7 Simple Methods to Help Your Family Establish Health Eating Habits
7 Simple Methods to Help Your Family Establish Healthy Eating Habits
Our eating habits, along with how we cope with stress and sadness, have a big impact on our mental health. Eating healthy food improves your mental resilience and gives you a happier outlook on life. However, eating healthy can sometimes feel like a chore. Most people have visions of kale salad and a mountain of vegetables that they have to push themselves to get through. Here are a few ways you and your family can get into healthier eating that’s still delicious.
- Fill your plate
It may sound counterintuitive, but you’ll want to fill your plate up with vegetables, fruits, protein, grains, dairy, and healthy fats. Make sure half of that plate is fruits and vegetables. This simple guideline can help you get healthy portions of all the food you need and help you feel full in order to reduce cravings. You don’t need a special plate, although if you’re looking to eat smaller portions, you can use a smaller plate.
- Taste the rainbow
Instead of eating Skittles, try a variety of fruits and vegetables in all sorts of colors. They’ll have different minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants according to their color, and can give you a tasteful palette of different flavors. Researchers from the University College London recently reported the results of a study they completed, which showed that eating lots of vegetables reduces your risk of cancer and heart disease-related mortality.
- Try something new once a week
It can be hard to try eating healthy food daily if you’re not in the habit, so make a goal of trying something new at least once a week, like every Sunday. Get your kids involved, too. Involving your kids in meal preparation is one scientifically-backed way to increase their interest and desire to try new foods and give healthy ones a fair shake. Having your children learn how to cook can help set them up for greater independence as well.
- Eat whole grains
Start small by trading out a couple items of processed food for natural ones each week. Eating foods that are high in refined or processed sugars or flours can increase your body’s blood sugar during the day and can contribute to unhealthy weight gain. When you’re looking for pasta or bread for your family, focus on whole grain foods that will keep everyone happy and full.
- Try some frozen meals
Just because you want to help your family eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up on the convenience of meals that are frozen or prepared in advance. There are a lot of frozen meals and foods you can find at the grocery store that are healthy. Look for ones low in sodium and that have high vegetable content. You can also get frozen fruits and vegetables that are higher quality as well.
- Drink lots of water
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration in adults is extreme fatigue. Many children also have a hard time recognizing when they aren’t getting enough water. Drink water when you’re feeling a craving. A lot of times when you’re craving food, you’re actually just thirsty. It may not stop the craving outright, but it will help you get into a good habit of staying hydrated.
- Don’t make any food the ‘bad guy’
Just because you’re trying to eat healthier doesn’t mean you need to give up certain foods you enjoy. Making food the “bad guy” can increase cravings. However, if you’re trying to avoid highly-processed foods, there are simple ways that you can entice your family to eat foods that are good for them. Participate with them in decisions about what snacks you purchase or what food you’ll cook.
It’s clear that eating a healthy diet has profound physical effects, but research also shows that diet can influence cognition, memory, and possibly depression. Eating well can give the whole family a leg up in their unique endeavors and can help them to think quicker, move better, and feel well. Try to implement healthy habits regularly, and your whole family will grow from it.