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Healthy eating: Make it a family affair
By Mayo Clinic Staff in Nutrition Hacks

Healthy eating: Make it a family affair
Healthy eating: Make it a family affair

One way to make sure your family supports your weight-loss goals is to involve them in your plan. The bonus is that they'll become healthier, too, which is especially important for children who are overweight.

Try these ideas to get the entire gang on board.

  • Keep healthy foods — oranges, almonds, carrots — handy for snacking.
  • Avoid stocking up on large quantities of unhealthy foods — if it's not in the house, they (and you) won't be tempted.
  • Drink water, fat-free or low-fat milk instead of regular soda or other sweetened drinks.
  • Avoid fast-food restaurants. If you do go, focus on healthier choices. For example, order a side salad instead of fries.
  • Take your kids grocery shopping. Teach them how to read food labels. Give them options so that they can learn to make good choices.
  • Adapt your recipes so they're healthier. Sneak in vegetables when possible. Add plenty of spices and herbs for flavor so you won't need to use as many high-fat ingredients like butter and cheese.
  • Let your children help in the kitchen. They will be more excited to eat a healthy meal they helped prepare.
  • Remember that healthy meals don't have to be complicated. Serve a fresh salad with fat-free dressing, a whole-grain roll, and a piece of fruit.
  • Introduce a "one bite" rule. Encourage all family members to try new foods by making it a rule that kids must take one bite of each food on their plates.

Worried that it will be difficult to get your family to follow suit? Keep at it. Palates change over time, and pretty soon the healthier option will be preferred over unhealthy fare.

Everyone benefits when the family focuses on healthy habits — the effort is worth it. Choose one idea and get started today!

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