Helping Your Family Eat Healthy

Getting people to eat healthy foods can be a challenge, especially if they are picky eaters or if they have been eating unhealthy foods for most of their life. As the person in charge of feeding your family, you may be looking for ways to improve the diets of the ones you love. Without switching to feeding everyone nothing but celery and wheat germ, there are plenty of ways you can improve the diets of your family members. Begin by making sure you have a place to keep the healthy foods you buy from the supermarket and elsewhere. You should have an organized, clean pantry cabinet that offers plenty of kitchen pantry storage. Buying things in bulk can help you save and provide you with healthy alternatives at the last-minute. Be sure to stock up on safe food containers that allow you to keep foods fresh.

Next, fill up your refrigerator with plenty of fruits and vegetables that are in-season. Buying in-season foods increases the likelihood you are getting foods from nearby farms, which cuts down on the travel and the chance of getting contaminated foods. In-season foods are fresher when they arrive at your house and therefore higher in nutrients and vitamins. It is even better if you know where the fruits and vegetables were grown, allowing you to speak with the farmer and understand what he or she does during the growing and harvesting process.

There is no fresher option than growing your own, so if you are really concerned about what your family is eating, consider starting a garden. They are time-consuming and growing fruits and vegetables can be back-breaking work. However, if you are willing to commit to growing your own food, it will boost the health of each of your meals and it will save you money. Not everyone has the ability, space, or time to do this, so consider joining a farm co-op that allows you to have baskets of fresh vegetables and fruits delivered from another member’s garden each week. If you have time to grow only one type of food, consider being part of a food exchange.

Some things you have to purchase outside of the home, so when choosing proteins like meat and poultry, consider shopping for local, free-range products. Again, this gives you the opportunity to get to know the farmer and be familiar with the lifestyles of the animals you are eating. There are health advantages to choosing chickens and cows who have led comfortable lives over those who are mass-produced. Buying local, free-range meat and poultry is becoming more and more common, leading to more reasonable prices at your local market.

Finally, one of the easiest ways to help your family eat a healthier diet is to encourage sampling new foods. Make eating an adventure for kids and help them determine which foods they like. Eating nothing but junk deadens the palette, so the more foods you try, the more you will develop a taste for a well-balanced diet. Not everything needs to be health food either. Have kids try different types of sugary foods to determine which they like best, and which is worth splurging for.