5 ways to create better food habits for your children

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Feed the Brain: thesomegirl from Getty Images

Remember when ice cream was a 'once a week' treat?

Ice Cream Sundae came about because ice cream was for Sundays only (we have no idea why the spelling is different, do you?)

ice cream sundae
Photographer: Wan Kurniawan | Source: Unsplash

The point is, we've gone from 'once-a-week treats' to treating most days. That’s a lot of extra added sugars. Of course, this increases still further during the summer holidays and explains why ice-cream production is maxed out from June.

Our 5-Step Guide for Healthy Food Habits will put you on track to preparing kids for a better future with food. Re-route bad habits; maintain a healthy weight, avoid the type 2 diabetes craze, and create awareness around added sugars and unhealthy foods by keeping a weekly healthy staple for promoting healthy food habits.

School’s Out For Summer!

Habit-forming rituals to celebrate summer usually include the 'bulk buy' ice cream shop, keeping it at the top of the list as the most popular summer treat.

What if we could replace ice creams with summer smoothies and shakes?

What if we could re-wire our children's minds to choose treats that actually include real food – no numbers, no weird sweeteners, just good old-fashioned food?

How about we get crazy and add some ingredients they wouldn't normally eat during mealtimes, taking the pressure off mealtimes? What a pleasure that would be!

Of course, there is nothing wrong with treating your kids to ice cream. We are all about sparking joy in those taste buds here at Love Struck. But, we are also about promoting healthy lifestyles.

Kids love a milkshake and smoothie, too. If we give them more healthy options, one day we might be able to trust in their food decisions – no, really!

This brings us to the first – way to Create Better Food Habits

1. Create a positive approach to healthy food

Harvard (and who doesn’t trust Harvard?) highlights the benefits of family mealtimes in this article. Family therapist Anne Fishel states that “kids who grow up having family dinners, when they’re on their own tend to eat more healthily and have lower rates of obesity.”

Start Right (NHS) states that we should sit together at mealtimes. No TV. No distractions. But, here’s what they don’t say and where the habit-changing magic occurs.

Discuss the food you’re eating.

Help your children understand what they are eating, how it’s prepared, and the end result before landing on their plate.

Get them thinking about processed versus non-processed as early as possible. Better still, involve them in the food prep. Talk about the ingredients that ‘power’ and ‘punish’ teeth, brain, and digestive system. Even a two-year-old can understand some basic principles. Start early.

And if you find yourself eating fast food together, why not discuss the pros and cons together?

2. Make Nutritious Food that is Tasty and Fun

General eating habits are formed in the first few years of life, so it is essential to start as you mean to go on. Or, as you mean for them to go on. In other words, make it a habit by involving them in the ritual of picking and prepping – think

  • eggs
  • berries
  • potatoes
  • spinach
  • kale -the list goes on

These memory-making moments help these healthy foods become a staple in the future. So, be sure to make them tasty, too.

Back to Harvard, “Early childhood is a critical time for children to adopt strong nutritional practices, engage in physical activity, and create other healthy habits.”

But we say, ‘it’s never too late to form healthy habits!”

Nutritious food can be fun and tasty. Take the Love Struck Blueberry Thrill, for example, with

  • raspberry
  • blueberry
  • banana
  • flaxseed (yes, you get to sneak flaxseed into their weekly diet!)
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Blueberry Thrill Smoothie

3. When Life is Busy, Make things Simple (Simple = Successful Habit)

Think frozen (not the film). Seriously, frozen is the new fresh. In many cases, it’s an improvement.

According to this feisty founder of Food Renegade, Kristen Michaelis CNC, a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2008, in the U.S., apples generally ripen between August and September. They are then picked when slightly unripe, treated with a chemical called 1-methylcyclopropene, waxed, boxed, stacked on pallets then kept in cold storage warehouses for an average of 9-12 months.

There’s nothing fresh about that!

Produce that is 'flash frozen' has all the essential nutrients and is frozen within a few hours of being picked.

Love Struck guarantees that fruit and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness, then washed, sliced, diced and sorted before being 'blast frozen'—all within 3 hours.

As life gets busier, convenient nutrition can be embedded into their mindsets to create an ongoing awareness of eating a healthy diet.

So, next time you feel bad about buying frozen fruit or veg, consider the preservation process that fresh may undergo before being sold as so-called ‘fresh’!

4. Use Healthy Food to Reward and Treat

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Even Kids Love Green Smoothies with a dash of maple syrup or honey

This time we are drawing on the knowledge of the University of Rochester Medical Center. Though they seemingly contradict our point to reward with food, they are mostly referring to rewarding with unhealthy food, which is, when you think about it, quite ridiculous. And, yes, we’ve all done it. As parents, it’s the ‘go-to’ bribe.

But think about it like this: you are punishing your child while rewarding them with sugar, sweeteners, and bad forms of saturated fats. Given regularly, these are detrimental to their mind and body. We say, let’s turn this habit into a positive. Try rewarding with healthy food.

If it doesn't come natural, fake it until you/they feel it. Frozen edamame beans are one of the tastiest savoury snacks. After a few minutes of boiling in salty water, grab from the freezer, add a sprinkling of garlic pepper, and have yourself a bowl of comforting 'picky' food – perfect for a Friday night film. So ditch the french fries and popcorn and form a new healthy food habit.

A ready-prepped frozen smoothie pack is just seconds away from being a tasty slushy drink if you whiz a few ice cubes with it. Dr Beet Smoothie and our popular Kale Kick pack some healthy ingredients that are usually fairly tricky to weave into a weekly diet. And yet, they’re tasty, refreshing smoothies just perfect for sipping in the sun!

5. The Most Successful Habits Happen in the Morning

Naval Adm. William McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, said the following about making your bed in the morning-

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task will have turned into many completed tasks.
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

It’s the same with food. Make breakfast the nutritious ‘staple start’ to the day—swap cereal for a smoothie or something oat-based that will keep them fuller for longer.

Why not add part of a smoothie to the porridge for a quick flavour boost, and leave the rest as a healthy drink accompaniment?

Either way, a ready-sliced, frozen Love Struck smoothie pack is an easy go-to to ensure that a nutrition fix can be achieved first thing in the morning to set the food tone of the day. It’s not just a smoothie; it’s a lifestyle choice and a way to set a #goodmoodfood.

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Prepped, Frozen and Ready to Mix

Why Healthy Can Be Hard

Let's look at some of the wording our educational ports of reference provide and see what's out there to help us adhere to it.

The British Nutrition Foundation state in their 'children' section,

"We aim to give people access to reliable science-based information to support anyone on their journey towards a healthy, sustainable diet."

Unfortunately, there’s very little advice for real-life, habit-forming behaviours. Their ‘reliable science-based information’ is drowned out by noise from the ‘big bad manufacturers’ pumping all kinds of preservatives into products to keep them edible for longer. They are taking much of our children’s attention by teasing them with treat-like images of chocolate-covered rice pops and the like.

Occasionally, a school project will guide kids toward a Nutrition Foundation website to learn about healthy food, but this is not enough to create better food habits for life.

For those of us contributing to healthier, more accessible choices by creating healthy and easy alternatives to achieve that 'sustainable diet' mentioned above, we will continue to educate while selling products. Yes, we push our smoothies, shakes and soups, but that’s not our only goal. We are all about healthy habits, and we truly believe the Love Struck habit is a healthy one!

At Love Struck, we want to redefine the ‘treat’. Of course, we love ice cream, but by introducing some healthy options into the treat mix, our children are aware that healthier alternatives exist and can be just as delicious.

One of the most challenging roles as a parent is finding healthy food that children will eat. Life is about embracing ‘new’ and ‘different’ and should be the same for food. Introducing a new taste is like introducing a new experience. On the subject of adding new, keep an eye out for two new soup flavours to compliment our popular Sweet Potato Glow and Give Peas a Chance.

Our shakes are super indulgent and are a sensible treat with real ingredients. You won't find any questionable numbers or artificial colours across the packaging. Real fruit, real veg and the colour of those reflect the result. And that's how it should be. The bonus? Freezer to smoothie in 60 seconds – here's our film to prove it.

If the summer holidays (break from routine) result in you bending rules, pizza on a Tuesday or that weekend cereal treat you like to avoid is now a morning ritual, and you’re refilling the snack drawer every two days, you need an intervention.

Break the cycle with new, healthy habits.

Apply one healthy food habit in the morning and plan one for the end of the day, and you have yourself a new and improved lifestyle with healthy habits set to become a new way of life.

Next time there's an ice cream request – check those ingredients. You’ll notice some unusual names or numbers, and let this be your reminder to reduce this particular treat and opt for a smoothie or shake instead. Creators like us have good intentions and will use real ingredients, even with our indulgent shakes.

Shouldn’t strawberry-flavoured ice cream contain strawberries?

Summary and Subscription

Love Struck subscriptions are a great step toward one of your healthy habits. Frozen packs are ready to pour into your blender. Add juice, coconut water, any type of milk or perhaps water with a dash of maple syrup, and there’s a new daily, healthy treat right there – easy.

Each pack is the perfect portion, peeled and sliced to save you the trouble and the waste. Starting at £1.65 per smoothie, you get more than one type of fresh produce along with other super ingredients. A typical pack of fresh produce from the supermarket will likely cost over £2. And then there are those weeks you find it at the back of the fridge, forgotten and fit only for your compost bin.

It’s also worth comparing the cost of ice creams that take up space in your freezer as the only ‘go-to’ treats without nutritional benefits and likely contribute to future dental bills!

Make some space in your freezer for your Love Struck subscription packs and transform the ice cream habit into one that positively changes your child’s future with food.

Ask yourself – can I create better food habits for my family?

The answer is YES, you can, and we are here to help!


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