How to Help Your Family Escape a Dietary Rut
By Sandy Schroeder
Sometimes during the summer, all of the fun of barbecues and relaxed eating schedules can turn into a boring rut. You may find yourself buying the same things at the store, and repeating menus. Gradually, your family may snack more and eat less during meals.
How to Turn Everything Around
Heidi Godman, executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter, tackled this subject recently looking at the issues and coming up with some tempting solutions. First, she took a look at all of the consequences of ruts.
What Happens to Your Health
When a dietary rut takes over, all sorts of negative things can happen
- Lots of convenience foods fill the gap
- Healthy nutrients with key vitamins and minerals are lost
- Kids miss out on new flavors and textures
- Salt, sugar and extra calories soar
- Saturated and trans-fats increase
- Risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and serious diseases goes up
- Exposure to chemicals, preservatives and additives increases
- Fresh fruits and vegetables lose out
What to Do Next
Create a little excitement with lots of different choices.
Take the family to a farmers market - Let kids pick their favorite fruits and veggies and load the fridge with all of the ingredients for healthy snacks and meals.
Go online to find healthy recipes - Check out a site like epicurious.com to find new recipes for the fruit, vegetables, poultry and fish that your family likes. You may see black bean tacos, fish chowder, or roasted cauliflower becoming family favorites.
Sample other cultures - Visit small local grocers that specialize in foods from other countries and go online to learn about the culture. Avoid dishes with lots of butter and cream as you pick out new foods to try. Get some advice from the grocer and pick poultry, fish and fruits and vegetables to prepare at home.
Get something healthy delivered - Pick a meal kit that offers lots of vegetables and whole grains with protein. Price per person is about $10 to $12 and the menu is usually a lot more healthy than regular take-out foods.
Double the batches - Find some family favorites and cook a double batch on the weekend. Fix a great black bean soup, or savory sauced chicken breasts, along with spinach, brown rice or carrot side dishes. While you are at it, bake a few fresh fruit tarts or banana or zucchini loaves of bread. Your freezer will be loaded with good stuff, ready to thaw and serve during the week.
As your family enjoys a lot of new foods, they may join you to look for more ideas. Focus on healthy choices and enjoy the process.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Coppell, Tex.