Top 10 Tips to Healthy Family Eating
by Rochelle Griffin
You’ve decided that you are READY to make a change in your eating habits. You want to switch the potato chips for kale chips, the white rice for brown rice, the fried chicken for baked chicken. You have “seen the light” and want to bring better nutrition to the kitchen table. What do you do, however, when the other members of your household aren’t quit ready to join you in your new endeavor? In fact, not only are they not ready, they are kicking and screaming at decibel 10…or if you grew up in the 80’s, Spinal Tap proclaimed a decibel 11. (Some of you will get that. Ha! Otherwise, Google it.) I don’t want to see good nutrition become a power struggle in your home, so I’d like to give you 10 tips to help you make the transition smooth.
1. Start small. Going “all or nothing” is a sure-fire way to fail quickly. Make small changes and do so slowly. For example, instead of regular potato chips, choose baked chips OR try Popchips (totally addictive so don’t say that I didn’t warn you.)
2. Get the family involved. Tell them that you don’t intend to take away Friday Pizza Night (as is in the Griffin home.) Trust me, all will breath a sigh of relief. Give them a few choices of a new, healthy recipe and let them help decide.
3. Be creative. Add in spinach or zucchini to your meatloaf or spaghetti sauce. Every little bit helps make a difference.
4. Keep healthy snacks available in the house. Fresh fruit, Shakeology chocolate bars, skim-milk cheese sticks, and homemade trail mix are great choices.
5. Cook meals together. Making it a family affair can help bridge the gap in the ingredients. Have the kids help wash and cut the veggies if age-appropriate. Chances are the family will be more apt to eat a meal that they helped prepare and are proud of.
6. Keep some foods completely out of the house, including soda and candy. Have alternatives handy, such as fresh-squeezed fruit juice or Shakeology Peanut Butter Cups (yep!)
7. If there is a favorite food that you are being fought on by the masses, wave the white flag and pick a different battle. You are better off allowing a particular food in the house (remember this is about moderation and choices) and then introducing other healthier foods into the mix overall.
8. Add in substitutions that the family won’t even notice. For example, Ancient Harvest makes a quinoa pasta that is fabulous. I made the switch and my men had NO clue. Quinoa itself is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids needed to build muscle. It’s also gluten-free and high in iron. I’m able to find this pasta at my regular grocery store in the “healthy” section.
9. Limit fast food. If eliminating fast food completely seems to too abrupt for your family, limit it to special occasions or treats. Don’t make it a regular habit so that whenever the Golden Arches are seen, your family feels compelled to stop.
10. Make it a game. Give a few choices before making dinner on both the main dish and sides. When the family chooses the healthier option, put a dollar (or however much) into a jar for each choice. Agree to go to the movies (or something else) when you reach a certain amount of money. Not only are you rewarding everyone for good choices, you are teaching the family how to make healthy ones as well.
There will be times that you will question yourself as you make this transition. Remind yourself over and over that this is about balance and teaching your family healthy habits. As with any habit, it takes time to establish. Don’t allow the choruses of “NOOOOOOOOO” deter your efforts. Implement each tip or simply take a few that will work in your home. Keep in mind that you are doing this because your family is important to you and you love them.
If you have other tips, I would LOVE to hear them! Head on over to my Facebook wall and share with the thousands in our community. We would appreciate it very much!
To Living Your Best Life,
Rochelle Griffin, RN BSN FDN-P
Rochelle Griffin, The Wellness Detective™, is a Registered Nurse (with over 22 years experience) & a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition™ Practitioner who has transitioned her love for fitness, health, & freedom into a 7-figure International company that now helps others live Their Best Life.
She founded Your Best Life, Inc with her husband Keith after stepping onto the edge of physical ruin with her health & the health of their young son. Having experienced a complete turn-around, they now desire to give hope & support to those who are dissatisfied with their current situation.
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