Busyness – it sure can get the better of us. No matter how good our intentions to eat well and hit the gym are, there always seems to be one or two (or sixteen) things that get in the way. Beth Bonfiglio understands. As both a busy parent and the founder of the parents’ food hub Little Fusspots, Beth is more than qualified to offer some expert advice for mums and dads hoping to stay on top of their nutrition this year.

You’re busy, right? I know I am. It’s rare in this frenetic modern age to meet somebody who isn’t busy. Yet, you know that if you want to sustain the pace in the long race to the finish line, you need to take care of yourself and your children, too.

You probably think that’s a tall order given how things are at the moment, but if you don’t pay attention now, it’s going to come back and haunt you later. So, let’s take a few moments out of your busy day to talk about how you can stay on top of your nutrition and your children’s nutrition. I promise that your reward for these few moments spent will be greater than from anything else you do today.

Diets Suck, Big Time

Before we get started on the main courses, let’s enjoy a quick appetizer tip: – diets suck. No, really, they suck.

You may think that you can play ‘catch up’ by following some fad diet, quaffing a few glasses of reconstituted powder or downing some tablets. You can’t.

True, you will see some short-term gains. That’ll make you feel better…in the short term.  In the long run, you will feel worse. Diets deprive you of essential body resources such as vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. No wonder you start to feel awful. The tricky bit is that often, we don’t even realize the connection between the diet and how awful we’re feeling – we just think we’re sick.

So, what happens? Most likely, we stop the diet because our feeling yucky drains our energy to be patient with the diet powders and tablets which don’t taste good and are no fun anyway. Then we gain the weight back and perhaps put on even more.  We feel even worse then.

If you’ve ever been in such a diet cycle, then know that most of us have, too. Fortunately, there’s a better way to good health, and it’s not rocket science.

Develop A Healthy Eating Routine Instead

Look, being healthy isn’t a big deal. There are plenty of healthy executives that get up at the crack of dawn and don’t leave the office until late at night. They all have one thing in common and you can have it too – a routine.

Being healthy isn’t an accident either. You just need to do a little planning. If you could just find 30 minutes of prep time a day (perhaps a little less TV or computer time; maybe a few less text messages), you and the family would be able to eat healthy.

Healthy eating Tip #1: Make packed lunches at night for yourself and your family members. Don’t eat lunch on the fly from some burger bar. The average school cafeteria is not where you want your children getting their nutrition from. when you pack the lunches, you are in control, so you can balance those meals and make them healthy.  If you are pressed for time, you could even make some parts in batch. For example, carrot and celery sticks can stay for up to a week in a covered container of cold water in the fridge. Each day just drain the needed amount, pack, and you’re set.

Healthy eating Tip #2: Get up 10 minutes earlier and make breakfast. Go for a good nutritional balance. Throw away the Frosties and Coco-Pops. You don’t need them. Nobody needs them. It doesn’t have to be something fancy and time-consuming. A quality bread (toasted or not), a quality spread (good cheese, avocado slices, a nut butter if no allergies, etc.), and a quality drink (juice, milk, herb tea, etc.) take only a few insignificant minutes to prepare. The difference, however, to your and your family’s health will be quite significant.

Healthy eating Tip #3: Make sure you and your family get enough sleep. The more sleep you get, the better you will feel, the less stress you will have, the easier life will be to manage, the more time you will have, the simpler it will be to eat healthy because now you’re feeling more optimistic.

The Secret to a Healthy Life: Meal Planning + More Sleep

Yes, that’s basically it. Pretty simple, right? Probably something they ought to teach you at school, but apparently, they felt you needed to know the Periodic Table, instead. How many times did you use that this week? Yeah, me neither.

Want an even bigger boost to this routine? Swap one meal a day for a healthy fruit or vegetable smoothie—the greener the better. you will get your vitamins, natural sugars and healthy energy boost and drop a few calories at the same time. It’ll be filling, and you won’t miss the meal you gave up.

As with all new things, though, it could take some time to get used to.

But if you keep optimistic and consistent, eventually, even your kids will like the new routine after a while. Remember that you can tailor their routine to support them feeling better and healthier than ever. in the end, everyone wins…and that’s the point.

To hear more from Beth, head to www.littlefusspot.com.