Mothers today have a difficult job raising their kids. They must keep the family household in order and work hard every day to make sure the chores get done. They often find themselves hard pressed to get their kids to do their homework, not watch too much Youtube, and make sure they attend their extra-curricular activities. With all of this bustle, what often gets left out is making sure the kids are eating healthy.

Although McDonalds or KFC is always calling, kids need to eat healthy food on a regular basis to ensure they get the needed nutrients and don’t add to the out of control amounts of childhood diabetes and obesity cases. With this in mind, here are the things moms can do to ensure their kids are eating well.

Cook at home

A big challenge with getting kids to eat healthy is never being sure what is in the food they are eating when they dine out. Most restaurants use industrial food service companies to provide some portion of the food they serve. These gigantic kitchens get lots of food out quickly but do not put an emphasis on the healthiness of their food. So ingredients that a mom would never put into their food at home ends up being served to kids.

So, moms need to prepare food for their kids at home as often as possible. This means fresh meats and vegetables and steering away from pre-cooked and pre-packaged meals that are very convenient, but offer no real nutrition for kids. This approach will definitely require a bigger time commitment, but the result will be healthier kids with sharper minds and more energy. Your kids will also be able to fight off typical kids illnesses better.

Make sure meals are balanced

Kids need a complete set of nutrients in order to ensure their good health and growth. In order to get this proper balance they need to have the right amounts of the following:

Grains: The best choice are whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. Also be mindful of grains paired with too much sugar like in cereals and baked goods. Too much sugar adds calories and causes weight gain.

Fruits: Kids should get two servings a day of fresh fruits. If you can, make it the whole fruit (whole frozen is a close second), rather than a fruit juice which can contain a lot of concentrated sugar. Dried fruit is a better choice in a pinch and any type of fruit in a can should never be in syrup.

Vegetables: Getting kids to eat vegetables sometimes is more difficult than getting them to put down the computer games, but it is vitally important that they get three servings a day.  You should look to mix up the variety they consume to include dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, potatoes and carrots. Fresh or quick frozen is best and make sure you do not serve anything with high amounts sodium.

Dairy: Dairy is a very important food group for growing young people because it promotes strong bones and teeth. Moms should serve their kids fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you do not believe in consuming dairy moms should give their kids fortified soy beverages.

Protein: Protein promotes the healthy growth and maintenance of all of the body’s internal systems and kids need it in abundance.  You should choose leans cuts of red meats and a variety of seafood. There are also good amounts of protein in eggs, beans, and soy.

Prepare Tasty Meals

When you prepare food, look to be creative and prepare meals your kids will find tasty and interesting too. For example try a healthy pizza with low-fat cheese. Instead of a beef hamburger try turkey or even Tofu. I bet your kids will not know the difference. Get them to eat more salad by putting in nuts and raisins. Finally make healthy and tasty deserts by using fresh fruit and non-fat whipped cream.

When preparing meals, make sure you include each of food groups and lean away from too much sugar or fat. The internet is filled with healthy recipes that deliver great nutrition to kids. Try some of these recipes and you will have your kids asking for them in no time and you will be happy because they are eating healthy.