Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply want to start eating healthier, you know that it’s all a matter of adopting good habits. Eating more vegetables. Cutting out processed foods. Paying attention to macronutrients and thinking of good-for-you foods as a joy to eat. Eating well feels good. Now think how much better it would feel if you could get your family to do it too.
When you can get your spouse or kids to eat healthy food, you help yourself and you help them too. You can get rid of the junk food in the house and eliminate temptation. You’ll know that everybody is fueling themselves with nutrients that build a better, stronger future.
Here are nine of our top ways to get your family on board and get everybody on the same healthy eating plan.
- Have a family meeting where you explain the new food habits you are introducing. Talk about the many benefits of eating nutritious foods, targeting your reasons to the specific needs that apply to your family. After your first meeting, schedule a new session once a week where you address things like reading food labels or how cutting processed or fast foods can help clear up their skin.
- Don’t try to do everything at once, or your family will be sure to rebel! Try getting rid of soda first and replacing it with water, almond milk or green tea. Then move on to switching out snack foods for fruit and veggies, and on from there.
- Make sure that breakfast is part of your family’s daily routine. There is a lot of research to show that kids who eat breakfast do better in school than those who don’t. It’s easy to have a delicious breakfast ready the day before so it’s ready to go. Try overnight oats, or a piece of raisin Ezekiel toast with fruit.
- Pack your kids’ lunches to make sure that they’re eating healthy during the day.
- Clear junk food out of your pantry and replace it with healthy snacks. Your whole family will love nuts, cheese, yogurt, fruit and cut up vegetables with hummus.
- Make sure that every meal has at least one serving of vegetables. Work to make sure that your meals are colorful – it’s one of the best ways to make sure that it is healthy. Here are a few tips to sneak in some extra veggies too (link back to blog on this)
- Don’t skip having meals together. Family dinners are important to your sense of togetherness as well as to encouraging healthy attitudes towards food. And don’t allow television or screens at the dinner table.
- Make sure that you’re making everybody do as you say and as you do – in other words, set the right example. Don’t tell your kids that they have to cut out sugar while you’re snacking on donuts. The goal is to improve everybody’s eating habits, as a family unit.
- Get your family involved. Ask them to come with you to the market and give them options for menu items. Ask them to help prepare the meal. Teach them about the origins of different fruits and vegetables, and what nutrients each offers.