Healthy Eating Habits for Your Family
Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eating Habits
It’s never too late to start practicing healthy eating habits! No matter how young or how old you are, you can change eating habits for good!
I heard you were having trouble getting your family (husband included) to eat healthier options. You are not alone. Unfortunately, this is an issue many family’s face and struggle with daily. (But we will fix that – keep reading)!
I can sense the heartache every time you preheat the oven for those overly processed chicken nuggets after preparing a healthy four-course meal… that no one ate.
Don’t let mealtime defeat you ever again! With the tips found below, you’ll have your family eating healthy meals prepared by you in no time!
15+ Tips for Healthy Eating Habits
Getting our family to eat and choose healthy foods begins with us. It is a learned concept, and it starts with simple examples from you! This practice is best taught to your child at a young age, but don’t worry, there is still hope for your older, more mature son (or husband) with the tips provided below! You do not need to practice all these tips, but I do encourage you to try each one out and find a few that work for you and your family. When it comes to eating and choosing healthier food options, it should be a fun experience, not one of stress and regret.
I would love to hear how these tips worked for you and your family, or if you found other tips and tricks that you’d like to share with other parents! Comment in the comment section at the bottom of this page or share it with us on social media!
1. Give Healthy Options
Avoid purchasing processed foods, especially snacks. Instead, buy organic (when the budget allows) fruits and vegetables. Wash, dry, and cut your produce for an easy grab and go snack or make a homemade version of their favorite snack, like the ones below!
Try One of These Kid-Approved Snacks:
2. Use Color to Your Advantage
Colorful foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables and dishes that feature bright ingredients, are more appealing to children of all ages. Bell peppers, blueberries, carrots, cucumbers, oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes offer an array of vibrant colors and delicious tastes and textures to start with.
3. Prepare Dinner Together
Letting go of the ‘do it myself attitude‘ and the mess is an excellent opportunity for your kids (and husband) to try new things, help out, and feel important when it comes to mealtime. Studies have shown that kids who participate in making meals are more than likely to want to try their creations!
4. Get Rid of Processed Foods
Clean out the pantry of all things processed. Say buh bye for good. Removing processed foods from your grocery cart and pantry will free up room for real food ingredients and surprisingly save you money. To limit the exposure of processed foods, shop the out perimeter of the grocery store.
5. Shop Together As A Family
Before you head to the grocery store, round the family up and have everyone make a list of foods they’d like to eat for the week. For younger kids, it might be fun to cut out food from ads or magazines and make a collage. For older kids, you might be fun to race to see who can pick their foods first.
6. Offer A Variety At Each Meal
Pair your protein with more than one side of vegetables. Instead, make two to three smaller portions of different vegetables. This is an excellent way to make their favorite vegetable you know they will eat, but also introduce new ones! Kids love options and being able to choose what they eat!
Try One of These Kid-Approved Vegetable Dishes:
7. Make Smoothies
Yes! Consuming healthier chooses can be as easy as drinking a smoothie! This is an excellent way to sneak more nutritious foods into your family’s diet without them knowing. Setting a smoothie time into your daily routine can offer excitement and fun!
Allow your family to choose their ingredients and talk about the different fruits and vegetables that went into it; taste, texture, color, etc. You can find all my favorite nutrient-dense smoothie recipes in ‘The Big Book of Paleo‘ cookbook.
8. Have A Picnic
Hit up the nearest park or your backyard for a picnic! Pack a blanket and variety of finger foods, such as deli roll-ups, freshly cut-up fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, and some of their favorites. Enjoy the time spent outdoors together!
9. Keep A Positive Attitude
There will be times where your family ‘doesn’t like‘ something or refuses to eat a meal you made. This is to be expected in the first couple of weeks! Encourage them to at least try it and talk about how the meal could be changed for them to like it. It could be as simple as swapping out a vegetable or limiting the spice.
Keeping a positive attitude and an open line of communication is vital. Kids thrive on negative energy and use it to their advantage. Don’t let them defeat you. 😉
10. Don’t Harp or Restrict Foods
If your kids refuse to eat something, suggest they try something else that is being offered. Avoid forcing or bribing; this will have an adverse effect on the view they view that particular food.
While you want to avoid processed junk foods at all costs, there will be times we can not control our food surroundings (parties, school lunches, sleepovers, etc.). During these situations, allow your kids to eat some chips or cake if they want, but also add some fresh vegetables and fruit to their plates.
11. Be A Role Model
Yes, that means you eat and choose healthy food options too! You are your children’s first and most significant role model. 🙂
12. Introduce New Foods Slowly
Kids hate drastic changes. To avoid failure or long-term issues, transition old processed foods out slowly and replace them with new healthier options. This can be as simple as preparing an extra ‘new to them‘ food, making one of their favorite dishes with a healthier twist, or making a homemade version of their favorite snack.
13. Avoid Snacks Before Meals
Eating snacks before meals will discourage your family from devouring what’s offered. Allow them to be hungry until you are finished cooking, and you’ll be surprised how much they will eat! If they start getting fussy before mealtime, allow them to help to keep them busy.
14. Plant A Garden
This is an excellent way to get your kids involved in picking and choosing healthy options. Having a garden will teach them about responsibility and patience when it comes to growing and harvesting foods.
If you are unable to have a garden, walking around the local farmer’s market has its benefits as well! Start by giving each child a couple of dollars. Have them choose one new vegetable or fruit they’d like to try, bring it home and talk about it (color, taste, shape) as you eat it together.
15. Have A Routine
Kids love routines. Establishing a routine can be as easy as grocery shopping together as a family on Sunday mornings, or having a picnic after school on Fridays. Anything that you and your family can commit too and get excited about doing works!
16. Be Consistent
It takes a child eight tries of something before they can grasp if they, in fact, like what they are doing. Don’t give up even in your moments of defeat. Consistency is key.
The Take Away
You do not need to practice all these tips, but I do encourage you to try each one out and find a few that work for you and your family. When it comes to eating and choosing healthier food options, it should be a fun experience, not one of stress and regret.
I would love to hear how these tips worked for you and your family, or if you found other tips and tricks that you’d like to share with other parents! Comment in the comment section below or share it with us on social media!