One of the most common ways we can show our family that we care about them is by helping them making healthy choices. We care for our family when they’re sick, and we encourage them to eat well and exercise. However, what happens when our families don’t cooperate? It can be difficult to convince our family members to eat healthy when they don’t want to, and if they think we’re forcing them to eat certain foods, sometimes we can seem like the bad guy.
So how do we get our families excited about eating healthy? Here are six tactics we believe will do just that, and we hope you’ll adapt them into your family routine!
1. Go slow
Changing your family’s culinary routine cold turkey is sure to freak them out. Imagine if someone pulled all the wheat products out of your house in one quick sweep – that would be sure to cause some backlash! So what do we do instead? While the specifics are totally up to you, one option might be to present a new food to your family every day or every week – depending on how open they are to change. Generally, we recommend cutting your family a little slack! It’s very difficult to switch up snacks from cookies to fruits and veggies, but it can be done – it just takes time.
2. Be a role model
You can’t expect your family to change their eating habits if you haven’t changed yours! While this may seem like an obvious point, there’s more to modeling healthy behaviors than simply eating your fruits and veggies. Your relationship with food is destined to shape your child’s, and healthy eating involves much more than just what you consume. Everything from your serving sizes to your respect of food as a provider of life and path to a healthy body will pave the way for your child’s experience. None of us are perfect, but it’s important to pay attention to your habits to be sure you’re modeling healthy behavior.
3. Try some new recipes
Placing plain Brussels sprouts in front of your loved ones probably isn’t the most effective way to fine-tune their eating habits. Instead, getting creative with the way you prepare healthy food can make trying new foods exciting! Simple changes like roasting veggies instead of steaming them can add a whole new dimension to the food, and cooking with seasonings can spice things up.
4. Get rid of the junk
Once your family members begin to appreciate their new healthier eating habits, they may actually be excited about the idea of purging the junk food in the house. Sticking to good habits is a lot more difficult when we’re constantly tempted by cookies and chips, so getting rid of most of them will make everyone’s efforts easier. While it’s important to have the opportunity to indulge in our cravings once in awhile, when it’s harder to find the junk food, we’re more likely to indulge in delicious fruit or veggies instead!
5. Eat dinner as a family
Eating dinner together every night – or as often as possible – has endless benefits for family members as individuals and as a unit. First, eating dinner with your family gives you a better opportunity to model those healthy eating habits we discussed earlier. Plus, when families eat together, individuals are more likely to make better choices, especially when it comes to serving sizes. While it may be “easier” for your teenage son to grab some fast food on his way home from football practice, coordinating your family members’ schedules so everyone can eat together will do wonders for everyone’s health.
6. Meal prep together
Finally, making meal prep a family affair is sure to encourage your family to eat healthy. Why? Growing or picking one’s own food instills a feeling of pride in that individual’s culinary habits. Even cooking with your family members gives them a feeling of control over their diets – something that is extremely important, especially for children and teenagers. Make meal prep an exciting time spent together and you’ll notice a change in your family’s eating habits before you know it.
Article courtesy of Sunburst Superfoods.