Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tip for changing eating habits

I've joined in the 6 Ingredient Challenge and even though this isn't one of the writing prompts for it, I thought I would write some of my thoughts. Hobo Mama shares this yesterday. (I'm a day behind on my blog reading, LOL) Go check it out. There's some great tips and thoughts on changing how you and your family eat!

She asks the following questions at the end of the post.
Have you had to change your family's eating habits? How easy or hard was it to get your kids or partner on board? Do you have any tips for transitioning hesitant family members?

I have definitely had to change our family's eating habits. We used to eat a LOT of fast food, and fruit rollups and other not-so-good things. While we still eat out, I honestly don't think it's very often and we try to make better choices as to where we go.

It was easy to convince Jas that we should eat out less and cook at home more, as well as try to eat more veggies. It was more difficult to introduce the "weird" (or hippie, as he jokingly calls them) foods, like quinoa, flax seed, coconut oil, coconut milk, lentils, sunflower seed butter, and mostly organics. Just because the types of food were different to us as well as more expensive. Also the kids sometimes protest when I won't buy certain things but I've been offering more of their favorite fruits, finding healthier, whole grain versions of our favorite dinners, pancakes, breads, etc, as well as better versions of treats - like granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers, and candy. They are definitely more willing to try things and want to help make homemade versions of stuff.

Some tips I have are the following:
  • Change one thing at a time if necessary.
  • Offer at least one item they love at a meal, and something new/different.
  • Find a better version of their favorite item. For example: we love pancakes around here, but instead of buying the boxed pancake mix (Jason's favorite) I've found a homemade WHOLE WHEAT version that is delicious! No white sugar either, it uses either honey or 100% maple syrup and bananas for sweetness. Another example: Instead of buying boxed blueberry muffin mix, I make homemade ones.
  • Involve the kids (or your partner) in the making of a meal. Getting them involved, especially the kids, really does get them to want to try the food, because they helped make it!
  • Have each person pick out something new to try at the grocery store, or a new meal they would like to try.
  • Prepare for the occasional backslide. You will decide it's easier to just order pizza, or go to McDonald's at some point. Try to avoid it, but if you do go ahead and do it, don't feel bad. Just move past it :) Case in point: I'm so mad at myself right now :(
  • Remember it's ok to have a treat once in a while.
  • For us especially, I try to explain that when we eat stuff like food dyes, or certain preservatives, or eat out at - at least at certain restaurants - we have certain reactions including headaches, tummyaches/digestive problems, brain fog, anxiety/exaggerated frustration/meltdowns, irritation, harder time sleeping, hyperactivity, and just a hard time focusing the next day. Because we don't like the way we feel after eating those things, we are trying to avoid them. My kids seem to be coming around to this.
After re-reading Hobo Mama's post, I realize I have many of the same tips and ideas. LOL. That's ok, that just means they are really good ones ;)