Healthful Change to the Family Diet

The chef salad my son madeI didn’t mention all the specific transitions of our family in my last post, but one of the most obvious ones is a move toward healthier eating.

I’ve identified the need to eat fewer packaged snacks and sugary foods, and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains several times in the last two years. I’ve given myself challenges and written about them as blog posts. I’ve searched out new recipes and tried different diets. But each time, I’ve fallen back to old patterns of eating. I let the obstacles to change get in the way.

I want to give in to my (and their) sweet tooth. I’ll face it—I love to bake. You can see that in the recipes I post. And I love to nurture with food, especially baked treats of bread, cookies, cakes and desserts. All these have some redeeming value emotionally, but nutritionally they are just filling us up with more simple carbohydrates than we need.

We’ve determined family guidelines of how often we will have dessert or what constitutes a healthy after-school snack, but slowly the complaints press upon me. Then I lose sight of our plan, question it, justify a more relaxed attitude, and before I know it, the kids think any exception is a new plan altogether.

Then when I try to bring us back to the original guidelines, I hear an even louder chorus of complaints that I’m changing everything. It doesn’t feel good to be the healthy-eating enforcer. And that’s when I wonder if it isn’t easier to just go back to what we’ve traditionally eaten instead of press forward into what feels like an uncomfortable unknown.

Negative responses causing me to rethink my goals sounds like the enemy to progress in more than just healthful eating. But not this time! I’m enlisting the help of the very ones who balk at the changes. Check out how I’m doing that in Part Two of this post on Friday.

Meanwhile, tell me what healthy food changes you’re making in your family. How do you overcome the obstacles to change?

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1 Comment

  1. Tina
    Sep 2, 2009

    I just can’t wait to hear more about this and what I can do for my family. I know that our biggest problem is MY sweet tooth. I have tried and given up lots too. It’s a hard battle to win when it’s me against them all!

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