Healthy Eating Habits

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We all understand we need to eat healthy to ward off diseases, lose weight, and generally feel better about ourselves. But how? If it’s not something we grew up doing how do we start? Well, here’s how . . .

The first place to start is to take a look at your eating habits. Are most of your meals cheese laden starchy casseroles? Maybe you snack on chips and cookies when you get the munchies. Are vegetables a four letter word in your house? Are your pantry, fridge, and freezer full of prepackaged stuff with who knows what in it?

How to make Healthy Eating a Habit

All it takes is creating a few good habits to start your family on their way to eating more healthy. Food allergies, dietary restrictions, and other eating habits (vegan, gluten-free) aside, it’s not that difficult to get started. One of the ways our family has eaten healthier is by removing unnecessary dyes, preservatives, and chemicals from our diet by making our own homemade convenience mixes.

Shopping

Think about how our grocery store is laid out. The most healthy and less expensive foods are on the outskirts of your store. The fresh produce, meats, and dairy aisles are your best bets for ingredients to start eating healthy. When you must venture down the aisle maze, do so informed.

Learn to read labels. Not the nifty catchphrase on the front of the package the actual label on the back. Don’t fall for purchasing an item just because the front says fat-free or no sugar added; read what’s actually in the item, you may be surprised.

Breakfast

It’s been ingrained in us that it’s the most important meal of the day. You know what? It still is! Starting your day off with fresh fruits, whole grains and protein can get you and your family on the road to healthy eating. Plan it out the night before and have it ready to grab and go.

Snacking- every families downfall

Offer the kids, fruit, yogurt, cheese, or nuts for a snack. If they are still clamoring for that bag of chips or cookies, strike a deal. Have the healthy snack, then half of the usual serving of the other. You could always replace the bagged snack with a healthier version of the same but they are still reaching for the bag instead of the fresh first. Teach them to reach for fresh first.

Cinnamon Apple Cherry Cheeseball

Dinner

Healthy cooking does not have to be bland and boring. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the most flavorful. Brussel sprouts don’t have to be boiled and gross like when we were kids, they can be roasted crispy with garlic and other seasonings. There are so many more ways to cook vegetables than the old steamed standby.

Get the family involved, experiment; try something new every now and then. Just like in a restaurant, serve a salad first. If they don’t like salad make it cut fresh fruit or raw vegetables. Make fresh vegetables and lean meats be the star of the show instead of that cheese-laden starchy side dish.

Chicken Skewers with vegetables

Baking instead of frying will cut down a ton of fat. When you do make that family favorite dish, make a half batch and get your family to fill up on the other good stuff on the table. If they are hungry, they will eat it.

Baking

there are so many ways to “healthify” (yes I made that up) our recipes. Substitute whole wheat flour for the white bleached kind, applesauce instead of oil, plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

There are tons of recipes out there that help you learn the science of healthy substitutions in baking. Even recipes that sneak vegetables into things like bread and cookies.

If you want them to learn to eat healthily I would skip the “hiding” of the healthy items. Find a way for them to learn to like them.

Dessert

You don’t need to go all crazy and never allow cookies and ice cream into your home. Part of being healthy is also being happy. Everything in moderation, instead of brownies and ice cream for dessert one night, make yogurt parfaits. Fresh fruit, when paired with crepes makes a great dessert, or share a bowl of popcorn.

Opt for a healthier dessert a few nights a week. When you do indulge in those sweet treats, make the servings just a tad smaller. That way no one is missing out but they aren’t having quite as much would normally.

Smores bites
Grab the Recipe here

Eating healthy should be a lifelong goal, not a passing phase. It’s all about starting and keeping good eating habits. Your family will never latch on to it if you suddenly cut out everything there use to eating, plus you’ll have a riot on your hands. True, if you start when they are young it’s a lot easier but it’s never too late to start eating healthy.

What changes have you made in your family to eat healthier within a limited grocery budget?

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. FULL DISCLOSURE HERE

7 Comments

  1. i take exception to your calling gluten-free a “dietary habit”. it’s a dietary restriction. gluten-free eating is not fun, easy, or cheap, and most of us eat gluten-free because we have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance.

    the ones who are doing it as an optional food habit are the ones who have been brainwashed into thinking gluten is a poison, or that gluten-free is somehow better for you than normal food.

    • I take exception to your calling gluten-free a “dietary habit”. It’s a dietary restriction. Gluten-free eating is not fun, easy, or cheap, and most of us eat gluten-free because we have Celiac Disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance.

      The ones who are doing it as an optional food habit are the ones who have been brainwashed into thinking gluten is a poison, or that gluten-free is somehow better for you than normal food.

      Actually there are quite a few who are eating Gluten-free because it’s the “in” thing to do. I highly doubt such a large percentage of the population was suddenly diagnosed gluten intolerant in the last 2 years.

      For most people it’s little more than an indignant fad. For some, it’s life or death.

      If that’s all you got out of the guest article on the site than maybe you should take the time to submit your own article to the site giving some hints and tips about how to reduce expenses on a gluten free diet.
      people are so quick to tear down other peoples writing and article submissions but never seem to step up to the plate and offer solutions, helpful ideas.

      • Actually there are quite a few who are eating Gluten-free because it’s the “in” thing to do. I highly doubt such a large percentage of the population was suddenly diagnosed gluten intolerant in the last 2 years.

        That’s what I thought for years – till I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and had to research the subject. Doctors are becoming more aware that celiac is more common than was previously thought, and so it’s one of the things they look for when a patient comes in with symptoms.

        For most people it’s little more than an indignant fad. For some, it’s life or death.

        Yup, that was pretty much the point I was trying to make. That celiac and gluten-intolerance is akin to a food allergy, not a choice like veganism.

        If that’s all you got out of the guest article on the site than maybe you should take the time to submit your own article to the site giving some hints and tips about how to reduce expenses on a gluten free diet.
        people are so quick to tear down other peoples writing and article submissions but never seem to step up to the plate and offer solutions, helpful ideas.

        i don’t know how to reduce expenses on a gluten free diet – that’s why i come to sites like this, hoping to find useful hints that i can adapt to my own situation.

        i wrote my original comment to hopefully inform the person who runs this site that there is a need and demand for more gluten-free recipes and tips.

  2. My biggest pit-fall was thinking that if i was making better choices, baking vs frying, not covering everything with cheese etc, that i could actually eat more! the scale wasn’t going down and my food bill wasn’t shrinking either. i combated this by using smaller plates.

    it really worked! my eyes were seeing what seemed to be alot of food but really i was actually eating the right amounts! i save money now because when i cook, i have two meals from the same amount.

    my wallet and scale are now thanking me! lol! i am also using this site to cut out the nasties that are put into packaged foods and learning to make them healthier and cheaper at home.

    win win! blessings and peace:coffeebath:

    • My biggest pit-fall was thinking that if i was making better choices, baking vs frying, not covering everything with cheese etc, that i could actually eat more! the scale wasn’t going down and my food bill wasn’t shrinking either.

      i had that exact same problem! we bought new dishes for christmas this year and they’re about half the size of the other ones we had. at first i thought everyone would just go back for seconds and thirds, but they haven’t been.

      i don’t think they realize the difference in the size of the plates. it really works!! :cloud9:

      • I had that exact same problem! We bought new dishes for christmas this year and they’re about half the size of the other ones we had. At first I thought everyone would just go back for seconds and thirds, but they haven’t been.

        I don’t think they realize the difference in the size of the plates. It really works!! :cloud9:

        i am happy to hear someone else has had sucess with using a smaller plate! i had started to think about those so called “healthy choice” type of meals i had seen at the stores. my mother used to love those.

        all the plates/dishes seemed to be the same size and they were all much smaller than my own dinner plates. i used to tell my mom that i would need to eat at least two of those to get full! lol!

        so pleased that i took a leap of faith and it has payed off! blessings and peace

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