5 Fun Ways to Nourish your  Family as a Family

Aimee Ramler, Accredited Practicing Dietitian

What does the word nourish actually mean, and how does this relate to us and to our loved ones? Well, according to the Oxford dictionary its meaning is; “to keep a person, animal or a plant alive and healthy with food etc.” My personal spin, is that not only does it encompass keeping ourselves alive and healthy, but its doing so in a body positive way, and looking at food, movement and the world around us as fluid. So here are five fun ways to nourish your family as a family:

  1. Make meal planning a family activity. Sit around the table, get out some recipe magazines or use your trusty friend google, to come up with some new recipes to add to old favourites. Get out a scrap book, or if you are inclined, make a folder on the computer, to keep note of recipes and ideas. Let the kids each choose a meal, or even better…look up the store’s weekly specials and plan a meal around those ingredients.
  1. Get all the kids involved in keeping the family food supply well stocked. Toddlers can help pick those firmer fruits and vegetables from the store (leaving the tomato picking for the grownups), or help place the groceries in to the trolley. Little ones can help unpack some of the lighter groceries, and the older ones can help with food prep like washing fruits and vegetables.

The weekend can be a great time to try out a new fresh food market. Get everyone involved – touching and smelling the fruits and purchasing the meats and fish from the grocery list. Maybe each family member can choose a new fruit or vegetable for the family to try, or maybe the fishmonger has some great tips on how to cook your fresh snapper. Don’t forget to check out what fruit and vegetables are in season, as they will be the tastiest and might save you a few dollars as well!

 

  1. Planning family meals that each member can construct themselves is a great motivator for kids of all ages to eat their supper, and is also a great way to make food fun in your household. Pizza nights, with everyone making their own combination is a perfect start. With Taco Tuesdays and Slider Saturdays (mini hamburgers) being some other fun meal ideas.
  1. Packing everyone’s lunches the night before can help get the mornings off to a less frantic start and may even give mum or dad time to have their morning cuppa. For mums and dads that don’t head off to work, packing a lunch can help keep your body nourished throughout the day whilst you are busy keeping the household afloat.
  2. Put aside some time each week to get outdoors and have some fun as a family. For some that’s walking the dog after school, for others it’s kick to kick in the park on Saturdays. Don’t be afraid to let your kids see your less then professional soccer skills, or bursting that bubble that you still may make the next tour de France. The main thing is that everyone is having fun and getting hot and sweaty in the mean-time. (Yes, moving your body in an enjoyable way, is a part of nourishing your body from my perspective)

For those that are now feeling super inspired by those tips, today might be the day you head to the garden centre and start that veggie and herb garden you have been talking about since last Christmas. Or if you’re a little more like me (and want to save that big adventure for next months to do list), you may just head to the grocery store feeling a little more inspired buy all the beautiful fresh produce around us.

Some taco filling suggestions:

  • Chicken strips/beef mince/beef steak slices/fish chunks/bean mix
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Grated cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Onions
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado/guacamole
  • Red or green peppers cooked or fresh

 

Some slider filling suggestions:

  • Meat pattie/lentil pattie/chicken breast
  • Grilled or fresh pineapple
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Beetroot slices
  • Cheese slices
  • Pickles
  • Grilled mushrooms
  • Onions (fresh or cooked)
  • Tomato relish/tomato sauce/mustard/mayonnaise/aioli