Eating healthy is hard when we live with others who may not be on the same page as us who may not care to necessarily eat healthier or adopt our diets. Either it's our spouse, our children or even our parents that make food or bring food home that is not exactly what you decided to keep eating. What do you do?
Here are 5 things you can do to encourage healthier eating in the home. If you are working on being gluten free, vegetarian, vegan or just want to make better choices when eating, try some of these ways that can help boost the health morale in the home.
When you find that perfect vegan spread at the farmers market or the juiciest orange you've ever had, don't keep it from them. Buy enough for two and tell them you bought an extra one just in case they wanted to try it. If you make something that your spouse likes and he's looking for seconds, give him your share and make another one for yourself. If you find the best chocolate gluten free muffin and they eat the entire batch, buy more to give them. Be giving; it will go a long way in promoting better health.
- Don't buy foods you want to avoid.
When you're picking up something to go on a picnic or to a party take something that you would want to eat and avoid all the bad foods even though you know others would eat it. If you're taking foods that you know will be expected like mac n cheese, potato chips and salami, chances are, if no one eats it, you don't want to bring those foods back in your house so why buy them anyway? Keep all processed, boxed and fatty foods away from the home as much as possible unless you're buying something sweet for an after dinner treat to cheat. When taking food for others to enjoy, keep the same idea as your own. Just don't buy anything that requires an acquired taste like baked kale.
- Learn to cook great recipes
If you're experimenting, don't expect anyone to eat it if you don't like it. Try to make only delicious foods you've had before or cook foods that you like. There's no sense in experimenting with something that the both of you or your entire family won't like. You want to avoid as many bad experiences as possible and experimenting with foods you've never had or sometimes recipes that you've never conquered will make your sale of healthier eating that much harder.
- Stay positive: don't be discouraging
If you're trying to eat healthier as a team and your team player gives in and goes for those chips, don't be so hard on them. However, if they tell you they had something different for lunch which wouldn't necessarily be what you would have ordered, tell that how great it is that they are making different choices. Don't haggle them for not making a perfect choice but encourage them for trying. This behavior of eating something different is going in the right direction. They just need to keep going and you're there to tell them just that.
- Be supportive
One way to stay supportive is understanding that transitioning to a healthier diet is hard. Eating healthier is done in baby steps, not overnight. Most of us need us to be cheerleaders to support their efforts, especially if they are doing it because you are the one promoting it. Hunger is a terrible evil and if we aren't careful, our food choices can slide back very quickly if we don't get enough support to see the transition through. Don't only be supportive by understanding but stay supportive for however long it takes.
These are ways you can encourage your household to stay healthy. Foods that are naturally better for us make us feel better and have more energy. Don't underestimate the power of not only good food but foods that can heal too. With a little encouragement, you may have your whole family or roommates wanting more.
What are ways you encourage healthy eating at home? Let me know below or send me a hello on Twitter @Cncastrosidea.