Getting your family on board with healthier eating can be discouraging! These brilliant hacks will help get the whole family on board!
¨Hey Mom! Can Chase sleepover Friday?¨ asked my happy, fun loving, cheerful 13-year-old son.
¨Sure! Chase is a great kid.¨
Fast Forward to Friday…
Whoa- WAIT- Pause
Letś slow down for a moment and really consider all the things that occur in five days time that MIGHT POSSIBLY cause a Mom to forget her son was having his best friend over for dinner and staying the night… Ya- so you know where Iḿ going with this right?….
O.K. where was I?…
Being the ¨on top of it¨ mom that I am (cough cough) I had started dinner early in the day so I would escape the 6 o clock -Oh Crap- now what to do for dinner
phenomena, and was feeling rather proud of myself. I was feeling adventurous and had even tried a new super healthy recipe ~ how cool was that, I congratulated myself. That was until…. My bouncing boy and his friend Chase charged in the kitchen with big smiles and a ¨ Mom, we’re pretty hungry, is it time to eat yet?¨
¨Ahh, Sure …. I … Umm, I almost have it ready. Go wash up and weĺl eat soon.¨ Looking like a deer in headlights!
Oh Boy! Regina, not much you can do now but just go with it…
All the kids scramble to the table laughing and jostling as only kids can do. I cross my fingers as a quick blessing on the food is said.
¨Yes, PLEASE bless this food.¨ I silently pray!
All eyes are on me as I begin serving…
Somehow it’s much quieter than a few minutes ago.
Now, fortunately for me, heaven had decided that in order for me to have any chance of returning, they had better send me good-hearted, polite, well-mannered
children and give them similar friends.
They all sat quietly looking at their dinner, then at each other, then me and somehow managed to suppress any questions, comments or complaints. I think it is safe to say they were, well,
Finally- ¨Um… mom… what is it?
I announce- ¨ It’s new! Try it! It’s green spaghetti!¨ while half of me is dying inside and the other half is fighting bursting out laughing.
I’ll never forget the embarrassed ¨Seriously mom? Tonight of all nights you just HAD to cook something new?¨ look on my sons face. Or watching Chase eat one noodle at a time as slowly as possible, hoping the others would hurry and get done so he could slip away with them. (Oh my goodness!! I can barely stop laughing as I write this!) I know – this is one of those stories where you had to be there to fully appreciate it, but our family has had a MILLION laughs over this little experience. Still, to this day we kid Chase and ask him if he´d like to come over and I will fix his favorite dinner. LOL
As I said- Fortunately for me, in this case, the kids were polite and did their best
to try something new. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed all too often the outright rudeness and tantrums children throw as parents try to introduce something new.
Which brings me to the #1 question I am always asked¨How do I get my husband and kids to eat healthy? They won´t even try!¨
Did you notice that husbands (or boyfriends) are mentioned first?? It has been my experience that often men react worse than the kids when trying to shift to healthier eating!
After many of my own experiences and knowing the stories of many other moms, I knew I had to come up with ways to get families to eat healthier. For this reason, I wrote 30 Tips for Real Food for Newbies. I will be sharing more on these tips in upcoming blogs.
Today I want to arm you with 3 of those tips as you begin your journey to healthier eating. Without further adieu here are 3 tips that are surprisingly simple but seriously effective for getting your family to eat healthy.
Start with YOURSELF! Get clear on your values about food and why eating healthier is important to you! You need to have a clear picture, a ´strong WHY to sustain you as the challenges of transitioning to healthy eating grow.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE understand that transitioning to real food is NOT a diet! Itś a lifestyle upgrade – the difference between the two is significant. Fad diets come and go, lifestyle upgrades are lasting!
Tip # 3
Focus on what you CAN eat. Not on all the things you ¨cannot¨ have. What you focus on expands and you soon begin to see how many foods there are that are
healthy for you AND taste good! Remember, learning to eat healthy is a process. Junk food is so addicting that going from french fries (gutter food) to spinach (great food) takes time. Be patient, being a mom who encourages healthy eating is not easy. But as we moms like to say ¨there is no try only do¨. Hmm, I think Yoda borrowed that from us, nevertheless, our kids are super important and every bit of effort is worth it! If that is not reason enough, remember our food is the foundation to good health, which in-turn is KEY to EVERYTHING else we hope to do! When we feel crappy, we don´t accomplish much. You moms know as well as I do, these 3 tips will not magically make your kids love brussel sprouts, but they will add perspective and reduce frustration.
I invite you to use these 3 tips to eating healthy today. So why not start with a bang, below I am sharing my green spaghetti recipe. Have fun with this : )
10 Oz Fresh or Frozen Spinach
¼ C warm chicken broth
½ C. grated Parmesan Cheese
½ C. Milk
1 lb. Spaghetti noodles ( I use brown rice noodles) cooked, drained
½ C. butter
Steam fresh spinach just until wilted of frozen spinach until warm. Combine cooking liquid with warm broth in the blender, process until smooth. Add cheese and milk. Toss spaghetti with butter in serving bowl. Add spinach mixture; toss to mix well. May substitute broccoli for spinach and cream or yogurt for milk. If you cook the spinach while the spaghetti is cooking; this is about as fast as boxed macaroni and cheese and FAR healthier.