If you’ve been thinking about improving your family’s eating habits, then you may feel a little discouraged when all the talking you do about the nutritional value of healthy food isn’t being taken seriously.
It’s often difficult enough to change your own eating habits, let alone those of your family members. They don’t seem interested in changing their eating preferences or taking the time to understand the nutrition labels. So how can you help your family stop consuming empty calories and prioritize their health and wellness? Here are a few ideas to try:
1. Set an example.
If you give in and eat over-processed foods just to be sociable, especially at family gatherings, it’s hard to convince other members of your family to take your food crusade seriously. So begin by creating a highly nutritious menu for yourself and sticking with it. Also, instead of trying to convince family members of the health benefits they’ll experience when they eat healthy food, talk about how amazing you feel after you notice a shift in your energy and well-being. In fact, eating leafy green vegetables will become second nature. After a few weeks of eating highly nutritious meals, you won’t have to say a word—you’ll just glow with health and vitality while everyone else is dragging.
2. Tempt your family with great meals.
One reason people don’t eat as healthy as they should is that they are under the mistaken impression that healthy foods are bland and boring. However, once you whip up a kid-friendly Caprese pasta salad, serve some delicious veggie soups, and make some chicken dishes in a slow cooker, your family will ask for more of your tasty, healthy meals.
3. Offer sound ideas.
The more books you read about nutritional information, the more documentaries you watch, the more you’ll be able to deliver profound comments, like explaining exactly why spinach is better than cupcakes. Just toss in a few sage comments when it fits the occasion rather than going on a rant about why food companies focus on profits instead of selling nutritious meals that build denser bones, stronger muscles, and smarter brains.
4. Pace your enthusiasm.
Resist the urge to clean out the junk food in the pantry and packaged foods in the refrigerator when nobody’s home. Although you may feel an almost irresistible urge to save your family from themselves and re-stock your kitchen with a 100% clean diet that would win the immediate admiration of Dr. Dean Ornish or Dr. Joseph Mercola should they come for dinner, avoid making abrupt changes. Heavy-handed methods will only create more resistance. Instead, introduce a green smoothie when your kids come home tired from school. Or pack healthier lunch options for your children for school and your husband for work. Or add more fruits and vegetables to dinners. Or invite more of your healthy-eating friends over for meals.
In closing, set yourself and your family up for success. Even if you’ve finally got everyone to appreciate the value of whole foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, they may regress if you don’t keep enough food at home. A nearly empty fridge can drive a tired and hungry family to order a pizza. By always having plenty of delicious natural foods at home, your family will be less likely to go back to their old, unhealthy ways.
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