Often time I hear my girlfriends and coworkers say that cooking healthy meals is hard because their family will not eat it and it is hard to cook two meals every day. They say that cooking one meal for them self and separate meal for their kids and spouse is a lot of work. Why are you doing this? Why are you cooking separate meals?
I have a feeling that a lot of people think that healthy food does not taste good. I think that food industry is ruining the actual meaning of eating healthy. They make all these “light” and “fat free” items that taste horrible and have more artificial ingredients to make people think they are eating better. However, they are really eating worse and are also left with an influence that healthy is a horrible tasting food.
Eating healthy is not as complicated as many may think. It is not as expensive as people make it seem. I promise you this. I have done a post before on how much I approximately spend in one week with meal prepping and healthy eating for busy lives. It’s simply planning right, prepping everything ahead, and actually cooking your food from scratch. It tasted better than any drive through. You have to work for quality, we have all learned from early on whatever comes easy is not always the best. I’ve got to admit I sometimes get upset when people say it is too expensive to buy good food, yet their nails are always done, hair is always done, new purse, fancy phone and all the other material things yet their health is taking a back burner. Please do not bash me for this opinion I just think that your health should be #1.
Involving the whole family is the best way to promote better eating habits and healthy activities for your kids. A whole family approach simply means that everyone works together as a team to achieve good health and wellbeing. You are a team, there is a leader or a coach, and that is YOU!
- Lead by example – talk to your kids on why you are eating fruit instead of candy, why it’s important to your health. Talk about exercising together (playing chase with your kids outside is considered exercise). Make healthy fun.
- Start them young– Don’t wait until your child is at an unhealthy weight to institute good eating and activity habits. If you start serving healthy meals and snack when they start table foods they will not know any different.
- Be active together. Make it usual for the family to be active, not sedentary. Start by going to the park at least once or twice a week together and walking. Play chase in your back yard. You will awaken your inner kid and actually have fun and quality bonding time with your kids. They even make family exercise video games. Be creative.
- Cook together. It may not be possible to do it every day, but invite kids into the process of preparing food. I prepare and dice foods for upcoming week on Sundays so invite them to help you. My younger child will point out food colors, shapes and count so its simultaneous learning too. My older son enjoys the authority to choose and prepare foods he likes and he eats it because he worked on it.
- Eat together. Eating a meal as a family sends the right messages about nutrition. Kids will see their parents eating healthy food and may want to try new foods. I know this is not always possible to have the whole family at home at the same time but try to make it as often as possible. This also allows the family to spend time and talk about their day and future plans. I always tell my boys the rule at the table is you have to try (new) the food before you say you do not like it. Even adults are guilty of assuming food does not taste good before trying it just because the way it looks.
If you must, start with small changes. You don’t have to make drastic changes to your cooking all at once. You might start by adding one or two healthier recipes into your weekly rotation.
I am always willing to help people who are serious about changing their life style. If you need help with planning or organizing please feel free to contact me via email.