A food trap is any situation, place, or time where it is hard to eat healthily and make healthy choices. We all suffer from food traps. There is no surprise here, we all have food traps and in some cases might be more specific to the individual or family, below are a few tips to help you and your family avoid some of the most common food traps out there.
Food Trap #1: Vacations, Holidays, & Family Gatherings
Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean you need to stop eating healthy or stop working out. Remember how long it took you to get into the habit of making healthy choices. Pressing pause for a vacation will make it that much harder to get back to where you left off before vacation.
Plan out your meals ahead of time, find restaurants you want to go to and look at the menu before you go. Opt to split meals with the family if portions are too big, or skip dessert. Avoid eating fast food no matter how convenient it might seem.
Stay active on vacation! You can plan to be active with the entire family, or schedule time to take a moment for yourself! You don't need to work out every day you are on vacation but plan to work out a few of the days. (Keeping as much of your routine as you can help you in the long run jump right back in where you left off before vacation).
Who else completely overdoes it during the holidays? Holidays are often centered around food and it can be really hard to avoid...
Bring your own healthy options to holiday parties
Don't lose sight of your own goals and what you and your family are eating (portion control, serve your family if needed)
Celebrate for the day, not the entire month!
Eat healthy again the next day
Make sure everyone drinks plenty of water
Some families have lots of family gatherings which usually means a lot of family comfort foods. Usually, family gatherings are all day events with more than enough food for everyone. When grandma, mom, or dad makes that one dish that everyone loves it's hard to avoid it! Avoiding family gatherings is not an option, so it's important to still attend family functions but to make sure that we don't overdo it.
Still, enjoy those comfort foods but eat smaller portions, try not to overeat! You'll feel better in the long run.
Get family support. Let the family know that you would like to keep your family and children on the road to great health. Remind them you are helping your child make healthy choices that will last a lifetime. If the family can support it, it'll be much easier as a team.
Food Trap #2: Snack Time
I even have issues with this one! After school, it's so easy for children to come home and want a snack. Kids come home stressed out, bored, or all wound up from the day. It's really easy for kids to just grab whatever is in the house and eat.
Make sure you have healthy snack options in the house (veggies, microwave popcorn, fruits, jello, fruit snacks, soups, etc...)
If your child wants a snack to pick out a snack for them or come up with a list of healthy snacks they can pick from (make sure you have them in the house).
Talk with your kids on the importance of eating healthy foods
Keep your children entertained so they aren't bored. Come up with other things to do like play outside, dance, color, fly a kite, or go for a walk.
Make sure your children eat balanced meals throughout the day to avoid the need to snack
Food Trap #3: Time
Finding time every day or once a week to meal prep and plan out everything can be really difficult. Finding even more time to stay active as a family can be even harder! If you plan ahead, there are ways you can fit in great family time and physical activity!
Plan in advance as a family day that you want to be physically active (playing outside, family walks, a dance-off, etc...) It doesn't have to be for hours at a time but plan out 15 minutes a few times a week to do something as a family that involves physical activity
Make easy dinners
Plan ahead your meals that can be converted into round 2 meals
Keep healthy foods and snacks on hand! (freezing meals is your best friend!)
Check our Kid Friendly Meal Prep Blog for more tips on planning meals ahead of time