For sure, we all want the best for our families. We’d like to have our children in the best schools. We want to live in nice neighborhoods. And we should want our families to eat the best foods to be in the best health they can be. It can be hard to follow good nutrition though, what with the cost of food and the quality of fast food that’s out there. But improving your family’s nutrition can be done. Below are five simple steps to get your family, and mine, on the right path to good nutrition and health.
What we can do to improve our nutrition (five steps):
- Start small. Changing your dietary habits all at once is a sure-fire way to fail. Start with small steps to change your family’s health and build new habits. Working one step at a time will help to make your nutrition habits stick. Focus on one thing that you can do to improve your nutrition and follow through with it for 30 days (it takes about that much time for a new habit to stick). Then move on to another aspect. Before you know it your dietary habits will have changed. Check out: Zen Habit’s The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior For tips on building habits.
- Eat organic. Fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy…everything you can eat organic, do it. What goes into your food is what goes into you. Organic food may have a higher price tag at times, but overall, organic food is not expensive when you take into account the possible side effects and health risks that non-organic food could be posing. Check out: The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods To Eat Organic at The Daily Green.
- Eat Locally. Locally grown foods are generally fresher and don’t need the same kinds of pesticides and preservatives as food that has to cross the country (or countries). You also get the added benefit of helping the environment since the food doesn’t have to travel as far and you help local growers. Check out: Time Magazine’s Eating Better Than Organic for an interesting take on why eating local may be more important than organic.
- Prepare your own meals. It’s tough cooking for a family after a long day. But when you order out or go out to eat you really can’t be sure of how your food is prepared and what the ingredients are. Sometimes there’s a reason why eating out tastes so good – sugar, fat, and salt. Restaurants know these tastes fit our palettes so they make sure to cook them into their foods to keep you coming back. Try to prepare your own meals as often as possible. This way you know what is being put into your food and in turn, into your family. Check out: Bargaineering’s Ten Tips for Successful Meal Planning.
- Vote with your wallet. If you don’t see the foods you want and need at the grocer then let the manager know. Supermarkets and such will change their inventory to healthier foods if they there is a real demand. But the only way that demand happens is if you vote with your wallet. Check out: Eat Well Guide to help find local, sustainable, organic food.
By no means is our family perfect when it comes to health and nutrition. It’s a work in progress that we work on, knowing that better nutrition leads to better health for our family.