In Lifestyle

5 Steps to a Healthy Family Mealtime

Angie Bledsoe

Have you ever struggled with getting your family to eat that new “healthy” recipe you found on Pinterest? Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes there seems to be a huge difference between wanting to eat healthier and actually getting the fam to eat healthier!  When my youngest was about 4, he asked me – in between sobs – when we would be giving up “healthy nutritious” meals and be returning to “regular” food! He is now a ravenous 16 year old, and I’d love to say that he and his siblings just adore my every healthy offering, but it’s still a challenge. So, I understand!

So here are a couple of thoughts that will, hopefully, help minimize the drama:

  • Develop a weekly meal plan – Now, I’m not by nature a planner…I’m a dreamer, but NOT a planner! But, this one step is the foundation for both the dreaming and the doing, so please don’t leave it out!! It’s the key! Some people like to do their planning on Sunday, but since the weekends are my family’s busiest time, I’ve found that whatever I haven’t planned by Friday morning just won’t get done! Find my my meal plan process here!  For me, this plan includes one kitchen item that is irreplaceable: a crockpot…or three!! I simply can’t live without a crockpot!

Unless, you are able to be home every day for hours exclusively dedicated to being in the kitchen, this one thing is a life-saver!!

  1. Involve your family – Because of my health challenges (i.e.: dealing with a brain tumor naturally), I am mostly vegan, but my Texas-born husband hasn’t quite made that leap! Also, a few in my family are working on their utter loathing of beans…which, of course, is a staple in the vegan diet… In other words, we’re all working together!  If they are older, discuss with your family members what they like and don’t like. If they are very young it’s better to just speak positively about all foods, not allowing them to automatically assume they won’t like a certain food! And, especially if your kids are young, involve them in the buying and preparing process.

Often, if someone has ownership in the process, they are much more likely to be positive about the results!

  1. Be positive – Assuming that there will be a negative response is the quickest way to ensure there will be one! Do your best to be positive! Step one in this is to say positive things to yourself! Do you speak to yourself in a way that is defeating? Remind yourself of why you want to make healthier meals for your family…because you love them, because you’re a loving parent! Remind yourself that you are capable and worthy!

Speak to yourself how you wish someone would have spoken to you when you were a little child!

  1. Don’t take it personally – If your family is resistant to change, don’t allow yourself to feel that it means they don’t care about your feelings! People naturally resist change…it’s in our nature! Just like one bad day doesn’t mean it’s a bad life, one “bad” meal doesn’t mean you give up…just try something different tomorrow! Remember to focus on the goal: Next week’s meal plan will be better because you are more informed! Just imagine how next year will be: You’ll be a healthy meal plan BOSS! No one cares more for your family than you do, and no one knows them better either! If your goal is to get your family to eat healthier meals, then don’t give up – if they eat one more healthy meal per week than they did the week before, that’s progress!

Leaders take people where they need to go, not where they want to go!

  1. Stick to the plan – Keep your plan in front of you, don’t throw it out because it needs tweaking! Alter it, revise it, but don’t give up! Remember that anytime you’re working your plan toward a particular goal, you’re plan is also working you – you are changing & growing! You are becoming a better version of yourself in the process! The internet is full of new ideas, projects and recipes…imagine the possibilities!

If you’re always a student, then all the world is a teacher!

You can do it!
Be sure to share your ideas and recipes along the way!

Peace to you!


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