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How to help your family make healthy choices

When you mention the words healthy eating to your family do they recoil in horror?! That’s what happens all too often as soon as a new diet or healthy regime is mentioned, but if you can take your family along with you on your lifestyle change not only will it make it easier for you to stick to, but it will also positively impact their lives too. This means that as a family you can learn to make better choices together for a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Here are our top tips on how you can help your family make healthy choices:

  1. Eat together at the table

Research shows that you eat less if you sit at a table because you treat it as a proper meal and are therefore likely to snack less later. It also encourages more mindful eating as you’re not distracted by other things. Not only that but sitting at the table is a great way to get the family together for some quality time away from the TV and other distractions.

  1. Re-organise your food cupboards

Research shows that the old phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is true.  By simply rearranging your fridge and cupboards to have the healthy foods at the front, and the less healthy foods hidden away you’re more likely to make a healthier choice.

  1. Try new recipes together

Get your family to help you prepare dinner! It might sound stressful, but actually it can be great fun as well as a learning experience for them. Let your kids pick a healthy recipe, shop for the ingredients with you and show them how to read the labels and understand how to make healthy choices,  then take them home and cook up a storm in the kitchen!

  1. Learn how to make healthier versions of your family favourites

Show your family that healthy doesn’t mean salad every night of the week! Learn how to make a few of your family favourites but in a healthier way. From a healthy pasta bake to homemade burgers; your family won’t even realise they’re eating healthier!

  1. Make exercise fun!

We all know that exercise is good for us, but that doesn’t have to mean sweating it out for hours in the gym. Just 20 minutes of physical activity per day can help you be fitter and healthier, so why not get the family out in the back garden or your local park for a game of rounder’s, or go for a family walk. You’ll get your exercise and quality family time in all at once!

  1. Use smaller plates

Research shows that eating your food on a smaller plate can help you eat less and feel fuller. This is because the plate looks like it is piled higher; tricking your body into thinking you have a bigger portion than you do. The opposite is true of large dinner plates, so if you have a set of big dinner plates it could be worth changing them for a smaller set.

  1. Prepare healthy snacks in advance

Keep chopped fruit or carrot batons in the fridge that can be easily grabbed when you’re hungry so that it’s easy to make healthier choices and you’re less likely to be reaching for the crisps.

  1. Set goals with a reward

Set a family goal such as having dinner at the table every night, or making healthy lunches every day for a month, and if you achieve it then there’s a reward such as a family day out.  The incentive will make the lifestyle change seem more like a fun challenge and if you’re all working together to support each other you’re more likely to stick to it.

Helping your family make healthy choices doesn’t have to be hard. Hopefully the above tips have given you some food for thought on how to incorporate more healthy habits into your family’s lifestyle, whatever your goals.

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