Eating better, losing weight, and getting fit are three of the most common resolutions that Americans make when January rolls around. There’s reason for this; obesity is a full-blown epidemic in this country, and it is affecting more adults and children each year. Today, roughly two out of three U.S. adults and one out of three children and adolescents are overweight or obese.
Because the majority of American adults work long hours at sedentary jobs and children have less unscheduled time for active play than they did in the past, making a healthy diet and fitness a priority is important for any modern family. If your family has made the decision to eat better in the New Year, we’ve come up with a few handy tips to help you transition into your healthier lifestyle.
- Adopt a house-wide health resolution. If you want your children to get quality nutrition, you must remember that you are on the front lines—what you bring into the house determines the type of food the kids have access to. Limit junk food, and be sure to buy and cook a variety of vegetables and healthy grains each week. This way, your kids will see that there are plenty of delicious ways to eat healthfully.
- Hire a nanny who prioritizes health and can cook nutritious meals. This is beneficial in two ways. First, you won’t need to worry that your kids aren’t getting healthy meals while you are at work, which reduces stress and in turn helps you stay healthier. Second, your nanny will be able to expose your child (and your family!) to nutritionally diverse meals that may be different than the meals you cook when you’re home. If you have a picky eater, hiring a nanny who cooks is certain to broaden your child’s palate.
- Make a list that clearly defines your “house guidelines” for food. Keep it where you’ll see it—for example, on the fridge or the wall by the pantry. Make sure the list is primarily positive, and have the kids decorate it so it feels more like an art piece than a straightforward list of rules. A secondary benefit? Anyone who enters your kitchen will know what kind of food to expect in your home, and your nanny will have a great reference point whenever she cooks for your children or needs to restock the cabinets.
- Avoid the word “can’t” when talking about foods you avoid. Studies have shown that people who say they “don’t” eat a certain thing (gluten, sugar, dairy, etc.) do much better at sticking to their resolutions than people who say they “can’t.” Scientists believe this is because with the word “don’t,” people are reminded that they are deliberately making a lifestyle choice, not being forced into healthy eating. Committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need to feel like a prison sentence—it’s all in how you frame it.
- Model good eating behavior yourself. Kids will naturally mimic your attitudes toward food. If you have a nanny who watches your children while you are at work, be sure to include “demonstrating good eating behavior” as one of her nanny responsibilities. Because your child will likely look to him or her as a role model, you might want to consider requiring your nanny to follow your family’s dietary rules and restrictions while he or she is in the home.
So, How Do I Find a Nanny Who Cooks Healthy Meals?
When seeking a nanny whose lifestyle matches your own, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional nanny agency. At the Nanny Authority, our placement specialists work with a variety of experienced nannies whose culinary abilities range from preparing simple meals for children to cooking large gourmet family dinners. Some have even worked as private chefs! Take a moment to think about your ideal nanny, and come up with a list of nanny responsibilities and requirements. It’s helpful to also consider what nanny benefits you would be willing to offer. Your placement specialist will be able to recommend qualified candidates whose culinary skills match your requirements and set up interviews with any you are interested in meeting. Contact us today to find out more!