Getting Your Family to Eat Healthy (Kids Included!)
I often hear a lot of women say that it’s difficult for them eat healthy because either their husband doesn’t want to eat healthy and/or their kids refuse to eat healthy foods and are very picky. So what usually happens in these situations is two things. Either women try to eat healthy for a while, then eventually give in to all the goodies in their house because they can’t resist that bag of chips in the pantry or the ice cream in the freezer. Or, they spend a lot of time cooking two different meals so they can still eat healthy, but also keep their family happy with another meal, which gets very tiring over time.
Now, before you tell me how you have tried to get your family to eat healthy and nothing has worked, let me just say I completely understand. I have been there! My kids have complained about having to eat spaghetti squash, instead of plain ‘ol spaghetti. My husband has frowned multiple times whenever I cooked fish. I have cooked separate meals for myself, and then meals for my family. But, eventually I realized that was taking up way too much time and effort to do, plus why did I feel like I had to cater to my kids and what they wanted to eat? I eventually made the choice that I was going to quit buying tons of junk food and processed crap for them to eat, and focus instead on providing them with healthy food choices that would be good for their body and start setting the example while they were young. I decided that if they were going to be that picky and not eat the healthy food I provided, then that was their choice, not mine. I am the one who is to be in charge of my kids, and shouldn’t let them be in control of what they get to eat. As for my husband, if he didn’t like what I was cooking, he would just make his own food and that was that. He eventually came around and began to appreciate the healthy food, once I stopped forcing it upon him. It had to be HIS decision to choose to eat a healthy diet, not me making him (something that took a long time for me to realize).
I think it is extremely important to teach your kids to eat healthy, especially while they are younger. They may not like it, but that is what’s best for them, and as a parent, isn’t that what you are striving to do? If you begin instilling healthy habits on them while they are young, it is so beneficial because it prevents them from having to learn those habits when they are 20, 30 or 40 and it is much harder to change bad habits after all those years go by. Don’t feel guilty just because you aren’t buying them hamburger helper, mac and cheese, chips, cookies or pop every grocery trip, or because all their friends get to have pop-tarts every morning for breakfast. It is 100% ok to not do what every other parent is doing!
It is also essential that you teach your children MODERATION. It is completely ok to have a bowl of ice cream once in a while, chips aren’t a bad thing to have now and then, if you want to have a pizza night once a week, there is nothing wrong with that. (We do it every week at our house!) But teaching your kids how to moderately eat these kinds of foods is necessary, because that’s where those habits evolve. If you are letting them eat an overflowing bowl of ice cream, that is only teaching them how to binge eat as much as possible and it will stick with them for life. You can still enjoy those fun foods in moderation, and not completely over-do it!
Remember, it all starts with YOU and setting the example for them. YOU are responsible for your children in what you teach them and it is YOUR job to ensure a healthy life for them, and set them up for success in the future!