When I first started transforming what my family had been eating, I thought I had to pick one group or camp and be perfect. And you know what? It was awful! My family hated me for trying to change EVERYTHING they were eating all at once and it was a ton of work for me to try and redo everything all at once. Most of my family does not have food allergies. I think I might be the only one, so far for sure. So we didn't have to drop anything right away for those reasons. So once I got over trying to be the perfect paleo person, I took a step back to figure out what would work for my family and what was important to me. I want them to be healthy, but I knew had to take some baby steps towards changing what they were expecting for dinner.
Here are two steps that anyone can do:
#1: Add more veggies!
If you have been eating most of your food from a can, box, or some other package, you most likely are not getting enough veggies. And my family wasn't either. So I have been working hard to include (and sometimes sneak) more veggies at all meals. I was caught the other day putting spinach and kale in a smoothie, but when the kids tried it, they could not taste it. And I convinced them that the little bits of green in the smoothie were cool. So now I don't have to sneak it anymore.
We had a big veggie garden before we started moving a lot. Hopefully we will get back to that soon. The kids loved to pick the veggies and eat them fresh. And there is just nothing like home grown veggies. The flavor, the smells... oh I love it.
#2: Make your own food.
It is a lot easier to eat healthy if you are making it yourself. Do your kids like cookies or mac 'n' cheese? Mine do too. And when I tried to take that away, they revolted! But what I can do instead is limit how often they have these things and also make them myself so I know exactly what is in it. It does take a little bit longer, but with creative planning and help, you can keep this to a minimum. And it tastes so much better. I will write more on how I save time in the kitchen when possible, but one idea I do want to share is that you don't have to plan something extensive every night. Some nights we have really simple dinners. If I have meetings or tutoring or big projects we eat something simple or eat leftovers. On the other nights, I make something that takes more time. Again, it is all in the planning. And if you are not used to cooking your own items, you will want to find some great recipes that are tasty and will help you get comfortable in the kitchen. One of my favorite family friendly and delicious websites would be Mel's Kitchen Cafe.
How do you keep your family eating healthy? Are you trying to make healthier choices for your family?