Adults can be picky with their food, but anyone who has children (especially small ones) knows that it can be next to impossible to get them to take one bite of any substance that they have deemed unacceptable. In addition, it seems that food manufacturers and advertising companies have conspired against parents by creating products and packaging that are designed to catch the attention and capture the taste buds of children with boxes covered in cartoon figures that are full of little other than sugar and air.
You love your family, and want them to be healthy, so you’ve decided that it’s time to clean up your collective act by changing your eating habits. But how do you get a stubborn spouse, or even more stubborn kids on board with change? Desperate times call for desperate measures… so it’s time to get tricky with your game plan.
Make healthy swaps in the foods they already love
Is your hubby hooked on salty, store-brand deli meats in his sandwiches? Next time you’re at the deli, make the switch to McLean Tuscany Turkey. There’s so much extra flavor from all the delicious spices in it, he’ll never want that nitrate-laden store brand stuff again! If your little one loves spaghetti, try switching to brown rice or quinoa pasta; they probably won’t even notice once it’s topped with sauce!
One of the easiest things you can do to make a difference in your family’s diet is to buy as much all-natural food free of preservatives as you can afford. Making the switch to all-natural meats, humanely produced dairy, and fruits and vegetables grown with minimal pesticides may actually encourage your family to make more healthy choices because the food just tastes better!
Do your meal planning and prep ahead of time
Planning out and posting available meal options for the week will let your family feel like they are getting to choose what they eat, when in reality, every choice on the menu is healthy for them. Prep food and freeze dinners ahead of time so your picky eaters have options. Half the battle in making an “assertive” toddler eat something is letting them feel like they picked it out themselves, so limiting their choices to things that are good for them tends to work out well for everyone involved.
Tell them why you’re making the healthy changes
Tell your family that the reason you’re making healthy changes is because you love them; you want your spouse to live to a ripe old age with you, and you want your kids to grow up to be healthy, strong, and happy superheroes. Even though they still might occasionally fight you on food choices, it’s very likely that your nurturing plea will appeal to them, and they’ll be less likely to push back.