Healthy eating is a challenge for many reasons. For a start, we make over 200 food choices a day which gives us many opportunities to make unwise or unintended decisions. Having a treat once in a while is fine (and recommended!) but when we start feeling guilty about the less healthy choices we’ve made, the thought that “I’ve blown it, I might as well go nuts” can arise. Rather than making healthier choices at the next meal or snack, people who think this way may feel that getting “back on track” that day is pointless.
Another reason that it can be challenging is lack of time set aside to plan out meals and snacks. This includes having a rough idea of the meals you want to cook over the week, making a grocery list and preparing some of the ingredients beforehand. All of these things take time- which most of us are short on. However, practicing one or all of these things can make them easier to accomplish every week and help you feel in charge of what you eat. You could recruit some family members to help you draft out the meals they want to eat or even have a set of recipes you make every week (like chicken Mondays and beef Tuesdays).
Gathering your favorite recipes together in the same spot (like in a box or a list that’s kept on the fridge) and choosing from them can help make meal planning easy.
Also, starting new habits like washing and chopping celery or marinating meat before putting it away can help save time in the long run.
Keep changes small and easy enough to carry out. Also, when deciding what changes you want to make, tackle temptations at the time of the day when energy is high (rather than low, like at the end of the day). Remembering that healthy eating is not an all or nothing goal is important too! It’s important to find what works for you and your family. So if you dislike kale or can’t eat supper before 7pm, don’t worry! There are plenty of other things you can do to eat healthy.