Are you trying to eat healthier but having difficulty getting the whole family on board? If so, you’re not alone.
As a registered dietitian, I’m acutely aware of the challenges that families face.
From stress and busy work schedules to budget constraints and limited food accessibility, many obstacles can get in the way of healthier habits.
Plus, family members may not always agree on what to eat.
Parents following a specialty diet may eat differently than the rest of the family. Tantrum-prone toddlers may refuse to eat at mealtimes while crossing their arms in disgust. Teenagers might stop at the drive-through on their way home from school and skip the family dinner.
While it can feel overwhelming, with a mix of careful planning and a willingness to be flexible, it’s possible to get your family on the same page with healthier habits.
Here are 16 realistic tips for eating healthier as a family.
1. Let go of perfection
Despite what social media may have you believe, there’s no perfect way to eat healthier.
This means that your meals don’t have to be expensive, complicated, time-consuming, or picture perfect.
Instead, it’s important to be realistic and do the best you can to help your family make healthy choices.
Plus, by taking off the pressure to have a perfect diet, you’re more likely to find a healthier way of eating that works for your family.
2. Avoid labeling foods as off-limits
While some ingredients are certainly more nutritious than others, it’s important to foster a healthy relationship with food by avoiding language like “bad” or “off-limits.”
Plus, being too restrictive can create stress and tension around mealtimes.
Instead, take this advice from Aubrey Redd, MS, dietitian, and owner of Aubrey Redd Nutrition:
“Don’t treat any food as off-limits. All foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle within moderation. Consider using the language of ‘always’ foods and ‘sometimes foods. Fruits and vegetables are always a great option for snacks, but you only have birthday cake sometimes when it’s someone’s birthday.”Read More