Plan, Purchase, Prep

Senior Health Coach Shelly shares her favorite tips for using the PPP (Plan, Purchase, Prep) method for the whole family!

Us coaches at AHWG preach the “PPP method,” which is Plan, Purchase and Prep your meals! This really helps not only to budget, but also to be able to make better decisions with ease. We tend to make better decisions when we have something planned ahead of time so we’re not tempted to drive through somewhere last minute or order a pizza on the fly.

I involve Jordan, my 3 year old, in all of my planning, purchasing and prepping! We ask him what sounds good, what he would like for some meals and his favorite thing to do is to go to the store with me! When we are at the store, I make it a game almost. I tell him to pick out 3-4 different COLORS of fruits and then 2-3 different COLORS of veggies. That way, he really is getting all the different Phytonutrients that are found in the color of the fruit and vegetable. Then, when we get home, he washes all of the fruit & veggies and helps me store them away. When breakfast comes around, he gets so excited to choose his meal. In this picture, he chose eggs and his 3 different types of fruit. It is so important to get at least 3 colors on your plate at every meal so you can get all those added phytonutrients. Protein is also key to every meal! As for other meals, we don’t let him pick everything but we always make him try something new! Many kids snacks these days are heavily processed so we will buy organic versions of certain snacks. Here are a few other tips to helping your kids eat healthier:

  • BE A ROLE MODEL! From day 1, let your children learn the importance of healthy food! If you come home and eat a pizza and drink a coke, most likely your kids are going to grow up doing the same thing.
  • Cook more meals at home and have them help you! If you have multiple kids, have each kid pick out one meal for the week and they can help you prepare it. Try and make it as healthy as you can! (For example, spaghetti: use whole wheat pasta, which has a ton of fiber, cook with a lean ground chicken and then make your own spaghetti sauce if you have time, or buy a sauce with minimal ingredients. Adding vegetables to bulk up a pasta dish is always a great idea too).
  • Have healthy snacks available. Fruit with an almond butter, vegetables cut up and if they want dip, make an easy healthy ranch dip (Greek yogurt with dill sprinkled in there and a little salt and pepper and mix together)! Cheese and crackers, pretzels and hummus, cheese sticks and turkey roll-ups are a few other choices!
  • If they want a cookie, let them have a cookie from time to time, but try making your own cookies! There are tons of healthy cookies out there to make at home with minimal ingredients.
  • Have healthy food around at all times. If you don’t have the Oreos and Doritos around the house, they wont be tempted to try them. If they want a snack, have the healthy options above available so they can choose one of those.
  • Praise healthy choices! When your child chooses a healthy meal or snack, tell them how proud of them you are! Lots of high fives are given in our house when Jordan makes his own meals.
  • If your child wants ice cream, let them have ice cream! Just have better versions at home.
  • Sit down for family dinners at night. I understand sports and after school activities are a challenge here, but when you are home make it super important to sit down and eat dinner as a family! If your kids helped prepare it, make sure they know how great they did!
  • Lastly, your kids will not always be with you every time they eat. So if you are guiding them to make better decisions when they get older it will teach them how to make these choices without you around. Yes, they will probably eat some junk food time to time, which is normal, but they will still always know the importance of healthy choices and hopefully guide their children to do the same one day!

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