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**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or registered dietitian (RD). The information provided on this website is for informational purposed only and are not meant to treat, cure, or prevent any health issue. I am not liable for how you interpret or use the information provided. I recommend you consult with an RD when raising vegan children to ensure they get all nutrients needed for healthy development.
How To Get Your Family To Eat Healthier
Wondering how to get your family to eat healthier? Healthy eating is hard enough when it’s just yourself you’re trying to have eat healthy….
But when it comes to helping your entire family eat healthy, for all of the benefits they would reap from it; now, that’s a whole other story!
First, you have to get them on board with eating healthy. You know, convince them that it’s good for them, that they’ll live longer, feel better, have a decreased chance of getting a chronic illness, look better, etc. The list could honestly go on for a long while, but I’ll stop there.
If you’re reading this, then you probably already know why you and your family should eat better; you’re simply struggling with the how.
And, I don’t blame you one bit! I sometimes still struggle with some of the obstacles.
Unfortunately, you can’t control everything your family does all the time.
But, there are some things you can do to help yourself, and your family progress to a healthy eating lifestyle.
Let’s go over what some of our obstacles to healthy eating are; then, be sure to click on the links for the obstacles to get some practical solutions for them!
Good! Let’s go!
Want to Remember This? Pin How To Get Your Family To Eat Healthier to your favorite Pinterest Board!!
First, Check Out These Healthy Family Meals
- How to Make a Vegan Buddha Bowl with Tofu
- Super Soup: The Best Vegan Quinoa Soup Recipe!
- vegan quesadillas
Oh, picky eaters, picky eaters! I have one myself, currently. So, I know this issue all too well.
It usually starts around toddlerhood, and you’ll hope it’ll end there. But, sometimes it doesn’t.
There are a lot of factors that will contribute to your child being a picky eater. And, no, it’s most likely not your fault. At least not at the beginning.
But, some parents do make it worse by giving into their childs demands for specific foods and giving up on giving their child liking other foods.
Sometimes the issue will stem from your child trying to show their independence. Which is why it usually starts in toddlerhood, when they are learning to be more independent.
Other times, they may be testing their limits, to see how much they can get away with; how much they can control you, and make you make give them what they want, even when that’s not what’s for dinner.
Or, they could really have a problem with certain foods, whether it be the taste, texture, or something else.
Picky eaters can be a very frustrating obstacle to work around when trying to get your family to try new foods and eat better.
But, there are ways to get picky eaters to eat what we want them to, and ways to overcome this obstacle. At least enough for them to start eating healthier; my daughter is living proof of that!
For some solutions, check out: 8 Simple Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters
Not Knowing What Food Our Family Likes
The next obstacle we may come across is not knowing, at least really knowing, what food our family actually likes to eat.
Now, maybe you’re thinking ‘why does it matter what my family likes to eat, you’re supposed to help me get them to eat healthy, not eat what they like’.
And, I understand where the confusion could lie with that.
But, we need a starting point, and your family needs to still be able to enjoy the food they eat.
Starting out eating healthy and taking away all of the food they love, will only backfire on you!
It’s better to take what they already eat, and love to eat, and make simple and subtle swaps to the ingredients in it.
It’s going to be a lot easier to convince your family to eat burritos with corn tortillas or whole wheat tortillas, rather than getting them to eat it wrapped up in a lettuce leaf! Or, eating cookies with chickpeas and peanut butter in
them rather than roasted chickpeas, in place of chocolate chip cookies void of almost all nutrients.
So, if you don’t know how to get to know what your family likes to eat, make sure you check out this article: The Easiest Way to Find Out What Food Kids Will Eat!
What Our Kids Eat When Not with Us
Back to our kids, and what they eat; we can only control (or try to control) what they eat for so long.
Eventually, they’ll go to school, playdates, sleepovers, and sooner than we’d like, they’ll be off living on their own.
And, we can’t decide what they eat when we’re not right there next to them.
Luckily, there are things we can do to influence their eating habits outside the home, and when we’re not there breathing down their necks and telling them what they should eat.
And, it all starts with teaching them about the food they eat!
Find out more about how to influence your child with healthy eating habits here: 7 Ways to Encourage Health Eating in Kids for When You Can’t Decide for Them
Convenience of Eating Out
Eating out can make life so much easier, in the right here right now aspect, especially when you are unprepared, don’t know what to eat, think there’s nothing to eat at home, and you’re out anyways.
But, eating out has its consequences.
First of all, it’s not very healthy; usually heavy in salt and unhealthy saturated or trans fats.
You also probably eat more; because of the large serving size and the fact that you’re eating empty calorie foods. (Foods that provide calories, but no nutrients.) So, you’re cells and body aren’t getting the nutrients they need
to help you know when you are full.
And then, there’s the financial aspect of eating out; it’s not cheap.
So, is it really all that convenient to eat out?
I think there may be some better options!
Food Allergies / Sensitivities
Having a food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity in the home can make eating healthy quite a challenge. It’s not impossible, but it does make it more difficult.
There are certain things you need to watch out for, more work is sometimes involved (depending on the allergy), and you have to be careful of so many things.
Check out the article below, which is full of food bloggers with kid friendly recipes, many of which are allergy friendly recipes, as well!
Holidays and Vacations
One of the most difficult times for anyone to stay healthy during are during the Holidays and while on vacation!
Many holidays revolve around food. Think about it…
Valentines Day; chocolate hearts and chocolate roses.
Easter: chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies, marshmallow peeps, along
with Easter dinner.
4th of July: processed meats or barbeques.
Halloween: it’s all about the candy.
Thanksgiving: this holiday is all about the food.
Christmas: candy, cookies, and more!
No wonder it’s so difficult to eat healthy during holidays. But, it doesn’t mean there’s no way to!
And then, for vacation, many people feel like they deserve to eat out and relax, not prep ahead of time and make their own food.
What we forget though, is that we deserve to eat healthy, even on vacation (or especially on vacation), so we can stay feeling well and keep up our energy so we can enjoy every last bit of our vacation!
Even some health nuts will throw their healthy eating rules out the window when it comes to road trips…especially with kids.
Have you ever been trapped in the car with kids complaining they’re hungry and asking ‘are we there yet?’
It can get a bit stressful, and the last thing you’re probably thinking about is how to feed everyone healthy food while on the road. Instead, you’re probably thinking ‘where’s the next stop to get food?’
Which is understandable, but there are so many ways to avoid the fast food traps when on a road trip.
Check out the solutions to this healthy eating obstacle here: How to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip with Kids
Another big obstacle for eating healthy is peer pressure, and I’m not only talking about for our kids!
Sure, kids may get teased for eating well, by their peers who don’t know any better. And, they may feel pressured into eating junk like everyone else, even by those who they are friends with or trust.
Maybe a teacher is bribing kids to answer questions in class by handing out candy bars (I know the teachers I had in high school used to), or everyone in class is going to be rewarded for doing a good job by having a pizza or
ice cream party.
These bribes in schools are happening as soon as our kids enter school, too! My oldest, who was in kindergarten this past year, told me about their root beer float end of the year party. Yep, soda and ice cream for 5 and 6
year olds! (My daughter’s so funny though, she had green tea while everyone else had their root beer float, because she knows how bad soda is.)
It can be tough to be a kid trying to eat healthy growing up, luckily there are ways we can help them.
But, that doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pressure to eat poorly, too. At work, hanging out with friends (if we ever get the chance), etc. We feel the pressure, too.
But, a lot of what we do to help our kids overcome peer pressure, we can do ourselves!
Read more here: Social Influences on Food Choices: Peer Pressure
Our Society (including TV, Social Media, etc.)
If you thought peer pressure is a hard obstacle to move past and help your family eat well, than our society won’t be of much help either.
Between commercials on TV, ads on streaming services and every site you go to online, social media, and more!
You see everyone eating unhealthy junk, and enjoying it, when you check your social media accounts, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else you are on.
And, it’s not just the commercials and ads, it’s how the average person thinks and responds to food in our culture.
In our culture we (or our society) expects people to eat what they want when they want. We’ve normalized eating for comfort, it’s seen on TV and elsewhere; making girls think it’s alright to eat a tub of ice cream by themselves while sad or making sitting on the couch watching TV and eating chips and other processed snacks seem like the good life. But, it’s not, it’s really not!
And, you don’t have to listen to our society, you can be different. You can be healthy, and help your family see how much better they feel when they eat well and have the energy to do more of the activities they want!
Trying to Lose Weight (the Wrong Way)
I wasn’t going to include this issue, because at first it may not seem like a family issue. But, it really is; another obstacle to healthy eating is when you’re trying to lose weight. Hopefully this goes more for you and other
adults in your family than for children. But, our children see what we do and want to mimic it, so it is a family issue.
I still remember my mom going on diets all the time when I was younger.
So much so that I thought my own worth and beauty was based on how thin I could be. That is not a healthy way to live, and certainly not a healthy way for a child to think. So, let’s set a good example for our kids and learn how to lose weight in a healthy way.
And, the ironic thing is, the best way to lose weight is by eating healthy, not starving ourselves! Ever hear of starvation mode?
Trying to lose weight on fad diets, with pills, or other diet programs with diet snack bars and shakes, are absolutely horrible for you and could really do more damage than good.
I’m hoping, trying to lose weight the wrong way is a thing for past generations and that our generation (and future generations) will know better.
Lack of Knowledge for what ‘Healthy’ is
Maybe, what’s getting in your way of feeding your family healthy meals isn’t picky eaters, or not knowing what your family likes. Maybe you’re not quite sure what ‘healthy’ is!
There are so many different diets out there, all claiming to be ‘healthy’.
How are you to know which one to believe?
Which one to follow?
Which one is sustainable for you and your family?
Who do you trust when it comes to eating healthy?
These are all questions that may have been crossing your mind.
Or, maybe you already know what ‘healthy’ means for you and your family!
If so, that is great!
For more info on what healthy actually means, check out Basics of Healthy Eating: Do’s and Don’ts | Healthy Eating Tips
Medical Issues and Mental Health Issues
One of the toughest obstacles for families to eat healthy together is when one or more members has a medical condition, or mental health condition, that prevents them from doing so.
I am not your doctor or dietitian, I’m not a doctor or dietitian at all. Sure, I was pre-med in college and hold a degree in psychology. But, I can’t tell you what is safe for you and your family to eat, and what isn’t, if you have a
specific medical condition.
I do know, however, that this is the trickiest obstacle to maneuver around, whether it be physical or mental. But, for the most part, it’ll be best to talk with your doctor or dietitian about what to eat (preferably a dietitian because that is their job and doctors aren’t required to have much education in nutrition, if any at all).
Healthy Eating For Families IS Possible!
Sure, there may be tons of reasons your family and yourself can’t eat healthy, I just named ten of them. But, for every obstacle to not eat healthy, there’s about 10 reasons why you should!
Despite the struggles and meal planning, eating healthy and feeding your family healthy meals is one of the absolute best things you can do for them!
So, do you now know How To Get Your Family To Eat Healthier!
Leave a comment below on your favorite way to do so!