So you have adopted a healthier lifestyle! Congratulations!! That is a HUGE accomplishment to make the mental shift from “diet” to “lifestyle” and you need to feel good about that! But, are you now wondering how to get your family on board with you? It can be a daunting task. Believe me, I get it! I have three very opinionated boys and one hungry husband, and they all LOVE to eat! I know they can be a tough crowd when it comes to healthy eating. However, they can be taught. Here are a few things that have helped our family. We aren’t perfect by any means, but we have made progress.
1. Be an example. My boys see that I make exercise an important, non-negotiable part of my day. I don’t push it on them, but they see that I enjoy it and that it’s fun, and so they enjoy exercise too. And when it comes to food–If they know that sweets are a special treat and not a daily occurrence, then they will probably be more likely to make healthy choices, too.
2. Have them help with grocery shopping and with the preparation of food. When we are at the store, I let my boys pick out the fruits and veggies that they want. I also encourage them to help me try new recipes too.
3. Hide “healthy” choices in their food. I always use whole grain pasta instead of white, whole wheat flour instead of white, brown rice instead of white. They can’t tell the difference and they don’t know any other way. You also can sneak fruit into a smoothie or veggies in homemade pasta sauce.
4 Make some of their favorite foods healthier. You can do baked chicken fingers, baked sweet potato fries and homemade mac and cheese with whole grain pasta or quinoa.
5. Offer the healthy option more than once. I continue to prepare healthy foods, encouraging my boys to try them. My oldest son is now a fan of tomatoes in his salad and lettuce on his sandwiches–two things he used to turn up his nose at!
I would love to hear some of your tips and tricks for helping your family join you on your fitness journey!