do a little more each day, or each week
  • helping your child write down what they did each day for exercise
  • having your child set fitness goals (ex. be able to do 25 push ups by the end of the month)
  • encourage them to go outside
  • have them create their own work out routine (or you create a simple workout routine for them, or buy a workout video/watch youtube workout videos)
  • play music at home (dancing is great exercise)

Your child may even end up thanking you for helping them create this healthy habit when young.

Exercising can help reduce money mental health issues, and help anyone, in general, simply feel good overall. Along with keeping unwanted weight off, staying fit, increasing confidence, and much more!

Healthy Habit for Kids #9: Stretch in the Morning and/or Before Bed

Do you stretch when you wake up or go to bed?

Do you have any idea how amazing it feels to add stretching into your regular routines?

Stretching not only reduces back pain and helps you and your child become more flexible, it can also reduce stress and improve posture!

I know you want you want the best for your kids, so help them remember to stretch everyday by:

  • setting an alarm once or twice a day as a reminder to stretch
  • adding stretching into their night time routine
  • stretch with them
  • use youtube to learn to stretch right (in case you haven’t done it in awhile either)

Even stretching once a day can have many benefits. Help them add it into their daily routine to help them feel better and reduce stress, such as right before they climb into bed for the night.

Some school classrooms may even help your child develop this habit by having a regular mini yoga class in the classroom. My 6 year old came home after the first week of school so excited because she got to do yoga at school, and loved it!

Healthy Habit for Kids #10: Get Plenty of Sleep

Children need a lot of sleep, whether our kids think they do or not! (I know my girls don’t think they need any more sleep then I do, but they do; their behavior on some days proves it.)

This habit will be harder to help with the older our kids get, so start as young as possible and set a bedtime. In general, kids need anywhere from 8-11 hours of sleep every night. So, if your child wakes up at 6 every morning to eat a healthy breakfast and get ready for school; set their bedtime at 7 the night before.

Even if your child doesn’t fall asleep right away at bedtime, it’ll give them enough buffer time to still get the amount of sleep needed. And, as you probably know, getting enough sleep will help with your childs mood, memory, and more!

Some ways you can help with this healthy habit:

  • set, and stick to, an early bedtime
  • limit screen time through out the day
  • turn all screens off at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • have a relaxing bedtime routine (such as a bath, brush teeth, stretch, read a story, then sleep)
  • keep the volume down after bedtime (such as keeping the volume to your show down, or not doing any cleaning, baking, or cooking that tends to be loud)

Most adults in this country are sleep deprived, so do yourself a favor, and be a good example for your child, and make sure you get plenty of sleep, too!

Healthy Habits for Kids: Mental Health

I know, some people don’t really think mental health matters to someones overall health, but that’s only because they don’t understand it.

Going to school for 4 years focusing on child psychology, neuropsychology, and then obsessing about health and eating well; I can tell you just how important (and related) mental health is to our overall health! But, that’s a lesson for another time. Let’s go over healthy habits for kids mental health, so they can achieve their dreams, become confident, healthy, and happy adults!

Healthy Habit for Kids #11: Practice Affirmations (with Help if Little)

Don’t dismiss affirmations for your child. There are plenty of people who do not believe in the power of affirmations.

Again, many people who don’t believe positive affirmations work, are those who simply don’t understand how they work, or those who have never tried them.

However, they do work and will do wonders to help your child be healthy, happy, and become confident in what they can do.

Click on the image to get the printable!

This is probably one of the easiest healthy habits that you can help with. You  can do so by:

  • saying the affirmations to your child (basically, tell them how wonderful, confident, smart, capable, etc. they are)
  • write out affirmations for your child to say to themselves (if they can read)
  • add this to their morning routine
  • print out positive affirmations from this child’s “My Healthy Habits” workbook and post them where your child will see them in the morning

Don’t underestimate the power of practicing positive affirmations to help your child enjoy their life and love themselves more. It really works and will help keep them happy go lucky, or improve their outlook on life.

How can someone have a negative outlook on life when they’re telling themselves positive things each and every morning first thing when they wake up?

Healthy Habit for Kids #12: Meditate (or Sit in Silence)

By sitting in silence, I do NOT mean encouraging your child to sit silently in front of a screen watching a show or playing video games.

This healthy habit for kids is about shutting out stimulants and introducing peace to the mind and body.

It can be use to decrease stress and anxiety, increase focus and concentration, and improve the outlook on life.

However, just as other healthy mental habits are misunderstood, so is meditation.

How you can help your child meditate (or sit in silence):

  • teach them how (you can quickly learn how here)
  • have them listen to a guided meditation on youtube (if you really don’t get it, or need more help getting them started)
  • respect the time they choose to meditate by keeping the rest of your home quiet
  • mediate at the same time they do (possibly in a separate room to avoid distracting each other)

Starting the habit of meditation may not seem like the most exciting habit, but it is one of the most beneficial!

Don’t feel bad if you and your child struggle with meditating at first, it can be hard to get a hang of. Start with 5 or so minutes and increase the time spent meditating by then. If your child can only sit still and meditate for 5 minutes, that’s better than nothing at all. Increase it by 10 or 15 seconds a time if need be.

Healthy Habit for Kids #13: Read (or be Read to)

You know reading to children from the time they are little is beneficial.

Whether it’s to help them learn to talk, learn the meaning of words, or learn how to read for the first time; reading is a wonderful habit to encourage.

Later in life, they will use skill to read to get through, and possibly excel at, school and every other aspect of their life. The more they read the more they learn, and the ability to learn is one of the best skills anyone can have and hone in on!

A few ways you can encourage this habit:

  • read to them from day one, if possible
  • read to them every night before bed
  • have them read to you, or to themselves, once they are able to
  • keep books in all rooms of the home, and in the car (unless they get car sick when they read in the car)
  • set a dedicated reading time in your home, when everyone reads (doesn’t that just sound nice!)

There are many ways you can encourage your child to read, and with access to thousands of books on ipads and tablets through amazon’s kindleunlimited, there’s no reason not to read. If your child doesn’t have a tablet, ipad, or you’re trying to limit all of their screen time, find your local library and make a weekly trip to get new books for them to read.

There’s just something so nice about opening up and reading an actual physical book!

Healthy Habit for Kids #14: Write (or Draw)

Along side helping you child develop reading as a habit, developing writing, or even drawing, as a habit is just as important.

Children can start drawing as soon as they figure out how to hold a crayon. It may take some time for them to develop their abilities and try to communicate their emotions through their pictures. But, drawing is one of the first ways that a child can express themselves in an appropriate manner to let us know how they truly feel.

Such as, when they start going to school for the first time and they start drawing a picture of themselves sad, and then the next picture they draw a few days later is of them at school and they’re happy. And, they ask you how to spell certain words, like “I” “love” “school”.

Children can have a difficult time expressing how they feel in an appropriate way; helping them develop the habit of drawing, and then later writing, how they feel is amazing for their mental health. It allows their negativity to come out of them, not harming others or throwing a tantrum, and allows them to more easily show appreciation for others. (My daughters teacher has a whole book of drawings, just from my daughter.)

A few ways you can help your child develop this habit:

  • make sure there is always paper and something to write with available to your child
  • encourage them to go color if they say they’re bored
  • draw with them (don’t get annoyed if they ask you to draw a heart or star 50 times in the same sitting)
  • spell out words for them when asked to help teach them to spell
  • teach them how to draw letters, even if not in school yet (dot to dots work really well!)
  • have them write out their feelings and what their grateful for (a gratitude journal) once they are old enough

Writing and drawing isn’t only a great way for our children to express their emotions, it’s great for us to do as well. Especially when it comes to living a more positive life. If you don’t have a gratitude journal, why not start one alongside your child and remind each other to write in it every morning!

 

Remember, One at a Time

Alright, that may have been a lot of information, a lot for you to think about, and a lot for you and your child to implement to start (or continue) your healthy journeys together.

But, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. So, remember to choose just ONE to start with and not move onto developing another habit til both of you are ready.

Let’s review the 14 healthy habits for kids:

  1. Drink water
  2. Focus on Fruits and Veggies
  3. Eat a Solid Breakfast
  4. Eat Whole Local Foods (or Grow their own Food)
  5. Limit Processed and Fast Food
  6. Don’t Overeat
  7. Walk When and Where You Can
  8. Exercise Everyday
  9. Stretch in the Morning and/or Before Bed
  10.  Get Plenty of Sleep
  11. Practice Affirmations (with Help if Little)
  12. Meditate (or Sit in Silence)
  13. Read (or be Read to)
  14. Write (or Draw)

There a limitless ways you can help your children develop these healthy habits for kids.

But, one of the best things you can do for you child is to be the best example you can for your child.

Do what you want them to do.

Talk how you want them to.

Eat what you want them to eat.

Feel how you want them to feel.

Because, believe it or not, your children will take after you, even if slightly, and even if they don’t want to admit it.

Don’t forget to save this on Pinterest to refer to later, and share on Facebook for all of your friends who want to raise healthy kids to see.

(Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest.)

You can make a difference in this world, we can make a difference in this world, by raising a healthier future generation. Spread this around!

Learn how to raise healthy kids by encouraging healthy habits for kids! Check out 14 healthy habits that will improve your childs life that you can help them develop! #healthyhabits #healthy #habits #kids #kidsactivities #parenting #mom #stresslessbehealthy

Sources

¹ https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html

² https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

³ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3606659/

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Ever wonder how to get kids to eat vegetables? It can be tough sometimes. Learn the advice from 25+ moms on how to get your child to eat their vegetables! #pickyeaters #healthyhabits #healthtips #children #toddlers #moms #momlife #veggies #vegetables #stresslessbehealthy

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: Advice from 25+ Moms

What’s Inside: tips, tricks, and quotes from real moms on how to get kids to eat vegetables, that actually work, even with picky eaters!

 

Have you ever wondered how to get your child to eat their vegetables?

 

I’m sure you probably have!

 

In fact, I’m sure that’s a question all parents end up asking themselves at least once while their kids are little. Between picky eaters and children wanting to test their limits 24/7; it can be hard to imagine how we will ever get past the stage of saying ‘my child won’t eat vegetables‘ whenever we’re asked about their eating habits!

 

Luckily, you will eventually get past that stage…Hopefully! Some parents will get through it more easily than others, but we all may very well struggle, especially with picky eaters. I know, my oldest is a very picky eater and her younger sister is trying to take after her…

 

Sometimes you’ll have to be creative and start sneaking veggies in toddler food for your toddlers, or even hiding them in your own food. Because obviously, whatever is on your plate is way better than what’s on your child’s plate, and they insist on eating what you have, even when the same food is on their plate.

 

I get it, it’s hard sometimes. But, it doesn’t have to continue being a struggle forever!

Check out the amazing advice in the posts and quotes below. Build up your confidence in knowing how to conquer the picky eating and stubbornness that may arise when feeding your kids.

 

Some of the strategies below may even have you feeling and knowing that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you imagine it to be! So, read on and take our advice, from one mom to another!

 

If you’re wondering “How can I trick my child into eating vegetables?”

First, know that you’re not alone.

Many parents wonder this, especially with picky eaters in the household.

 

Don’t feel like a bad parent for wanting to deceive your child, simply to get them to eat their veggies. You’re only thinking of what’s best for them. You want your child to grow up healthy and strong; and that means that you need to do what you can to help or encourage them to eat the food that is best for them, such as veggies.

 

There’s plenty of recipes you can choose from to sneak veggies into a childs diet. Check some out in this post: 18 Healthy Recipes with Hidden Veggies for Kids

 

And, don’t forget to take advice from the posts and quotes from 25+ real moms below!

 

12 Ways to Get Veggies into a Childs Diet

veggies for kids
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Find out 12 different types of food you can sneak veggies into (plenty of recipes to try), along with the pros and cons of sneaking veggies into your childs food.

“I like to hide veggies in other foods. My sons has fallen in love with chocolate zucchini bread. It may not be the most healthy thing, but at least I don’t have to wrestle him to the ground to get him to eat it.” ~Brittany from Figuringitout101.com

 

THE TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOUR KIDS SHOULD EAT BEETS (AND YOU SHOULD TOO)!

Photo from justbeetit.com

This post teaches you the important of beets, includes healthy recipes for kids to eat beets, and other fun things you can help your child do with beets to encourage them to enjoy and interact wit them. Including making pink play-doh and more! Perfect for little girls and boys who love the color pink, go check it out here.

“Smoothies! I add all sorts of veggies to them and my kids are none the wiser! 😂” ~Lexi from Jesuscoffeeandmomlife.com

 

How to get your child to eat their veggies without sneaking them!

Maybe sneaking veggies into your childs food won’t work for you.

 

Your children are older and will know.

 

Or, maybe you like to be completely honest with your child and encourage you children to eat what’s good for them with knowing it’s good for them.

 

I totally get that!

 

I’m all about trying to get my kids to develop healthy habits and know that they are. Other moms are too, and share many different tips and tricks on how to do this.

 

Check out the tips and posts from real moms below, who are getting their kids to knowingly chow down on veggies!

 

Sometimes, it’s just about they way you present food: from seed to table!

 

A Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids

Photo from merakimother.com

This post contains a lot of helpful tips for getting kids to eat their veggies, along with why it is so important. One such tip is making sure your child eats a rainbow everyday. Find out what that means here!

“Make a variety of vegetables in different ways to see what your child likes. Don’t stick with just 4-5 plain vegetables. Spice them up with spices and herbs! Pinterest is amazing for vegetable side dish ideas.” ~Samantha from journeytosahm.com

 

The Picky Eater | Quick and “Dirty” Solutions

Photo from takethemoutside.com

Check out these amazing tips on how to get your kids to eat more veggies, simply by having fun activities for them to do outside and connect more with nature!

I was amazed at how enthusiastic my children have been to eat the veggies they’ve grown in their gardens. The planting, tending, and harvesting has gotten them more enthused and engaged with the food on their plate. It can be a real fun process for us all!” ~Jenn

 

VEGGIE GARDENING + HOW I’M GETTING MY FAMILY TO EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGGIES THIS SUMMER!

Photo from peasandcrayons.com

Did your child go from eating all foods ever given to them to being an extremely picky eater? You’re not alone, check out this post with plenty of ideas to help get your toddler eating veggies again after they’ve stopped; from making and buying them play food to growing their own gardens

 

Make it fun

It’s no fun to force your kids to eat the veggies that are good for them. So, stop making such a fuss about what they eat and start making it fun!

 

Whether you can make beautiful pictures with food, like on Pinterest (follow me here), or your idea of being creative is turning eating healthy food into a game with incentives; there will always be a way to make eating healthy fun.

 

Stop stressing over meal time, stay positive, and do the best you can, instead!

 

Check out the posts and ideas below to see what other moms have done to make eating veggies fun and more enjoyable for their kids, and themselves!

Ten Simple Tips to Help Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables

From making fun shapes with their veggies to never giving up, this post is full of practical tips to get your kids to eat veggies. Check it out here.

“My favourite veggie hide is pasta with orange sauce. I started with sauces in jars which they saw me open, didn’t suspect veggies & loved the taste. Now I make a sauce with roasted Mediterranean veggies & lots of tomatoes & blitz it smooth in the food processor ( all done while they are at school/nursery) & they think it’s just another jar sauce.” ~Debbie

 

How to Teach Your Kids to Love Healthy Food

 

Photo from thesoccermomblog.com

This post shows you many different ways to get kids to love eating healthy food, including an app that gives kids an incentive to create healthy habits! The app is suggest for kids no younger than 6. So, if you have children who toddlers, but are picky eaters, check out the app in this post and try it out with your kids. I just downloaded it for my daughter who just turned 6, once she wakes up she’ll get to choose her avatar and get excited about using an app on mommy’s phone!

“We’ve started offering real food exchange for eating real food of bargaining is necessary. For example, they love sweet potato. If they eat all the zucchini, they can have more sweet potato.” ~Brooke from Happysimplemom.com

 

5 FUN WAYS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO EAT VEGETABLES

Photo from theinspirationedit.com

Sometimes all it takes to get kids to eat veggies is letting them help us make them or trying them in a different way, like raw with dip instead of cooked. Check out 3 more simple tips in this post!

“I would recommend dipping sauces to go with vegetables, like hummus or a yogurt-based dressing. It gives the vegetables extra flavor.” ~Joyce Felix at Celebrate Moms Forever  (celebratemomsforever.com)

 

Start as early as possible and get them talking about food

I may have started my girls eating home made baby food earlier than other parents. At three months old, I started my girls on home made rice cereal to help keep them full and sleeping just a tad bit longer. Then came the fruits and veggies! The first foods they tried are still their favorites; bananas and avocados.

 

Starting your kids eating fresh, whole foods, such as fruits and veggies, and encouraging them from the time they begin to eat will do wonders for helping them eat healthy later in life.

 

However, don’t feel bad if you didn’t make home made baby food from fresh fruits and veggies a priority when your kids were infants. NOW is the best time to start getting your kids to eat the best they can, which includes eating plenty of veggies.

 

There’s different tactics you can use to get your kids to eat veggies once they start to talk. Find out how to talk about veggies to encourage your children to eat more of them, and other tactics to influence your childs behavior towards vegetables in the posts below!

 

Photo from happyhealthymama.com

With the understanding that most kids are picky eaters, this post goes into saying that we have a lot of influence over our children’s eating habits. Check out the 6 tips inside to help your picky eater eat a variety of foods, such as talking about how the food tastes instead of just having your child say it’s ‘yucky’. Read the other 5 tips here.

I ask my older one (5-year-old) to describe in every detail what he doesn’t like about the veggie. What does it taste like? Why don’t you like it? etc etc. And we compare the veggie to funny things too. It usually makes him try it a few more times to get the right words out and then he’s fine eating it the next time. ” ~Lakshmi

 

How I Get My Toddler To Eat Veggies…And You Can Too!

Photo from livingforthesunshine.com

From starting babies off the right way with eating food to providing 7 more ways to get toddlers to eat their veggies; this post has quite a bit to offer if you’re truly struggling getting enough nutrients from veggies into your kids. Plus, she states how she was able to raise a less picky than usual toddler than most other parents claim to have! Check it out here.

“I’ve given them the same food I cook for us every tome since they were little . No Mac and cheese , no special kids food. They eat what we eat . I don’t treat veggies like they’re some kind of special food and this loosens up the tension around them . My daughters eat everything, even salad. Just keep trying new things, even if you don’t like it yourself . I used to hate broccoli but then I realized my kids would miss out on it because of me . So I started cooking it and now I love it!” ~ Delia Cantoriu from delia-in-a-nutshell.com

 


 

Sometimes It’s as simple as having veggies and dips available

Instead of thinking “what vegetables can I add to kids meals?”

 

Start thinking about what dips or sauces you can add to veggies to help make them more enticing for your little ones!

 

This could be anything from different dressings to smothering them in peanut butter.

 

Just make sure that there are always fresh and washed vegetables available to your children and in eye level for them in the fridge so it’s the first thing they see!

 

Check out other tips and tricks from more moms below.

Photo from tikkido.com/

Want to know what happens when you set veggies out on the table while you’re making dinner? Check out this post to see how successful this one single tip is!

 

7 Sneaky Ways to Add More Vegetables to Your Day

Photo from theprofessionalmomproject.com

From pureeing veggies and adding them to sauce to making sure they are ready to eat soon after being bought: those are just two of the seven ways to add veggies into yours and your childs diet recommended in this post. It’s meant to help us as adults get veggies into our diets. But, most of these ideas will work for picky eater kids, as well! Check out the rest of the tips here.

I use vegetable pasta with sauce and then give veggies on the side. The more you serve vegetables the better your chances of them trying them and liking them. It takes at least 20 times before you will get your little one to eat them. Also I put cheese on them which makes them taste better.” ~Cheree from  homemademoma.com

3 Ways to Get Your Picky Toddler to Eat Real Food

Photo from thesoccermomblog.com

Learn 3 simple tricks to get your kids to eat veggies, simply by how it’s prepared! Such as covering it in peanut butter, my oldest daughters favorite thing to do with everything. 

“Cauliflower everything! My little guy will down an entire batch of caulitots! Or zucchini fries! If you make veggies into foods they already love you’ll definitely get a win!”
~Mandis from everydayemerson.com

 

If NOTHING seems to be working: Lean on Psychology

This is where my bachelors in psychology comes in, haha, or not.

 

Most of the tips below are simply common sense. Such as making sure you’re not overstimulating and producing anxiety when trying to get your kids to eat vegetables.

 

Or, using reverse psychology, making your child think you don’t want them to eat it, just so they will eat their veggies.

 

Don’t overlook using simple psychology facts to help you get your kids to eat their veggies, but don’t overuse reverse psychology so much that your kids always try to do the opposite of what you tell them to do!

 

Get more tips and tricks to get veggies into your kids below.

Photo from raisinggenerationnourished.com

If getting your child to eat veggies so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start; check out the 3 very simple, yet overlooked tips in this post that come from the basics of psychology. They may even have you thinking, ‘well, why didn’t I think of that’! Check out the post here.

“Introduce them early in the weaning process. We used to do a bit of puree and baby led weaning. I’d offer most veggies as soft finger food and I think this has helped my son love veggies now. He will pretty much try and eat most vegetables – age 5.” ~Emma from eandbmaketea.com

 

A Stupid-Simple Way to Get Toddlers to Eat Veggies

get toddlers to eat veggies
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Learn one simple trick to get your kids to eat veggies! It may only work half the time, but half the time is better than not at all. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my 2 year old eating a salad above. You can get your kids to eat salad, too!)

There was some research a few years ago. They found that stickers worked really well as an incentive for kids to eat their veggies. Sweets or dessert don’t work.” ~Eline

 

How To Get Kids To Eat Healthy

Photo from whatsworkinghere.com

From keeping different foods separate to reverse psychology, I’ve used most of these tips before with my picky eaters, and they tend to work more often than not. Check them out here.

“We offered vegetables from the beginning and at almost every meal. We eat them in front of her. We celebrate them and cook a variety, with different cooking methods.” ~Megan from Howwemom.com

Getting kids to eat their veggies can be a huge struggle for most parents. But, it doesn’t have to be.

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re feeding your baby for the first few times, trying to get a stubborn and independent toddler to eat what you want them to, or trying to instill good eating habits in your older children.

 

With the advice from 25+ moms in this post, and more tips than I care to count within this and all the posts included, you’re sure to find at least one way for how to get your child to eat to eat their veggies that will help you, even if just temporarily. You know, until they get out of the picky eating phase they’re currently in.

 

Know that encouraging your kids to eat their veggies in a positive manner, and using the tips and tricks above; will help you much more than trying to fight with your kids about it or force them to eat veggies at every meal.

Ever wonder how to get kids to eat vegetables? It can be tough sometimes. Learn the advice from 25+ moms on how to get your child to eat their vegetables! #pickyeaters #healthyhabits #healthtips #children #toddlers #moms #momlife #veggies #vegetables #stresslessbehealthy

What is your favorite way to get your kids to eat their veggies? Share in the comments below. And, don’t forget to share this post with other moms having trouble getting their kids to eat their veggies!


21 Vegan Christmas Cookies You’ll Want to Make this Holiday Season!

The are the best vegan christmas cookies recipes for kids all pulled into one post! Easy and healthy, some are even gluten free. Find gingerbread, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and more!

21 Vegan Christmas Cookies You’ll Want to Make this Holiday Season!

Nothing says Christmas time like baking cookies!

It’s always been a tradition for me to make an absolutely ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies during the holiday season. It started when I was little. I even remember my mom putting me in charge of making most, if not all, of the Christmas cookies one year when I was a teenager. Or, was it before I was a teenager I can’t quite remember.

We’d start a week or so before Christmas to start making them, and it didn’t end at Christmas, either. I remember my mom staying up late making more cookies on Christmas eve so that we’d have plenty on Christmas day. We ate SO many cookies.

Since I’ve become a mom, I’ve slowly started to remake the Christmas cookies I loved as a child to be a bit healthy and 100% vegan! For my kids, and for myself. (My husband seems to run away from any food I make that I call ‘healthy’ or ‘vegan’; honestly, he’s truly missing out. This is the only healthy vegan recipe I’ve been able to get him to eat…and love. And it’s only because I simply told him to try it…..he ate half a batch.)

So, if you’re looking for healthier, vegan, possibly gluten free Christmas cookies; take a look below and enjoy!

Pssst…you’ll find two of my own recipes below.

Pine Needle Shortbread Cookies

Photo from avirtualvegan.com

Enjoy these classic shortbread cookies! Just try not to eat them all in one day.

 

SNOWMEN MERINGUE COOKIES (VEGAN & GF)

Photo from veganhuggs.com

I usually opt for an easier cookie to make, but these are so adorable they are worth the time and effort you put into them. Plus, their great for impressing friends and family; just wait til you tell them they’re vegan, too! And, yes, these are egg whites free, which is why they are called vegan.

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls (Vegan)

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

This was my all time favorite recipe as a child; now veganized and a bit more filling. You know, to help us from eating them all at once! Even this healthy version is the first type of xmas cookie to disappear in my home.

 

BUTTERY SOFT JAM THUMBPRINT COOKIES

Photo from veganhuggs.com

Great as a gift, or eat them yourself; up to you!

 

Chewy Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Photo from delightfuladventures.com

Looking for a gingerbread cookie that isn’t rock hard; check out these chewy gingerbread cookies for Christmas!

 

VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

Photo from naughtynutrition.co

Check out these gluten free and vegan molasses cookies, your kids are sure to love them! Plus, they are super healthy so you don’t even have to feel bad about feeding them cookies.

PALEO & VEGAN ALMOND BUTTER BLOSSOM COOKIES

Photo from joyfoodsunshine.com
Peanut butter blossoms were another one of my favorites growing up. However, if you or your kids have a peanut allergy try out Laura’s peanut free recipe, so you all can still enjoy the glory of this Holiday time cookie!

Enjoy these chocolaty cookies, whether it’s Christmas time or not! You don’t need an excuse to make these.

 

VEGAN CHERRY PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Photo from thebakingfairy.net

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP MOLASSES CRINKLES COOKIES

Photo from thebakingfairy.net

 

VEGAN CARAMEL-STUFFED DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN VANILLA CUT-OUT COOKIES

Photo from unconventionalbaker.com

3-INGREDIENT BUTTERY SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Photo from chewoutloud.com

Super simple and kid friendly, these cookies won’t last long! Just make sure to use vegan butter, like earth balance, to keep it vegan.

 

SALTED CARAMEL THUMBPRINT COOKIES

Photo from bakerita.com

 

VEGAN DANISH BUTTER COOKIES

Photo from wallflowerkitchen.com

PERFECT VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES

Photo from itdoesnttastelikechicken.com

Don’t you just love walking into the kitchen when Christmas cookies are baking in the oven?

It’s such a warm and welcoming scent, that’s probably why they make sugar cookie candles. Warm up your home this year with the vegan Christmas cookies above. Don’t be afraid to try them all, if you want, and make a ridiculous amount of Christmas cookies this year, like I always do! Don’t forget to share with friends and family, especially those on specific diets such as vegan, gluten free, and paleo!

The are the best vegan christmas cookies recipes for kids all pulled into one post! Easy and healthy, some are even gluten free. Find gingerbread, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and more!

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Let me know in the comments!


10 Savory Vegan Freezer Meals To Prep for Crazy Busy Nights!

Looking for vegan freezer meals that actually reheat well? Check these ten delicious meals that you and your children will love!

10 Savory Vegan Freezer Meals To Prep for Crazy Busy Nights!

Ever want a nice home made meal at night, but can never seem to find the time to cook during the week?

Yeah,

Me too.

That’s where meal prepping comes in!

Unfortunately, not all food was created to be saved in the fridge for more than a couple of days; some need to be frozen to stay well all week. And, it can be a pain to cook a meal, freeze it, and then try to reheat it; simply to find out that it just doesn’t taste quite the same.

Related Post: 11 Family Friendly Quick and Easy Vegan dinner recipes for Hectic Weeknights

Or, maybe you’re like me and batch cook, so that you can pull out a frozen meal when you forgot to meal plan or when you just don’t feel like having what’s on the menu in your home that night.

Either way, the recipes below have been tried and tested for your convenience. AKA, they freeze and reheat well.

You’ll find childhood favorites, soups, wraps, and more! Be sure to check out the full vegan recipes and follow the food blogger who created them!

You can also follow and subscribe to my email list here, I publish a new vegan recipe every Sunday.

Related Posts:
12 Healthy Vegan School Lunch Ideas
10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes My Kids Go Crazy For
How to Make Awesome Avocado and Tomato Sandwiches

 

HOMEMADE VEGAN RAVIOLI

Photo from reciperighter.com

I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been looking for a vegan ravioli recipe! It’s been far too long and I’m so glad I found this one here.

SOUTHWEST VEGAN BREAKFAST BURRITO

Photo from mydarlingvegan.com

I know this says it’s a breakfast burrito, but feel free to eat it any time of day! Get the recipe here.

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry

Photo from freezermeals101.com

This recipe post not only gives you the recipe, but also walks you through the whole process, from freezing to cooking when you need it! If you’re a beginner at making and using freezer meals, this is the one you should start with!

Related Post: Delicious Diced Veggie Vegan Burritos

MAKE-AHEAD KALE AND SWEET POTATO BURRITOS

Photo from cearaskitchen.com

I don’t know about you and your kids, but my toddler loves sweet potato and will eat anything with it in it. Check out this recipe here and enjoy it with your kids!

PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE {VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE}

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

Want something sweet yet filling? Check out this pineapple fried rice recipe!


HOMEMADE VEGAN PIZZA POCKETS WITH MARINARA SAUCE

Photo from whereyougetyourprotein.com

Before I became vegan I used to love calzones. I can gladly say that this recipes can compare and has even more natural flavors than what I had way back when!

EGGPLANT CHICKPEA PEANUT CURRY (VEGAN + GF)

Photo from rhiansrecipes.com

This freezer meal isn’t a chop it, dump it and freeze. This recipe is one that you make first and then freeze; which is great for an evening you have time now to cook, but also like to plan ahead for the future!

INSTANT POT LENTIL SOUP – MEXICAN FLAVOURS {VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE}

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

If you have an instant pot, go ahead and try this recipe out.

Related Post: 7 Awesome Meals for Beginner Vegans!

FREEZER BLACK BEAN FAJITA BURRITOS 

Photo from infinebalance.com

These are perfect easy meals for those crazy busy weeknights that you just don’t have time to cook, but want a hearty meal in just a few minutes. Just be sure to either omit the cheese or use vegan cheese to keep this a vegan freezer meal.

EASY ROMAINE LETTUCE SOUP RECIPE – DAIRY FREE

Photo from lowcarbyum.com

This recipe needs to be made prior to freezing. Be sure to use the vegan options for the recipe!

 

It can be hard sometimes to find vegan freezer meals. Unfortunately, this healthy diet is often overlooked by those obsessed with freezer cooking.

But, if you find a freezer meal that you think would be great, but has non-vegan ingredients; it can be quite simple to replace those ingredients and make them vegan!

So, whether you’re in a very busy season of life, or stocking your freezer full of super easy meals before you new baby comes into this world; I hope you’re able to enjoy these meals, and the ease of simply heating them up, for when you need them!

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more vegan and raising healthy kids inspiration!

Looking for vegan freezer meals that actually reheat well? Check these ten delicious meals that you and your children will love!

What are your favorite vegan freezer meals? I’d love to know, leave it in a comment below!


13 Mouth Watering Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

Looking for some healthy vegan thanksgiving desserts? Check out these 13 dessert recipes to have at your next Thanksgiving get together!

13 Mouth Watering Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving would not be complete without the delicious desserts after dinner; because you know, we don’t stuff ourselves enough during dinner!

And, thankfully, because of the recipes below and many others, we don’t have to feel left out as vegans. There are plenty of vegan Thanksgiving desserts that will make us feel thankful we’re vegan and not adding to the cruelty of this festive Holiday.

From pies to puddings and more; you’ll be sure to find enough vegan desserts below to feed your whole extended family for Thanksgiving! They won’t even know these delicious desserts are vegan, either.

So, save a few animals from suffering this Holiday season, save some calories, and encourage healthy eating (without even realizing it); enjoy the recipes below!

Related Posts:

31 Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Even Your Kids Will Eat

9 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes

15 AWESOME Vegan Dishes for Thanksgiving; Picky Eater Approved!

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN APPLE PIE

Photo from rhiansrecipes.com

You CANNOT have Thanksgiving without Apple pie, and Rhian’s recipes are some of the best recipes I’ve had. I am constantly going back to her site to try new recipes and feature them in my posts. Check out her apple pie recipe here!

Other posts Rhians recipes have been featured in:

23 High Protein Vegan Snacks for Kids After School

27 Healthy Smoothie Bowls and Smoothie Recipes for Kids

and more!

Gluten-Free Crustless Apple Pie (Vegan, Allergy-Free)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

If you’re not a fan of the crust when eating pie, or have a picky eater you’re trying to please; you may want to opt for a crustless apple pie recipe. Don’t worry, it’s still vegan! Check it out here.

Related Post: 8 Ways to Teach Children Thankfulness

The Healthiest Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

Another Thanksgiving classic, pumpkin pie! Just like the crust-less apple pie recipe above, this one is crust-less as well. Check it out here!

THE BEST GRAIN-FREE VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE

Photo from evolvingtable.com

If you like the pie crust, like I do, then try out this grain free pumpkin pie recipe here!

Related Post: 9 Ways to Help You Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

Vegan Pumpkin Pie With Caramel Sauce

Photo from avirtualvegan.com

Want a little something extra with your pumpkin pie? Try this recipe with caramel sauce!

THE BEST Vegan Apple Crisp!!

best vegan apple crisp
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Want a healthy version of apple crisp? This is a must try recipe! You bake the granola topping and then bake it on top of the apples to add a little extra crunch to it.

Related Post: Healthy Peanut Butter Balls (Vegan)

Paleo Triple Berry Crisp

Photo from cleanlivingcleaneating.com

If you love crisps, then check out this flavorful triple berry crisp recipe! It’s paleo and vegan, to help please your Thanksgiving guests with special diets.

Nutty Pear Crumble- Vegan and Gluten Free

Photo from vintagekitty.com/

 

Related Post: Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Blossoms

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

vegan pumpkin cookies
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Looking for a healthy alternative to sugar filled pumpkin cookies? You’ll want to try, and give your kids, these pumpkin cookies; made with oat flour instead of white, at least half the sugar you’re used to, and a secret ingredient! Check it out here.

INSTANT POT BROWNIES WITH PUMPKIN {VEGAN}

Photo from ecipesfromapantry.com

Brownies may not be a classic Thanksgiving dessert for some, but then again, who’s going to say no to chocolate? Get the recipe here!

Related Post: The Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread

SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHIA PUDDING

Photo from theforkedspoon.com

 

SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN SPICE TAPIOCA PUDDING (VEGAN)

Photo from boulderlocavore.com

PUMPKIN PIE CHIA PUDDING

Photo from veggiessavetheday.com

There are so many vegan Thanksgiving desserts you can try, like the ones above, that you won’t feel left out when it comes to stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving.

Whether you veganize an old family favorite, like I did with the pumpkin cookies and apple crisp above, or find a brand new vegan recipe you love; you’ll be sure to get more nutrients in than fellow Americans eating a SAD (standard american diet).

You may not eat as much, either, keeping your health (and waistline) in check, with all of the filling nutrient rich desserts there are available!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and I do. Don’t forget to save this post on Pinterest and share with friends looking for a vegan or healthy alternative to Thanksgiving desserts!

Looking for some healthy vegan thanksgiving desserts? Check out these 13 dessert recipes to have at your next Thanksgiving get together!

31 Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Even Your Kids Will Eat

Looking for health vegan thanksgiving sides? Something easy to make that you know your picky eater child will actually eat? Check out these 31 side dish recipes that are picky eater approved, contain veggies, and are actually healthy! From green bean recipes and mashed potatoes, to more!

31 Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Even Your Kids Will Eat

Raising a vegan child, or coming up with food to eat on Thanksgiving as a vegan doesn’t have to be hard!

Even though this holiday is sometimes called ‘turkey day’ does no mean you’re missing out, or denying your child of Holiday fun, by replacing unhealthy non-vegan food with recipes that will actually provide nutrients and value to the diet!

Related Post: 15 AWESOME Vegan Dishes for Thanksgiving; Picky Eater Approved!

Sides are a really simple way to add in more veggies to a Thanksgiving meal. Plus, most sides are already vegan, or only need a few ingredient swaps to make them so.

Check out the recipes below for some delicious ideas for vegan Thanksgiving side dishes that your children will actually eat!

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side. There’s also around a thousand (exaggeration, but then again, there’s probably more) ways to make mashed potatoes! So, there are certainly plenty of ways to make mashed potatoes vegan, check out the recipes below.

There’s even a purple mashed potato recipe below, to make things fun for your little ones who are picky eaters, let’s not forget to make this fun!

THE CREAMIEST VEGAN CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES {GF}

 

Photo from vnutritionandwellness.com

 

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

Photo from garlicandzest.com

Rustic Rosemary Thyme Mashed Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com
Photo from evolvingtable.com
Photo from imagelicious.com
Photo from reusegrowenjoy.com
Photo from veryveganval.com

Related Post: 8 Ways to Teach Children Thankfulness

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Other Potato Side Dishes

You can never have enough potato dishes at Thanksgiving!

Whether it’s sweet potatoes, or regular potatoes you use; they’re so versatile, filling, and delicious. Make them simple, or complex. Check out the recipes below for your Thanksgiving sides this year.

Healthy Sweet Potatoes – No Marshmallows Needed

Photo from pinkfortitude.com

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Stuffing

Even if you’ve never really been a fan of stuffing (like me), the recipes below will change your mind on that! Go check them out and try them for yourself.

Cranberry Apple Walnut Stuffing Recipe

Photo from thriftyjinxy.com

 

The Best Gluten Free and Vegan Stuffing

Photo from pinkfortitude.com

 

The Best Gluten-Free Vegan Stuffing

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Cranberry and Apple Sauces

These may be your go to side dishes when feeding your little ones, so make them feel special and make these recipes yourself!

SUGAR FREE CRANBERRY SAUCE (KETO, LOW CARB)

Photo from savorytooth.com

My Simple Homemade Applesauce (that you’ll regret not making)!!

simple homemade applesauce
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Gravy and Hummus

Gravy is a Thanksgiving classic, so be sure to check out the vegan and gluten free recipe of that below. Plus, kids love to dip their food in things, have them try the hummus below for a healthy alternative to store bought.

SHIITAKE MUSHROOM GRAVY {VEGAN & GF}

Photo from vnutritionandwellness.com

PUMPKIN SAGE WHITE BEAN HUMMUS (VEGAN + GF)

Photo from rhiansrecipes.com

 

Photo from http://www.savorytooth.com[/caption%5D

 

Looking for health vegan thanksgiving sides? Something easy to make that you know your picky eater child will actually eat? Check out these 31 side dish recipes that are picky eater approved, contain veggies, and are actually healthy! From green bean recipes and mashed potatoes, to more!

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Green Beans

ROASTED JICAMA WITH GREEN BEANS – WHOLE30, PALEO

[caption id="attachment_4140" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Photo from lowcarbyum.com

 

Cold Green Bean Salad with French Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing

Photo from masalaherb.com

ROASTED GREEN BEANS

Photo from tosimplyinspire.com

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Other Veggies

There are so many different types of produce that are in season in the fall, don’t forget to include them in your Thanksgiving sides!

 

ROASTED CELERY ROOT AND RADISHES

Photo from lowcarbyum.com

 

5-Minute Sugar-Free + Vegan Cream-Style Corn (Gluten-Free)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

CARAMELIZED ROASTED PUMPKIN

Photo from boulderlocavore.com

BAKED BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON ACORN SQUASH

Photo from tosimplyinspire.com

Orange Ginger Carrot Recipe – Whole30 Recipe

Photo from reusegrowenjoy.com

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Breads and More!

For when they need some ‘normal’ Thanksgiving side dishes to feel like everyone else.

Plus, the pumpkin bread below is moist and delicious and possibly even better than the kind my mom made when I was young; I’m not just saying that because it’s my recipe, either!

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Rustic Gluten-Free Cornbread

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls / Pizza Dough

Photo from vintagekitty.com

LENTIL MEATLOAF MUFFINS (VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE)

Photo from veggiessavetheday.com

Whether you were looking for ways to turn your favorite side dishes into vegan side dishes, or find some new vegan family favorites; I hope you were able to find them here!

The recipes above are delicious, healthy, and ones that even my picky eater will eat! Be sure to save this post as a future reference for Thanksgivings in the future, and be sure to subscribe to receive my emails and get access to some great printables. (Like, the list of produce in season in the fall, questions to ask your children to encourage thankfulness, and plenty more!)

Looking for health vegan thanksgiving sides? Something easy to make that you know your picky eater child will actually eat? Check out these 31 side dish recipes that are picky eater approved, contain veggies, and are actually healthy! From green bean recipes and mashed potatoes, to more!

My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four

Need a cheap vegan meal plan that won't break your families budget? Check out this affordable meal plan AND learn how to to eat cheap meals on a vegan diet! Includes a shopping list and more ideas on how to save money!

My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four

So, you had an unexpected expense come up….again, and you’re determine to still come up with a way for your family to eat healthy. Even when you have a tiny budget to get your groceries; much less than the average amount people spend on groceries in this country!

Because, let’s face it, in the U.S. food prices are constantly creeping up; whether you eat a vegan diet or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), and there’s no increase in pay to help even out costs.

According to the USDA, the cost of food for a family of four ranges from $130 and $300…a week! (Source can be found here, I’m not making it up!)

That price range simply blows my mind.

I knew I was a bit frugal when it came to my families grocery budget and trying to keep it around $60 to $80 a week. But, I didn’t know that wasn’t even close to the norm. It’s amazing what you find out when you do a little bit of research!

Even for families who aren’t really frugal, but are simply living paycheck to paycheck, can have difficulty keeping their grocery bill in line.

Related Post: How to Budget (when You Have No Money)

And, what about with your unexpected expense? How are you to lower your grocery bill then?

You may already feel like you’re stingy when you go to the store.

That’s where meal planning and being intentional about the food your family eats during the week comes in!

With a few tips and a super simple meal plan (with a few repeat meals) you can make it through the tough times and not have to give up eating healthy, or give in to eating non-vegan foods (that contribute to animal cruelty and the destruction of the planet).

Though, my husband thinks it’s perfectly alright to eat ramen during these times- sodium filled packets and all; I like to opt for meals that actually contain nutrients for myself and two girls.

Related Posts:
How to Make a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget
How to Budget (when You Have No Money)
The Benefits of Meal Prepping
8 Quick and Healthy Vegan Meal Ideas
How to Stock Healthy Snacks at Home for Kids


 

A Few Quick Tips for a Vegan Meal Plan on a Budget

Make sure you make a vegan meal plan for a week!

You won’t stay in your small budget for the week if you don’t write down your families meals. And, then make a grocery list from your meal plan.

Being as detailed as possible when doing this is key.

Make sure you write down EVERYTHING anyone will be consuming that week, and include EVERYTHING that you will need on the grocery list. No one likes running out to the store because they forgot something they needed.

This includes items you’ll need that you have everyday but may not think to write down, such as if you need more coffee. That is something you won’t want to forget to write down!

Meal plan around the food you already have.

If you’re already used to making healthy meal plans on a budget, then you may have some ingredients you can use during the weeks where you’re barely scraping by.

Or, if you’re planning out your budget in advance and can see that money will be tight for a week in the future, consider stocking up on some cheap and healthy food now.

Some suggestions for what to stock up on:

  • dried beans
  • legumes
  • rice
  • pasta
  • bread (and freeze it)
  • peanut butter
  • oats (for oatmeal, baked goods, and more)
  • baking ingredients
  • bananas (to cut up and freeze for smoothies)
  • avocado (to puree, freeze, and use for toast/sandwiches)
  • frozen fruit
  • frozen veggies

What you may want to stock up on may be slightly different than my list; what we eat tends to be a personal decision. I know many people who hate being told what they should eat. (My children included!)

 

 

Related Post: How to Stock Healthy Snacks at Home for Kids

 

Avoid Eating Out at All Costs

This should be relatively easy, seeing as how you may not have the extra money to do so. And, with being on a vegan diet, there aren’t as many choices for eating out. (Unless of course, if you live in or near a city with vegan restaurants. And, in that case, I’m a bit jealous!)

Never Buy Name Brand

Name brand products are almost always more expensive than store brand products. And, in some cases the ONLY difference is the outside box or container; you’re literally paying for the name.

Don’t Forget Your Cheap Vegan Meal Prep!

Once you have your meal plan (or use mine below), your grocery list, and have bought your groceries; make sure you prep your meals as much as you can.

Doing this will ensure no one will have to eat out during the week; everything will be ready for them to take to work or school. And, if you’re a stay at home parent, like me, you won’t have to spend time making food everyday. Which means more time to get things done, spend with your kids, or read that book you keep trying to get to while your kids nap!

Learn to Meal Prep for a plant based or vegan diet here!

Need a cheap vegan meal plan that won't break your families budget? Check out this affordable meal plan AND learn how to to eat cheap meals on a vegan diet! Includes a shopping list and more ideas on how to save money!

Focus on Nutrition and Whole Foods

Ironically, many people associate a healthy or vegan diet with an expensive diet, but the opposite it true.

It’s the unhealthy, heavily processed food that is the most expensive. Plus, when you eat junk food, you have to eat more of it because your cells are starving for nutrients. So, not only are you spending more money because the processed food is more expensive to begin with; but you’re also buying more of it to try to fill yourself and family up.

(Along with increasing your chances of becoming obese, getting diabetes, and other food related chronic illnesses.)

By focusing on nutrition, you’ll be thinking of how to get healthy proteins, carbs, and fats. And, how to get them in your shopping cart as cheap as possible.

This is where your beans, legumes, rice, veggies, and fruits come in.

Dried beans and rice are ridiculously cheap and often overlooked. And, a cup of brown rice contains 5 grams of protein and 3 and a half grams of fiber. Combine that with half a cup or broccoli and your up to about 7 grams of protein and 5 and a half grams of fiber. (Who was it again that said vegans don’t get enough protein in their diets? This isn’t even a full meal calculated out.)

You can get a 5 pound bag of brown rice and 2 pounds of frozen broccoli for about $6 and it’ll last you quite awhile, seeing as how the rice doubles when cooked.

Now that you know a few of my inside secrets on how I’m able to spend so little on my families groceries every week, let’s get to My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four!

 

 

Related Post: How to Make a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget

 

 My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four!

I may meal plan differently than others, and as a fair warning I’m not a nutritionist, dietitian, or will ever claim to make a perfect meal plan (because a perfect meal plan doesn’t exist). But, I do consider myself to be fairly healthy and follow a vegan diet. I only ever want the healthier food being consumed by my children!

Instead of going day by day for meal planning; I meal plan by the meal or snack for each day. This allows me to move around different meals depending on what myself or family are in the mood for.

Like I said before, what we eat is a personal choice, and sometimes we can’t even stick to our own strict meal. Instead of driving myself crazy, I created a system to be more lenient, and that allows us more flexibility in what we eat when.

Related Post: 10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes My Kids Go Crazy For

 

Super Cheap Vegan Breakfasts

The cheapest and healthiest vegan breakfast options (that are also child approved and requested) are:

  • oatmeal (my 2 girls under 6 suggest apple cinnamon oatmeal- recipe coming soon!)
  • crepes (depending on the filling/toppings)
  • green smoothies (or peanut butter smoothies- recipe coming soon, you’ll just need to omit the cocoa)
  • muffins

All of these options are very cheap and the ingredients can even be bought ahead if you have some time to prepare for your low food budget week. Plus, many of the ingredients are ones you probably already have in your cupboards.

If you don’t have any the ingredients, it of course, will be a little more expensive. To give an example, let’s go over all the ingredients for my girls favorite oatmeal recipe (be advised prices may differ depending on where you live):

  • oats: just under $3 for about 3 lbs
  • apples: $3 for a bag of about 9 (you only need one apple per 1 cup of oats)
  • brown sugar: $2
  • cinnamon: $2
  • (optional: raisins, but they can get a little pricey, as in almost $4 for the larger 20oz container)
  • water: free (it’s getting boiled, but you can use filtered water if you prefer)

So, there you have it; $10 for breakfast that will last your whole family at least a week. Feel free to mix it up, especially if you already have ingredients in your home for other breakfasts!

 

 

Related Post: 12 deliciously healthy kid friendly breakfast recipes for easy school mornings

 

Morning Vegan Snack Ideas

I am a huge advocate on eating snacks during the day, for children and adults alike!

Just check out the A to Z healthy snack challenge my girls and I did when they were a little younger, you’ll find over 130 snacks we tried in a 26 week time frame!

With that being said, I also admit that making 130+ different snacks over 26 weeks wasn’t the cheapest challenge we’ve ever done. Some weeks were much cheaper than others, and we felt that hit our bank account. Luckily, it wasn’t too expensive where we couldn’t afford it, but we would’ve saved money by choosing two or 3 snacks per week instead!

Some of the cheapest snacks ended up being:

  • smoothies
  • baked goods, like muffins
  • and single serving of fruit (my girls love cuties and bananas)

The cheapest way to buy smoothie ingredients is by buying the 64 oz frozen bag of fruit you find at stores, buying bananas in bulk (and cutting them up to freeze and save them), buying greens not prewashed, and using water instead of non-dairy milk. Anything else you add to the smoothie is an extra and not crucial, like flaxseeds or chia seeds; however, when bought in bulk they’re pretty cheap.

The bulk frozen bag of fruit may seem a bit pricey at first, costing almost $10. However, this bag should last you at least two weeks for smoothies everyday for your family, if not longer. It lasts my family about a month because my husband opts out of these.

You should also consider that this is much cheaper than buying fresh produce, even when bought in bulk. The frozen bag has the produce already peeled, cut up, and pits removed; all of which would be weighed and paid by pound if bought fresh.

You can also get about 10-12 bananas for around $3, which is plenty for the week, whether in smoothies, all by themselves, with peanut butter (my girls favorite), or used in baked goods. As for greens, you can get a enough kale for the week (or two weeks) for about $1 when it’s not prewashed or bagged. So, that’s less than $15 for a breakfast or snack that will last you about 2 weeks.

 

Green Smoothie Recipe

Related Post: 27 Healthy Smoothie Bowls and Smoothie Recipes for Kids

 

Cheap Vegan Lunches

Lunch can be a tricky meal for some, as many people aren’t home to eat lunch, but rather at school or work.

But, one of the cheapest ways to save money for lunches is by simply eating leftovers from dinner the night before, whatever it may have been. I know, that’s vague and not too helpful, especially when you have picky eaters.

In this case, let’s get back to basics, and our childhood favorites!

If you can’t feed your family leftovers for lunch, what about sandwiches?

My picky eater insists on eating sandwiches for lunch at school; so, why not let her! They’re not that unhealthy and they can be good on the wallet, too.

To ensure a healthier sandwich than a simple peanut butter and jelly, try peanut butter and banana sandwiches, or avocado and tomato.

You can get bread for as cheap as $2 a loaf, which will make about 12 or so sandwiches (so you’d need 2 loaves). Or, make the bread yourself. This is my go to bread recipe.

Peanut butter is a bit more expensive, but you can get a 4 lb jar for about $6; which should last you a month. (Or, at least 2 weeks, depending on if your kids eat it right out of the jar with a spoon like mine do.)

So, you could get away with spending only $10 additional on lunch for your whole family for the week. (Bananas were calculated above.)

 

avocado tomato sandwich

Related Post: 12 Healthy Vegan School Lunch Ideas

 

Afternoon Vegan Snack ideas

You can do one of other options for afternoon snack as was listed for morning snack, or make it more fun and something your children can look forward to for after school. Such as apple donuts (apples cut with a whole in the middle and peanut butter on top), or chickpea cookies!

If you check out the chickpea cookie recipe, you’ll see that it doesn’t have many ingredients, and most of the ingredients you probably already have. The ones you may be missing are probably chocolate chips, which you can get fairly cheap or omit, and chickpeas. A one pound bag of dried chickpeas is about $1.50, and is enough to make 6 batches of those cookies! (Hint- use the same amount of brown sugar mixed with water to replace the maple syrup, since maple syrup tends to be a little pricey, and omit vanilla.)

To help even more with your budget, and to prevent the ‘Mom, I’m hungry’ rant from your kids every afternoon; make sure this afternoon snack is full of protein. This is why I don’t mind feeding my girls my protein rich chickpea cookies!

 

chocolate chip chickpea cookies

 

For other protein rich vegan snacks, check out 23 High Protein Vegan Snacks for Kids After School Snacks

 

Super Cheap Vegan Dinner Ideas

Whenever I know my families budget for food is going to be tight; I always rely on the stockpile of brown rice, beans, and pasta I have, along with frozen veggies.

A common meal my family may have is a rice, tofu, and veggie bowl. Brown rice can be as cheap as $1.50 for a 2 pound bag, tofu as cheap $1.50, and the price for veggies varies depending on the type.

Another meal we rely on when on a tight budget is homemade soup. I tend to stockpile veggie stock, dried beans, and pasta.

The soup I make will sometimes be based off of this one, with the ingredients adjusted for my families preference and to ensure savings.

For this soup you’ll basically need veggies, veggie stock or a bouillon cube, beans, and pasta.

You could easily get all your veggies, including the onion and garlic, for under $5, pasta at $1, veggie stock for $2, and the beans at $3 (dried, and will last quite awhile). And, this soup make A LOT! As in, it lasts my family of four 2 weeks if I chop and freeze the veggies and don’t cook the beans or pasta til needed.

That’s $11 for dinner for 2 weeks, though, you may want to do the rice, tofu, and veggie bowl as well. So, it could creep up to $20 for dinner for 2 weeks.

Related Post: 11 Family Friendly Quick and Easy Vegan dinner recipes for Hectic Weeknights

Need a cheap vegan meal plan that won't break your families budget? Check out this affordable meal plan AND learn how to to eat cheap meals on a vegan diet! Includes a shopping list and more ideas on how to save money!

Other Base Ingredients or Food

If you may have noticed, everything you may consume in a week may not be noted above. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘but where’s the coffee?’

Extra items that we believe we need, we can simply go without when need be. OR, simplified to make them cheaper.

For the coffee that we, as parents, always need so badly; never buy it out, and buy the big container at the store that will last you at least a month. This way you won’t have to worry about your coffee fix when your budget is tight.

And, instead of buying non dairy coffee creamer, buy flavored soy milk instead! It’s a bit healthier and a lot cheaper, plus it’ll last you longer. If it’s not sweet enough, add some brown sugar to it; you probably already bought it for the oatmeal or cookies anyways!

So, what does this look like in a meal plan template?

 

Click here to download the meal plan! Feel free to print it out and use it for yourself, or use the extra adjustable meal planning template for your own cheap meal plan. (This also includes the grocery list for the meal plan, for your convenience!)

Grocery list for a super cheap vegan meal plan

To make this section as simple and as easy to digest as possibly, I’m just writing it out in lists depending on sections in a regular grocery store.

Fresh Produce

  • Bananas: ~$3
  • Apples: $3
  • Veggies for soup: ~$5 (broken down below)
    • onion: ~75 cents
    • garlic: ~50 cents
    • zucchini: ~$1
    • yellow squash: ~75 cents
    • carrots: ~$1
    • kale: ~$1
  • (optional) Avocados: ~$4
  • (optional) Tomatoes: ~$1.50

Frozen

  • Broccoli: ~$2
  • Mixed Fruit: ~$10 (will last at least 2-3 weeks)

Cold

  • Tofu: ~$1.50
  • Soy Milk: ~$2.50

Pantry

  • Oats: ~$3
  • Cinnamon: ~$2
  • Brown Sugar: ~$2
  • Peanut Butter: ~$6 (will last 2-3 weeks)
  • Baking Powder: ~$1
  • White Beans: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
  • Kidney Beans: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
  • Chickpeas: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
  • Rice: ~$1.50 (should last all month)
  • Veggie Stock: ~$2
  • Pasta Sauce: ~$2
  • Pasta: ~$1
  • Olive Oil: ~$2
  • Salt: ~$1
  • Italian Seasoning: ~$2

Bakery

  • Bread: ~$4

The Price

Alright, so if you added up all of those groceries you’ll end up with a grocery bill of about $66.50.

This may seem super cheap to some people, but a little high for others (such as myself) when thinking of a super cheap vegan meal plan for a family of four.

What you need to consider is the fact that you probably already have some of these ingredients, especially if you’re used to eating vegan on a budget.

For example, this is what I usually have already in stock (and recommend you keeping in stock as well) just in case the budget gets tight:

  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Fruit
  • Oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Peanut Butter
  • Baking Powder
  • White Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Rice
  • Veggie Stock
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Italian Seasoning

These ingredients are non-perishables and I buy in bulk when getting them, making them cheaper to buy for the long run.

Having these items already at home brings the grocery bill down to $24.50. That’s the power of buying in bulk when you can!

And, if that is still too much; don’t make avocado and tomato sandwiches and replace that with peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It’ll bring the bill down to $19, and even if your budget is extremely tight; you should be able to spend $20 on groceries for the week.

You can’t get much cheaper than that!

A few things to remember to for a super cheap vegan meal plan

To recap, let’s go over the gist of eating healthy (and vegan) when money is tight.

  • Make sure you make a meal plan
  • Make your meal plan based on food you already have
  • Avoid eating out at all costs
  • DON’T buy name brand
  • Write down your grocery list and stick to the list
  • Meal Prep as much as you can
  • Focus on Nutrition and whole foods
  • Don’t buy pre-washed veggies
  • Drink water
  • Buy dried beans and rice
  • Buy in bulk when you can to save money when times are tough

It’s never fun to be on a tight budget, especially with kids or when it changes what you normally eat. But, it is still possible to eat vegan on a budget; just don’t expect to be eating something different everyday of the week or buying the highly processed fake meats, or anything else like that.

The closer we get to whole unprocessed, or even local, foods; the cheaper our grocery bill gets. If you live in a place where you’re able to grow your own produce, then you’ll be able to save even more money on your grocery bill. However, that takes time and won’t help out in an immediate situation.

So, take this for what it is; use it to the t, adjust it as need be, or only use the tips I provided. Anyways, I hope it’s able to help you out in a time of need, or if you’re simply trying to cut back on expenses to pay off debt or save up for something.

Don’t forget to grab the print outs for this exact meal plan, grocery list, and blank templates to help you become organized and save money!

p.s. Also share with friends and family; they don’t have to be vegan to appreciate this cheap meal plan!


Need a cheap vegan meal plan that won't break your families budget? Check out this affordable meal plan AND learn how to to eat cheap meals on a vegan diet! Includes a shopping list and more ideas on how to save money!

kids thanks

kids thanks

8 Ways to Teach Children Thankfulness

…Instead of Taking Everything for Granted

Do you have children who you feel are a little unappreciative and need a little help as we head into this month of thanks?

Or, are your children perfect little angels who always appreciate every little thing you do and have outstanding manners?

(If you’re children are the second type, please tell me how you do it. Actually, leave it in the comments so we can all know! We would all be thankful for that!)

If you’re like me, you probably struggle with your kids being thankful, at least for the most part.

Maybe this is why Thanksgiving is the month before Christmas and not the month after; so we can teach our kids what it means to be thankful before they tear open their Christmas presents without a care in the world. If only this lesson stayed with them longer…

Teach it in a Way to Make it Stick

Well, maybe we can make it stick. It all depends on how it’s taught and how many times we attempt to teach them, right?

Have you ever heard before that it takes so many repetitions of learning something before it actually sticks?

Or, that people learn in different ways?

This is true with children as well.

In order to get through this crazy thing that’s called life, with our kids and our sanity in tack; we need to know this and understand it.

We can’t expect our children to remember to do something, or behave in a certain way, after we tell them once. It takes repetition.

If you’re a parent of any child over 18 months, I’m sure you already know this. My 2 year old has been extremely testy lately. Thinking she can get away with everything and anything, including jumping on the couch.

We can’t expect our children to learn something from us, by us simply telling them, then turning around and not doing it ourselves. They may not learn well that way.

You could try asking them questions about what you just asked them to see if they understand, but they may not be old enough. And, it doesn’t always confirm they understand, they may have just memorized what you said.

For children, it’s best to teach by example. You can teach your child by example at any stage in life.

You are their role model; they look up to you (even when they say they hate you and want to be left alone- words from my 5 year old). Your children also think that you are the best person in the world; they trust your judgment and want to copy you.

They may even want to copy everything you do or say, so be careful how you are around them.

Alright, so now that I gave away some of the how to’s on teaching children, let’s get into the specifics of teaching our little ones to be thankful.

1. Start with the basics

You were taught this when you were little. Have them say ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘you’re welcome’. This is a very basic way to teach them thanks.

They may not even understand why they are saying these words when just learning to speak; but at least you’re helping them start this habit. They’ll learn eventually what the meaning behind the words are. And, by that time, hopefully they will truly mean them.

If your child is more than a couple years old, you’ll probably want them to be more grateful for things and ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ won’t be enough; you want them to actually appreciate them, as well.

2. Appreciate what you have

I’m talking to you, not your children this time.

Children copy what they see.

So, if they see you going around complaining about what you have and never really appreciating all the wonderful things that you do have in your life; how are they supposed to?

When your children are too young to be in school you are their teacher! This comes with a big responsibility; you need to act how you want them to act. You need to talk how you want them to talk.

Complaining and being unappreciative pretty much gives them permission to do the same. Which may be why people say that if mom isn’t happy then no one is.

Our kids can pick up on these cues and then mimic them, without even realizing it. (Or, maybe they do.)

So, make sure you talk in a positive manner about what you have; don’t complain. Do this when your kids are around, and even when they are not. This won’t only help them feel more thankful, but you as well, for what you have in life.

Appreciate what you do have, instead of complaining about what you don’t have!

3. Remind them to be Thankful

Because we all forget sometimes.

Remind them about the toys they have, their family, and how fortunate they are to have everything that they do have. Explain to them that not everyone is able to have things like they do.

If they don’t believe that they have enough things, or they just don’t care about what they have; you could always try the method of taking their toys away.

Then, they may appreciate their toys more when they get them back.

Kids these days have so many toys to begin with. This toy issue can cause overwhelm in kids, just as a messy or unorganized home can cause overwhelm for a stay at home mom. So, maybe the best thing for them to appreciate what they have more is to put most of their toys out of sight. This way they can actually play with what they have and enjoy them more. More on teaching minimalism below.

4. Provide them with practice

You don’t have to wait til Christmas or their birthday to give them practice being thankful. You can do this on an everyday basis if you’d like.

Do something nice for them. Make their favorite meal. Play with them. Cuddle them. Read to them. If you have the means, buy something small for them while out once in awhile.

All of those things mean something to them and they should appreciate them in one way or another.

Show them how to be thankful for each of them.

Saying thank you is a nice start.

Tell them how much you enjoyed doing these things for them, and in time they may genuinely say and feel the same way.

If we do this right, they’ll start doing nice things for others and appreciate the fact that they are capable of doing so.

5. Let them know you appreciate them

Sometimes the best thing we can do to teach our children is to show them.

Show them that you are thankful you have them; that they can be thankful for more than just stuff. If you only ever talk about stuff and how you love this or that, but you ignore the fact that you have amazing people around you; then you’re missing out on a lot, including a teaching opportunity.

Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. Let them know how your life is so much better with them and because of them. They have feelings like we do. Wouldn’t it make you feel good to hear someone tell you all of this great stuff about you?

Spread around the positivity and keep love and kindness in your home so your children can spread positivity to all they know as well.

Life runs so much smoother when you show appreciation for people and not just things. It keeps you happy and makes others happy. This is something your child will pick up on and want to do themselves, as well (in time).

6. Teach them about minimalism on a level they understand

Show them how less can be more (or better).

Teach them the difference between a want and a need. They may stop taking things for granted or always wanting more. Show this by example. Don’t constantly be talking about things you want or wish you had.

Show them how to appreciate things you already have and think outside the box on how to use them. Show them how to avoid functional fixedness. Ask them how they can use an item.

For example; kids love boxes!

Why?

Because they can use it for so many different things. Recently, my older daughter has been using old diaper boxes for her baby dolls. She has a few for cribs, one for a bathtub. She’s only five, so she has a huge imagination; I don’t want that to ever change for her.

There are other people in this world who have functional fixedness (I’m not going to name who- but they are generally adults).

They believe that an item is only useful for it’s intended purpose and can’t be used for anything else.

For example, to go back to those diaper boxes; when first buying them you need to open them. People with functional fixedness; they need scissors or a knife to open it (because they can’t rip it open). Now, say they don’t have either of those, all they have is a pen; they believe it’s impossible to do it. For someone who does not have functional fixedness, they’ll find a way to use the pen to open the box. (This is how I actually open diaper boxes, I can never seem to find scissors or a knife when I need one.)

Teach them to use what they have and that having more is not better, even if society tells us it is. This can help them be more thankful towards what they already have because now they know that it’s more valuable than at a first glance.

7. Ask them questions

What better way to teach, than to ask them questions.

Find out how they already feel about things to gauge what they have yet to learn and what thoughts they have that need reshaping. Plus, kids love attention, so if you give them attention by asking them questions they may enjoy answering them. This truly depends on the child and they’re age.

I can tell my 5 year loves it when I ask her questions; she takes her time to think about it and then gets all excited to tell me her answer, especially if I ask a silly question. If you have teenagers; don’t expect the same results.

You could ask them simple questions about what they like or enjoy and why. Or, ask them what life would be like without something; this may really get them thinking and appreciating that they have what they do in life.

Ask them to think about what it would be like to be someone else; have them think from another persons perspective if they’re old enough. And, you may want to write down some of their answers so you both can refer back to them. It can be hilarious what types of answers kids come up with.

8. Teach and watch them grow

You know, there’s something wonderful about hearing a child tell you that their birthday this year is the best year ever. Even when this year they didn’t get as many toys as they did in the past. It’s a nice feeling to know that your child is actually starting to appreciate things in life.

You know, when my older daughter turned 5 last year, that was exactly how she was.

Even though this was the first year we have lived away from family during her birthday, and she didn’t have a party; just a cake, her parents and sister, and a few presents. She made it quite clear how much she appreciated spending the day with us and how happy and grateful she was that day.

This comes from letting her say what’s on her mind (not that I can stop her) and teaching her to make the most of what she has.

Sometimes you just have to let them be; grow and mature into the person they want to be and hope for the best. And, hope that everything you teach them eventually sticks with them.

Getting Children to Remember to be Thankful is Not Easy

…but is so totally worth it.

Take some time and think about what you can personally do to help your child remember. No two children are alike with how they learn and how they remember, so what works for me and my children may not work for you and yours.

Honestly, what works for my older child may not work for my younger child.

I hope no one ever lied to you and told you that caring for and raising children was easy. Because it’s not.

Just because you’re not being compensated with money, doesn’t mean it’s not a hard job. Being a parent your job is never ending, working long hours and being on call 24/7 (literally). You still get compensated, with hugs and kisses and cuddles (if your child is in the right mood), but not with money.

The best you can do to help your children remember thanks is to know them.

Start with the basics and teach them ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when they’re learning to talk.

Be the example you want to see in them.

Be positive and don’t complain (alright, I may be talking to myself right now, because I need to hear this- my husband would agree).

Give them grace and simply remind them to be thankful.

Be thankful for them first.

Remember, and teach them, how less can be more.

Be curious about their thoughts.

And, let them grow into the wonderful person that they are.

Leave any thoughts or comments below, and keep working with your child to be the best they can; it’s not always easy but will be worth it.

If you want more ways to incorporate lessons from Holidays through out the year into everyday life; check out 13 Halloween Safety Tips to Teach Year Round

kids thanks

Other Related Posts:

13 Halloween Safety Tips to Teach Kids All Year Round

THE BEST Vegan Apple Crisp!!

How to Make a Puzzle Piece Wreath; An Easy Fall Craft for Kids


9 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes

Looking for a vegan thanksgiving main dish? Easy vegan thanksgiving dinner recipes? Whether it's salads or a heartier meal you're after, come check out these 9 thanksgiving recipes for vegans!

9 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes

If you’re new to being vegan, or trying to raise vegan children, then you may think to yourself around this time of year ‘what am I going to be able to eat at Thanksgiving?’

Sure, there’s side dishes and desserts that are naturally vegan without making any changes to them. But, what about the main course? Is there such thing as vegan thanksgiving main dishes?

Of course!

Non-vegans may have turkey and ham; some people even call this holiday ‘turkey day’.

Well, vegans and those who eat plant based have plenty of options, too! And, it may not be as difficult as you think to make ‘vegan’ thanksgiving food.

Related Post: The Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Start  by thinking of the food you ate on Thanksgiving before you switched to a vegan diet; what did you eat? What can you make vegan?

There’s a good chance you can change a few ingredients in your Thanksgiving favorites and make vegan options! Such as mac and cheese, meatloaf (turned into lentil loaf), salads, and more!

You could try veganizing your own family recipes, or, check out the amazing recipes below for some delicious vegan Thanksgiving main dishes recipes!

Related Posts:

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

15 AWESOME Vegan Dishes for Thanksgiving; Picky Eater Approved!

Fall Activities for Kids to Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle (Plus Recipes)

9 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes

BAKED VEGAN PUMPKIN MAC AND CHEESE {GF}

Photo from vnutritionandwellness.com

Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving classic, at least for my family! Luckily, you can still eat it when vegan; simply make a ‘cheese’ sauce, instead of using cheese made from cow’s milk. No need to buy the ‘alternative’ or dairy free packaged ‘cheeses’ either (I’m not a fan of those). Follow the recipe above or use this one which makes it’s sauce from veggies.

SHREDDED BRUSSELS SPROUT PERSIMMON SALAD

Photo from theforkedspoon.com

Don’t forget to get your veggies in during this Holiday! Just because it’s Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean you can’t have a festive salad.

Related Post: 10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes My Kids Go Crazy For

Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

At first thought, lentil loaves may not sound that delicious (then again, meatloaf has never sounded good to me), but after trying this recipe; you won’t be disappointed!

Fall Harvest Kale Salad

Photo from vintagekitty.com

 

Trick, Treat, or Yummy Gypsy Soup

Photo from chasingdaisiesblog.com

Alright, so this recipe may have been meant for Halloween, but a nice warm soup paired with biscuits or rolls on Thanksgiving; that sounds pretty good to me.

Warm Apple Butternut Farro

Photo from garlicandzest.com

Try a new dish this year and opt for this Warm Apple Butternut Farro. Expand your taste buds, they’ll thank you for it!

Related Post: How to Start a Plant Based Diet (easy step by step plan for beginners)

Mushroom Lentil Loaf with Cranberries

Photo from avirtualvegan.com

A flavorful twist on lentil loafs, that your kids will be asking you to make all year long!

WILD RICE SALAD WITH APPLE AND POMEGRANATE

Photo from veggiessavetheday.com

Fall is apple season, don’t forget to include it in your Thanksgiving dishes; and no, not just the applesauce!

Related Post: THE BEST Vegan Apple Crisp!!

15 MIN ORANGE, PISTACHIO AND POMEGRANATE COUSCOUS SALAD {VEGAN}

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

Need to through something together quick to bring to Thanksgiving, or hosting Thanksgiving and just found out you’re going to have a vegan guest; whip up this main dish in no time and help them feel more welcomed!

 

These are just a few of the many vegan Thanksgiving main dishes that are out there that you can make!

You can veganize almost any Thanksgiving family recipe, search for more on google, or on Pinterest. I’ve even started a board on Pinterest to collect some delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes. Follow me @stresslessbehealthy

Comment below with your favorite vegan Thanksgiving main dishes and don’t forget to share with vegan friends, or Thanksgiving hosts who will having vegan guests. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the extra help. Maybe you could even make a board on Pinterest that you all share for recipes you might want to try for Thanksgiving; make sure to pin this post for some inspiration and the amazing recipes above!

Looking for a vegan thanksgiving main dish? Easy vegan thanksgiving dinner recipes? Whether it's salads or a heartier meal you're after, come check out these 9 thanksgiving recipes for vegans!

 

10 Clever Nutribullet Uses You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

Have you ever wanted something that made it easier for your to be healthy, for you children to eat healthy? A machine that had more than one use? Using a nutribullet can do this! From making smoothies to home made baby food, to grinding oats into flour and making ice cream. There are quite a few uses it has!

10 Clever Nutribullet Uses You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

Have you ever wanted something that made it easier for you and your children to eat healthier?

Something that maybe had more than one use to it?

Well, I’ve had my nutribullet for over four years now, and I’ve found at least 10 different nutribullet uses, and I’m not talking different types of nutriblasts, or smoothies, I’m talking different foods and uses!!

It took the place of 3 other small appliances I had, saving me time, space in my tiny kitchen, and money from trying to keep everything working. I’ve never once had an issue with my nutribullet for the time I’ve had it!

I got rid of a blender, that seriously needed to be replaced, my coffee grinder, and the baby bullet that I used to make baby food, til it broke (not even a year after I got it).


**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a professional nutritionist. I simply believe in eating well for people of all ages, and I believe that a whole foods plant based diet is eating well, whereas processed foods are not.

Now, you’re probably wondering, what all does it make?

And, why are you so psyched about it? Right?

Well, it’s amazing! You can check out 10 Nutribullet Benefits for Moms if you need more proof!

But, let’s get on to what it makes and how it can be used!

Related Posts:

The 17 Best Vegan Bloggers to Follow on Instagram

The 8 Best Appliances for Moms Trying to Be Healthy!

10 Life Changing Documentaries That Will Make Your Healthier!

10 Nutribullet Uses:

Nutribullet uses #1: Nutriblasts

These are the SUPER healthy drinks it makes that includes fruits, veggies, and some type of super food! And, to be honest, this is probably the one thing you did think of when a nutribullet comes to mind.

These blasts have a blast of nutrients in them after the ingredients are pulverized in the nutribullet, releasing all, or most, of their nutrients. Making it easily digestible and ensuring you get all the health benefits you can from the real food you put into it!

go to smoothie

Nutribullet uses #2: Healthy Smoothies for your Kids

If your kids, or you, aren’t keen on adding veggies or super foods into a drinkable form (yet) you can still us this to make a healthy smoothie.

Use the same ingredients you would as always. No need to have that bulky blender anymore!

Related Post: Healthy Vegan Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Nutribullet uses #3: Make Milkshakes

This small appliance makes it super easy to make milkshakes. My 5 year old is constantly asking me to make her a strawberry milkshake. It certainly beats spending money on fast food, or letting my daughter get a milkshake from a fast food restaurant; who knows what’s in those things!

It’s super simple to make a milkshake with a nutribullet, too. First, chop up and freeze a banana or two. Once frozen, add that and frozen strawberries to the cup, then add in some soy milk (or your preferred milk), and blend. That’s it!

Just make sure you add more milk than fruit, and add a little bit more at a time to find the right consistency for you! You can add a sweetener, too, if you like. Maple syrup works well to sweeten things up, or add some vanilla extract.

Nutribullet uses #4: Popsicles!

My two little girls love popsicles, even in the winter!

I don’t love keeping them in the house, or maybe it’s that I can’t keep them in the house because my girls love them so much!

Either way, it’s cheaper, healthier, and easier, to make my own popsicles for my girls; simply by freezing a nutriblast, or fruit smoothie, in popsicle molds.

This way I have complete control over what goes into the popsicle, and can customize it exactly how my girls want them!

Nutribullet uses #5: Ice Cream!

An ice cream recipe did not come in the recipe book that comes with the nutribullet, so it took me a few months to figure this one out.

I figured it out by accident; but, I am so glad I did! I’m a woman, who loves chocolate and peanut butter.

You know the nutribullet is meant to get the most that it can out of fruits, veggies, and super foods to help provide you with optimal health. But hey, sometimes we need that chocolate fix, am I right?

Do yourself a favor; cut up a banana or two and let it freeze for a few hours, add it to the nutribullet cup, add in a quarter cup or so of peanut butter, about a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and some soy or almond milk. Blend it all together; it makes a creamy, and delicious, super soft serve ice cream! It’s amazing! Plus, it’s still healthy, much healthier than regular ice cream!

Related Post: How to Make 6 Different Kinds of Vegan Ice Cream

Nutribullet uses #6: Makes baby food

I got the nutribullet about a year after my first daughter was born, and had been given a baby bullet when she was almost three months old so I could make her home made baby food. So, for my first daughter I used the baby bullet…it broke just as she was transitioning to real food from baby food. I would not recommend the baby bullet, unless you only need it for less than a year and don’t care if it stops working on you.

For my second daughter, however, I already had my nutribullet for about two years, and it has basically the same blades as the baby bullet (but it doesn’t wear out over time). So, I decided to simply use my nutribullet to make baby food. It worked flawlessly! Even better than a baby bullet because it has more power to it! With the nutribullet I could make weeks worth of baby food and freeze it. This was such a time saver, and sanity saver!

When we had our second child, I was working full time. My second daughter exclusively drank breast milk til she was three months old, then I started making her home made baby food. You should have seen our freezer during this time; it was completely full of breast milk and baby food! This way I knew my husband wouldn’t run out of milk or food for our baby while I was at work. We actually had such a large supply that we decided to get a chest freezer for our other freezer food. With me working, I was a little obsessed with batch cooking and batch baking and then freezing, so we would always have some type of healthy food available!

Nutribullet uses #7: Makes baby cereal

I wasn’t only able to make baby food with fruits and veggies for my second daughter, I was also able to make her baby cereal with it, too. When I saw the nutribullet had a grinding blade, along with the regular extracting blade, I was so happy!

No need for buying commercial baby cereal, not that we had to with our first, because we had the baby bullet at the time. But, I hated the thought of having to buy any of the expensive store bought baby food or baby cereal. I loved the idea of making it all myself! And, I may have been the type of mom with an infant that would get offended when other people tried buying my baby store bought baby food.

(Just because I went to college full time and worked part time when my first daughter was born, and then worked full time an hour away from home with my second, did not mean I couldn’t find the time to make healthy home made baby food to provide for my little girls.)

Wouldn’t you love to have complete control over the food that goes into your precious child, right from the start? No store bought food that you don’t know how it was made or kept, just fresh homemade baby food and baby cereal from nutrient rich ingredients!

Nutribullet uses #8: Grind oats into flour

I never knew how nutrient lacking regular flour was until I started watching health documentaries, and actually started learning some common sense about nutrition.

Like, you shouldn’t only look at the nutrition label, you should look at the ingredient list, and the vitamins and minerals that the food provides, too.

Regular flour isn’t all that great for you, as I started to realize; having little kids and being responsible for providing them the nutrients they need in life; I didn’t want to mess that up.

I want to give my girls the best, especially when it comes to what they are putting into their bodies to help them grow into healthy, strong, and independent little girls.

And, as much as I enjoyed eating cookies and breads made from all purpose flour when I was little; I wanted to make sure my girls were benefiting, not only from enjoying these baked goods, but also from the nutrients the baked goods can provide them.

I even ground up quinoa in my nutribullet to make quinoa flour. Now, that makes an amazing replacement for flour in blondies!! But, with cookies, breads, or muffins, I opt for oat flour!

Nutribullet uses #9: Grind flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are known for a few of their super-food-like health benefits. From being high in omega-3’s to helping people lose weight from the high fiber content.

However, you can’t benefit from flaxseeds when they’re whole; they need to be ground into flaxmeal, first. The nutribullet, unlike a regular blender, has the power to grind these seeds up and make them digestible, so you can actually benefit from them!

Flaxmeal is also used by vegans, or people trying to avoid the high cholesterol and fat from eggs, to make flax eggs to use in baked goods.

So, combine this with the oat flour and other healthy baking ingredients, and you’ll be eating super-powered, and delicious, baked goods. Something every mom needs; making it easier to get the nutrients our kids need into them, and making it more delicious for us to eat healthy! It’s a win-win!

Nutribullet uses #10: Grinds Coffee

And, of course, if the nutribullet can grind oats and flaxseeds into a flour like consistency, then it can grind coffee! No need to have small kitchen appliances that only have one use to them!

A powerful little machine

So, you see, a nutribullet has many more functions than it was probably even meant to have. It helps us, as moms,  feed our children from the day they start eating food, til the day they leave our home.

It helps us eat better and have more energy.

There are so many things we can make with this little machine! I don’t know what I did before I had one. Then again, I didn’t eat as well back then!

I’m sure I’m missing something in this list of what a nutribullet can do or make, so please leave a comment if you can think of anything else! Don’t forget to pin this for later and share!

A nutribullet was a game changer for me when it came to being healthier!

You can go get one for yourself here!

make with a nutribullet

make with a nutribullet
make with a nutribullet

1 2 3 7

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. If you would like to know more, go to the Privacy Policy found on the Disclosure Page.

Close