Don’t eat the left overs! – how to stick to your weight loss plan with kids.

By author photo Kate Merryweather


We love our kids dearly, right? But they can be little demons, hell bent on destroying our healthy eating and weight loss plans. But never fear. With a few tricks up your sleeve you can be ready for any weight loss sabotage your little darling throws your way.


A quick trick for leftovers

Kids often leave their dinners unfinished. Logically, we don’t want the food to go ‘to waste’ so we’re plagued with temptation to eat the leftovers, and our eating self-control is tested! A nifty way to deal with this is to place leftovers in a container and into the fridge, if they want it later then you can take it out and reheat it for them. Or if there isn’t enough to salvage then scrape the plate into the bin straight away and suddenly, you’re not so tempted. Some foods are even compostable if you’re worried about waste.


Stop buying treats for the kids

The 3pm sugar cravings are challenging, and knowing there’s treats in the house makes it difficult to resist temptation. If you stop buying the usual kids’ salty and sugary snacks you’re far more likely to succeed. The kids will howl in protest. Stay strong. Remember, you’re setting them up for lifelong healthy habits by removing unwanted snacks from your pantry.


Keep temptation out of sight

If you’re feeding a family, you’re gonna have food that won’t fit into your plan. By keeping these items out of sight and away from view I find I am less likely to succumb. Try investing in darker-coloured fridge containers for leftovers. You can put them at the back of the fridge so you’re less tempted to devour last night’s fried rice.


Start a no takeaway family challenge

Having pizza or fish and chips on a Friday night again? It can be all too easy if you’re tired and can’t be bothered cooking. But, takeaway is a one-way ticket to healthy eating disaster. Make a fresh start by avoiding takeaway meals for the entire family for 30 days. Get the kids on board by creating a calendar to celebrate every healthy day and use the money you’ve saved on takeaway to add to a jar to save for a fun family trip to the zoo, beach or adventure park instead.


Get kids involved in cooking healthy snacks

Kids love to cook if you let them. Often kids are more willing to be adventurous with food if they’ve been involved in the preparation. You’ll be shocked to find what veggies they might eat! Try putting together some healthy snacks like hummus with carrot sticks, fruit kebabs, veggie soups and salad-filled wraps.

Home-made snacks like these are usually lower in sugar, salt, oil and preservatives than store-bought alternatives, which is another bonus of family cooking time. Plus, you’ll be able to devour some yummy snacks, all the while sticking to your healthy weight loss plan!


Chew gum while cooking

When cooking for the kids, it’s easy to find yourself grabbing ‘a taste’ far too often. Before you know it, you’ve licked several spoonfuls of cake batter or grabbed a huge forkful of pasta. Your solution? Chewing gum. Pop a stick of gum in while cooking, to help stop yourself from unnecessary taste testing while cooking family meals – a clever trick for eating self control!


Remember, by sticking to your healthy habits around your kids, you’re giving them a wonderful role model of health. Good luck!

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