Want to Eat Healthy, but Your Family Makes it Way Too Hard?
When Michelle from Bliss From Balance reached out to me with this article idea I was really excited to have her write for Put The Kettle On. Mainly because I needed her advice and I know a lot of you do too.
Michelle is talking to us about how to eat healthy when your family won’t! She shares valuable tips to slowly get your family to try new things resulting in healthier habits for everyone.
I’m personally looking forward to trying these tips to get my family on board 🙂
Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to learn more about Michelle and connect with her on social media.
Eating healthy when your spouse (and family) doesn’t want to can be a challenge.
How can you inspire them to choose healthier eating habits? Particularly if one person cooks for the entire household, it’s important to you that they are conscious of making healthy food choices.
As an ex-pescatarian that is mindful of maintaining a healthy diet 70% of the time (we all need balance), I married a man who has a deep appreciation for bacon, junk food, and other foods I normally wouldn’t gravitate to.
When he wants a snack, he has no hesitation in grabbing a bag of chips or cookies.
Does this sound familiar?!
After spending several years living with him I feel like we are finally turning a corner and finding healthy meals we can cook ourselves that we both enjoy.
Here are some tips that have gotten us on the right track of eating healthy when my husband doesn’t normally want to.
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5 Tips to Eat Healthy When Your Family Won’t
Want to eat healthy but your family won't?! If you have a hard time resisting the bad food in the house, here's how to change your families eating habits for the better! #healthyeating #eathealthy Click To Tweet
1. Support Healthy Cooking Methods
Try an Air Fryer
This is a big one if the people or person you live with loves fried food or other unhealthy cooking methods.
Convince them to try an air fryer or roasting to get the crispiness and crunch that they’re used to.
Even saying the name “air fryer” was reason enough for my husband to try it.
I only told him later it’s really just a supercharged oven, but that didn’t change anything. The air fryer can produce very crispy potatoes, vegetables, and chicken wings with little to no oil.
He loves it. It’s been a game-changer for eating healthier in our house.
Stir Fry Dishes
Another easy cooking method that is healthier than take-out is stir fry dishes.
Noodles and brown rice are the main bases we use in addition to a lean protein (usually chicken, shrimp, or tofu) and plenty of vegetables.
We can control the amount of oil, soy sauce, salt, etc. that goes into each meal and it’s just so simple.
As we spend more time at home, I’ve been making more stir-fries and have shown my husband how quick and easy it can be. He has even given them a try.
It makes you wonder how much money you are spending on takeout when you can easily make it at home, and it’s delicious and even healthier for you.
2. Swap Processed or Unhealthy foods for Fresh, Natural Options
When someone isn’t accustomed to eating healthy foods, they might not know where to start. Oftentimes, eating junk food might just be out of convenience and routine.
Find the healthiest “similar” food to swap out, and make it readily available.
What we’ve been trying…
- For potato chips, my favorite swap is kale chips. These can easily be made in an oven or air fryer.
- Other great salty snacks you can try are air-fried chickpeas or even popcorn (if you omit or minimize the butter and salt).
- For burgers, we’ve been experimenting with black bean burgers or veggie burgers. These patties are lower in saturated fat than the typical ground beef patty.
If your household is sensitive to flavor, you can still include a slice of cheese or condiments. If the person or people you live with are bacon fans, try to swap it with turkey bacon to reduce some of the fat.
It’s all about balance and progressive steps to eating healthier, particularly when your family would not normally choose to eat healthily.
Using healthier substitute ingredients when baking has also really taken off in our house.
I’ve been experimenting with using ingredients such as oat flour, almond flour, and flaxseed meal which can increase the protein and fiber of baked goods.
Healthier substitutes such as applesauce and avocado have also gotten positive feedback from my husband, with it being barely or not noticeable at all.
I’ve also been reducing the amount of added sugar by opting for ingredients that have natural sugar such as bananas or fruit.
3. Use a Calendar to Plan Healthy Meals
Maintaining a calendar of what recipes you are planning for the week can be helpful in educating household members about their diet.
Planning out your meals is also extremely helpful when it comes to grocery shopping.
Not only that, finding recipes that look delicious might convince the chef of your house to give a new healthy meal a try!
This has worked well for me. I can usually convince my husband to cook something healthy if I give him an easy recipe with irresistible pictures.
Save One Day a Week for a Plant-Based Meal
We have been attempting to devote one day a week to a full plant-based meal.
Baby steps are important, particularly for someone (my husband) who isn’t receptive to tofu or other popular plant-based protein sources.
When easing into healthy meals, start with what your spouse or family is familiar with and loves.
For my husband, it’s pasta.
Pasta can be so easily modified to be meatless by adding pesto, fresh tomato sauce, kale, spinach, tomatoes, garlic, nuts, chickpeas, etc.
Take it a step further and swap out your typical pasta with healthier options such as whole wheat pasta or plant-based pasta.
My personal favorite is lentil pasta, which is higher in fiber and protein than regular pasta. If you cook it for just the right amount of time (do not overcook or it can be mushy) and add the sauce or oil immediately, it is very passable for regular pasta.
4. Always Have Healthy Food Options Available and Stocked in the Fridge
Sometimes we don’t eat healthy because it’s not convenient.
This is the case even for people who want to eat healthier but just don’t have the time, myself included.
Make enough food for leftovers:
When you cook a healthy dinner, try to cook more than what you and your household can eat for that meal. After the meal is over, portion out the leftovers into lunch-size containers.
This has really helped our family eat healthy leftovers for lunch for the next few days.
Purchase a variety of proteins:
When you shop for groceries, purchase a variety of proteins. Go for leaner proteins such as:
These are great to have on hand and can be easily whipped into a healthy meal.
Plant-based proteins are also perfect and can usually be stored for a while. Having these available as needed can sometimes inspire a healthier meal.
In our household, making healthier snacks available has been a priority as we spend more time at home.
Having fruit, nuts, or healthy pre-made snacks on hand makes choosing natural over-processed snacks much easier.
Of course, as with all eating, consuming snacks should be in moderation, but these sources are natural and not heavily processed.
Another healthy option is vegetable sticks and home-made hummus, which has become one of our go-to favorites.
5. Embrace Healthy Steps
Changing your spouse, housemate, or family’s diet won’t happen overnight!
Sometimes we can get caught up in our own healthy eating goals and we don’t acknowledge the present moment.
Express gratitude for the current healthy habits that your spouse, housemates, or family have.
I thank my husband every night when he cooks – this in itself is something I’m happy about since he usually prefers to order out.
Just cooking is a step in the right direction. Even though what he cooks might not be the “healthiest” it’s usually healthier than eating out because we can control the amount of oil, salt, fat, etc.
Understanding and acknowledging that has been helpful in trying to shift my spouse to eat healthier.
Recognize the Effort Your Spouse and Family are Making
Another tip is recognizing the small baby steps your spouse or family might make in choosing healthier foods.
Any time my husband wants to use the air fryer, I am ecstatic!
Getting him in the mode of trying other cooking methods is the first step to building a routine. Even if it’s not all the time – it’s a step in the right direction over deep-frying!
Conversely, if he wants to make “real” fries I won’t fault him for it.
We all need balance, and as long as our health permits, we should give ourselves leeway to indulge once in a while.
How to Eat Healthy When Your Family Won’t
Spending a lot of time at home has really made us reexamine our eating habits and diet.
Normally we are on the go constantly, often opting for takeout or eating at restaurants. The portion size and the ingredients in takeout though are oftentimes not healthy, not to mention our last-minute decisions usually lead to impulsive choices – burgers and pizza anyone?
By having snacks readily available and cooking almost every night, following these healthy eating tips has allowed me to slowly get my spouse to eat healthy when he normally wouldn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while we will still order out, but it’s much less frequent.
There’s now a little less fried chicken in our life and a little more broccoli.
Let me know if these tips are helpful!
Take it day by day. Changing your family’s routine to eat healthily when normally they won’t will take some time, but it’s worth it in the long run for everyone’s benefit.
Do You Find it Hard to Eat Healthy When Your Family Won’t?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
About Michelle: Michelle is a resident of New York City where she lives with her husband and dog. She is always looking for ways to build balance in her life and to help others find balance in their lives. Michelle values fitness, good food (mostly healthy but not always), and travel as great ways to stay healthy and happy. She manages Bliss from Balance, a healthy lifestyle blog focused on fitness and healthy food. Connect with Michelle on Instagram and Pinterest.
Related Healthy Eating Articles:
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- How to Make Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk Tea
- 7 Healthy Family Meals Even the Picky Eaters Will Love
- The Health Benefits of Black Tea + How To Make the Perfect Cup
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