Family Making Healthy Food TogetherMany people make a lot of effort to stimulate their minds and spirits. They seek out wise counsel and look for opportunities to learn new things. Taking care of your body is just as important, though. It's never too late to start incorporating healthy eating habits into your daily routine.

Set Realistic Goals

When you are first inspired to make better food choices, you may tend to set ambitious goals. While there's nothing wrong with getting excited about the changes you're making, it's also good to be mindful of the effect these emotions have on your motivation, particularly when they start to wane. That's the point at which a reasonable plan can be the most helpful.

If you currently survive on a diet of pizza and cheeseburgers, you are unlikely to become a person who eats all the daily recommended servings of vegetables overnight. Start small and build up to bigger goals. Replace a greasy side at dinner with a salad or steamed vegetables. Once you get into the habit of making that choice, add another small change to the mix. Before you know it, making healthy decisions will begin to feel like second nature.

Learn New Recipes

It's easy to fall into a rut when you are cooking meals every day. When this happens, bad habits tend to pop back up. To avoid mealtime boredom, try to introduce a new recipe into the mix at least once a month. You don't have to try a fancy new technique or something with a lot of ingredients that you've never used before. All you need are a few tweaks to make things interesting. Fresh ideas give you an opportunity to find healthy new favorites or sneak vegetables into old standbys.

This tip is particularly useful for finding good alternatives to unhealthy food habits. Do you have a fast-food treat you love? Teach yourself how to make it at home. You not only get to enjoy some great comfort food without sitting in a line but can probably eliminate some of the less healthy shortcuts taken in the restaurant. For example, instead of using a vat of oil to fry potatoes, you can brush them with a little olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and bake them in the oven.

Plan and Prep

As with any new goal, you are more likely to stick to it if you have a plan. Meal planning doesn't have to be complicated. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:

  1. Take inventory of your pantry and fridge, and make a list of the meals you can make with what you have or with the addition of a few ingredients.
  2. Compile a list of staples, including what you need to make your family's favorite meals.
  3. Schedule the month's meals and grocery runs on a calendar.
  4. Make your grocery lists for each store visit that month.

Any time you schedule a grocery run, make sure you include the time you will need to meal prep when you get home. It doesn't do you any good to buy healthy options if they go bad in the fridge because you run out of time or energy during the week to prepare them. Chop up vegetables that you are going to use in recipes or for snacks as soon as you bring them home. That way, they're ready to go as soon as you need them.

Making healthy changes to what you eat may be an afterthought at this point in your life, but there's no better time to start than the present. Building realistic, nourishing habits not only helps you have a more vital and fulfilling life but also allows you to lead your family with a good example.

Category: Health and Wellness

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