Nothing can be more frustrating than attempting to help your family move towards a healthier diet. After years of trial and error, we have listed below what has worked best for us, our clients, and partners:
1. Set a good example of what a healthy eater eats. All the words, bribes, and pleading are completely useless if you are not “walking the walk”. The bottom line is this: You kids are smart and observant. They are going to eat whatever they watch you eat over the years. The earlier they start to mimic a healthy plant-based diet, the better. Read more about nutrition for kids from our partners PCRM here.
2. Get everyone involved! What is more important than helping your children establish a lifelong healthy eating pattern? Drop a few baseball, soccer, ballet, or tutoring practices and take the whole family to the grocery store to purchase these kid-approved meals and snacks.
3. How much fruit is too much? I’m not sure there is a limit. Buy a bunch of fresh mangos, apples, oranges, and bananas. Put them into a bowl on the kitchen counter and…nobody eats the fruit! Instead, cut all the fresh fruit and arrange it on a plate, and I, once again, will guarantee that the fruit will disappear within minutes. Having fresh and healthy fruit available and ready to eat will be a hit for the entire family and will also reduce the risk of diabetes by 50%.
4. Establish a couple of vegetarian nights per week. If you have a family of meat and dairy eaters, try to establish 2 nights a week as a family veggie dinner night with all the shopping and prepping listed above.
5. Cook together – This is critical! Husband, wife, sister, brother, dog, cat — Get everyone in the kitchen to bond, have fun, and enjoy food the way nature (and science) intended.