Creating a healthy eating habit hasn’t gotten easier as healthy food has become more accessible and affordable. However, it can feel like too much to even consider if your family isn’t on board with the change. Preparing two meals every night is enough to make even those with the best intentions waver on their commitment to healthy eating and eventually quit. So what do you do if your family isn’t on board?
Many moms try to force or guilt their families down the healthy eating path with them. However, that rarely works long-term. The good news is that you don’t have to drag the family along with you to make the change. With a little creativity, you can meet everyone’s needs without taking up permanent residence in the kitchen. The bonus is that when you use a few simple strategies, your family may eventually be happy to join in on your eating habits. Here are a few strategies to try.
Cook simple meals instead of casseroles and one pot meals.
Consider making meals that consist of a meat, starch, and vegetable. Simple meals make it easier to meet everyone’s needs with one meal. With one pot meals like spaghetti or casserole, it is hard to get the amount of protein and vegetables that you need without overdoing it on starch or fat. However, with simple meals, you can serve yourself the exact amount of protein, vegetable, and starch that you need. The best part is, that your family can do the same too.
Also Related: 3 Healthy Take-Out Meals Your Family Will Love
Remix family favorites to make them Figure Friendly.
This is probably my favorite strategy to introduce you to because the change is less detectable to the family. And, the less detectable the change, the less likely they are to object. If your family prefers nightly pizza, nachos, and Hamburger Helper type meals, this one is for you. To make these types of meals Figure Friendly, increase the amount of protein and vegetables, and reduce the amount of starch. But, be warned, do not announce that you are making a change. Here’s how to make a meal like spaghetti more Figure Friendly. Use two pounds of meat instead of one. Add a can of crushed tomatoes with the sauce. Only use half a box of pasta instead of the whole box. If you pair this meal with a salad, you have a Figure Friendly meal that your family will love too!
A Figure Friendly recipe that the entire family will love.
Master meals that reheat well.
For some families, even the simple meal and remix strategies just don’t work. In those cases, the family doesn’t like the modified version of their favorites or they insist on having casseroles instead of simple meals. In that case, you are left with a few choices – give up on eating healthy, try to force your family to eat what you need, commit to living in the kitchen to keep everyone happy, or find a way to meet everyone’s food needs more efficiently. I think we know that the last choice is probably the one that is most likely to keep everyone happy and work long-term.
To make this work, you are going to need to plan in advance. The first step is to make a list of your meals and your family’s meals that reheat well. Cook one of the reheat meals on a weekend day when you would normally eat out and save it for the beginning of the week. Next, plan out what you will cook for the week and take care to stagger cooking meals and reheat meals. So, on nights that you are cooking for your family, you will reheat one of your meals that you prepared in advance and vice versa. This strategy takes a little more work and planning in advance. However, it leaves everyone happy and allows you to get in and out of the kitchen with ease.
Now you have a few options for satisfying your need for healthy food without being stuck cooking multiple meals each night. Time to pick one to try so that you can discover which ones work best for you.