Expert Opinion

Nature One Dairy x Our Nourishing Table

What are some healthy habits you’d suggest I try to implement in the new year for myself as a parent?

As a parent we always put our kids first, which means that sometimes our needs can fall by the wayside. Here are some things you can do for yourself to prioritise your health.

  • Exercise – prioritising exercise and being active help to increase our energy so we can keep up with the day-to-day as a parent. Exercising benefits our entire body, helping to improve our metabolism, and mental health, reducing inflammation, and improving digestion.
  • Meditation – parenting can be an emotional roller coaster and can take a toll on our mental health. Meditation not only gives you some time out, but it also helps you to remain calm through parenting’s ups and downs.
  • Meal prep – make your lunch for the next few days ahead of time, so when you are busy and in the thick of parenting you have an easy lunch ready to grab out of the fridge and eat. Having healthy snacks like protein balls and muesli slices on hand is also a great way to help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  • Water – don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day! When you fill up your kid’s water bottle, fill one up for yourself and when you remind your kid to drink water, drink some for yourself as well.

What are some healthy habits you’d suggest I implement for my child in the new year?

Kids need everything that we need to thrive. Here are some fun ways of implementing healthy habits in their day.

  • Exercise – there are lots of fun exercise videos for kids on YouTube like PE classes, ballet lessons, and Yoga. Taking your kids out for a bike ride or scooter ride is a great way for you all to get exercise. And what kid doesn’t love jumping on the trampoline with their parent?
  • Water – Ensure that your child has a water bottle that is filled at the start of the day and encourage them to drink throughout the day.
  • Meal prep – Get your kids involved in meal-prepping their snacks for the week. Having vegetables and fruits already chopped up and in containers in the fridge is a great way to make healthy snacks accessible and easy for them. Chop up carrot sticks and keep them in a jar topped with water in the fridge, slice up celery sticks, cucumber sticks, and watermelon and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. Make some yummy protein balls together to keep in the fridge to snack on throughout the week.
  • Meditation – children are learning how to control their emotions and encouraging them to meditate can help them to do this. There are lots of meditation apps specifically for kids now that are fantastic!

Are there any health trends you predict for the new year, and should I jump on board these?

I think the biggest trend for 2024 will be healthy convenient foods. We are living in a fast-paced world. As our kids grow up, life gets filled with soccer training, gymnastics, music classes, and school events. Finding healthy foods that are quick and easy is where it’s at next year. Foods with “real ingredients” with natural sweeteners, no artificial preservatives or colours and healthy, quality ingredients will become more and more popular.

I’m trying to keep costs down next year, what are some low-cost healthy foods I should be purchasing?

Legumes like chickpeas and lentils are low-cost and healthy food that is a fantastic protein source and great for your health! They provide prebiotics, which help to promote gut health and are a great way of adding nutrient density to your meals, on a budget. Tinned tomatoes are always handy to keep in the cupboard to make a quick meal out of. Did you know that tomatoes are more nutritious when they’re cooked as the Lycopene content increases?

Also, keep an eye out for in-season fruits and vegetables as they are always cheaper to buy than out-of-season produce.

Any other tips to keep costs down when it comes to my food shopping?

Meal planning is essential for keeping the grocery bill down. If you go to the shops without a plan or a list, you are more likely to spend far more than if you went in prepared. Shopping online is a great way to keep your bill down as well, as you can see the running total for your grocery bill and take things out of the cart that aren’t essential if the bill is getting up too high.

I also recommend shopping from your cupboard, which means looking in your cupboard to see what meals you can make out of those ingredients first, before hitting the grocery store.

And lastly, don’t go shopping hungry, it never ends well!

About the author

Sarah Bell is a Nutritionist and healthy recipe developer. Being a mother of 3, Sarah is passionate about pediatric nutrition and turning fussy eaters into well-rounded eaters. She loves creating family-friendly recipes that are easy to make and taste delicious.
As a Nutritionist, Sarah knows the importance of gut health to our overall health and wellbeing. Because of this, she loves creating recipes using wholefood ingredients that promote good gut health and that are free from refined sugars.