Whether you’re a family of two or 10, making healthy food choices can be easy and fun. Many people think that “healthy food” means a strict diet of carrot sticks and celery, but this is far from the case. Nutritious and filling meals are often just created from whole foods, raw and fresh ingredients, and are prepared at home, rather than from a box. If you’re interested in encouraging your family, friends or roommates to make healthy choices for meals and snacks, this can be a collaborative effort. Everyone can share their food preferences, help chop and package up ingredients, and maybe learn a thing or two about new foods they like.
Beginning your healthy food journey
For some, starting a more health-conscious lifestyle can be intimidating, not to mention the task of preparing food for the week. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. According to Women’s Health, the best thing you can do is to keep it simple: pick basic proteins like hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken or tofu or beans, and ensure they are on hand in bulk. Grilling a few extra pieces of chicken or fish when you’re making dinner takes very little effort, and then you can store them in the fridge for meals later in the week. Encourage everyone to select a different protein to form the basis of one meal each day to allow your friends and family to feel involved.
“Involve your kids in creating the weekly menu.”
If you have kids, the Dairy Council of California suggests that you involve them in creating the weekly menu. Some kids might ask for pizza every day of the week, and you can still include this so-called “junk food” in your plan. Simply select a whole-wheat crust at the store, look for low-sugar tomato sauce and add veggies and proteins as toppings. You can also allow kids to come to the supermarket with you and pick out fruits and vegetables they might like to try. Then, they can be added to your meal during the week. The news provider also posits the idea that you try and shop just once a week to keep the house stocked with healthy foods and snacks, plus plenty of ingredients for meals.
Stocking up at the store
Many news outlets suggest that before you hit the store, you have a plan for the week in place! Putting together a grocery list will save time at the supermarket and help diminish impulse purchases. There are certain staples you will need to procure for the week: foods for breakfast rarely change for many people, and lunches are generally standard. At dinner, you might want to plan to eat as a family more often to involve everyone in the healthy-eating process, and to foster interest in cooking and preparing food. For dinner ideas, simply look to Google for suggestions, or ask others what they generally like to prepare.
Once you start with the routine of preparing snacks and devising nutritious, home-cooked meals, others around you will likely be on board. Overall, meal planning and preparation with your friends and family can be something exciting and fun – and you might discover a budding chef in your midst!