Encouraging a good diet amongst the whole family can be tricky Especially when it comes to children. They can look at the examples parents set. Meaning they can become quite fussy without intentionally wanting to. However, as mothers, we only want the best for our family and a lot of the time that comes with the food they eat and the diet they have.
We would like nothing more for our family to have a healthy balanced diet. Which is why we go to great lengths to make sure our family is taken care of. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some ways you can encourage a healthy diet for all the family to enjoy.
Look at the current eating habits
The first thing you need to assess is the family’s current eating habits. Do you eat together as a family? Do you eat similar things? Is the diet varied and includes vegetables and fruit? If you are serious about changing the way your family eats then some of these issues need to be raised and addressed. It’s much easier to tackle things when you know what the current situation is. You may highlight some bad habits that have developed over the years. Perhaps you have given into a fussy child over time. Or made different meals for family members to adhere to what they want to eat. All of which cause more problems for you going forward if you don’t tackle them now.
Eat together as a family
One way you can start to encourage a healthier diet for the whole family is eating together. This is a way to set a good example to everyone. Especially children. It gives you the opportunity for family time, and a chance to unwind from your day. Too many times we can rush mealtimes which is why it’s a good habit to start. Eating together can become a fun way of being more closer as a family. Bringing everyone together in the evening.
However, eating together can also be a great way to encourage your family to try new foods. It’s a more relax environment in which some members of the family may feel more relaxed in trying some new tastes or flavours.
Incorporate a diet and lifestyle the whole family can embrace
It can be hard when some members of the family have different diets to others. It can not only cause problems when cooking family meals, but also when buying specific ingredients. Such diets and lifestyles might be things like vegetarianism or veganism. Even taking into account allergies. When it comes to specific lifestyle choices like being a vegan, it may seem like an impossible task to involve the whole family. But by making the lifestyle available for everyone, you make things much easier. Either opening up other family members to new tastes and foods, as well as accommodating for others.
It might not necessarily be the meal itself, but even the condiments or little things you need to consider. This is when you could look at Hampton Creek’s Facebook could help you out. It could offer not only things you can buy but some recipe inspiration and other useful information you might need.
Consider a rewards chart for children
It’s hard to encourage children to try new foods and meals. This can make meal times something you begin not to look forward to. But instead you need to make meal time something, children especially, enjoy. This is why you may want to consider things like a rewards chart. It doesn’t have to be a reward that turns into a toy or anything like that. It could even be the chance of dessert after a meal, a sticker or a new book.
It’s a well-known fact that some children love to be praised and rewarded for good behaviour. While I appreciate that eating a good diet is not something that could be praised or rewarded, it can be a great way to encourage better eating habits. In a positive and constructive way.
Try different recipes for family favorites
There are some recipes that the whole family love. They tend to be the food you make over and over again because everyone loves it. They tend to be something comfort food based and widely popular. Things like spaghetti bolognese and pizza are just some of the things that can be popular amongst the family. But these can be difficult to cook, especially if you are looking at more plant based diets. This is where you could consider looking at your favorite family meals and tweaking them to suit the new healthy diet you are trying to encourage. Bolognese can be made with a meat substitute, or even solely using plant based ingredients. Pizza can be made in a different way. So if you are pursuing a gluten-free diet, you could consider a different way of preparing the dough. Or even trying a vegetable base like using cauliflower. There are plenty of recipes online if you are stuck for inspiration.
Have realistic goals
It is so easy to get carried away with incorporating a new diet for the whole family. It’s easy to become disheartened if not everyone follows the same enthusiasm. So it’s vital to have realistic goals. Trying to change something completely overnight means you are asking for issues and defiance. If your family, for example, are big meat eaters, you might be hoping to incorporate a more plant based diet. So removing meat from everyone’s diet completely is going to cause negativity to your positive changes. So try and make the process more gradual
A great way to do this would be to slowly remove things from the diet on a week by week basis. Even offering alternatives similar in texture as a different way of trying new things. This means that the lifestyle change happens a much better pace for the whole family to get involved in. The last thing you want is for your family to become disheartened with something you feel passionate about. So make sure everyone stays on board and accept the change won’t happen overnight.
I hope this guide helps you to encourage a healthy diet and lifestyle the whole family can enjoy.