Anytime you try to change your life for the better, you always come up against pitfalls, frustration and criticism.
Switching from the Standard American Diet to a real food lifestyle can be overwhelming and frustrating.
Today, I want to add to the tips in that post with more ideas to help your family make the transition to real food smoother.
After all, we are tempted to clean out everything in our house and start new. But that may not be the best idea, especially if you have children.
Throwing away all the “fake” food in your house at once can do more harm than good because:
- It is expensive. Depending on how much you get rid of, you may have to replace all of the food in your house. That might just break your budget for the whole month in one shopping trip!
- It will freak out your kids. If you just start throwing out their favorite foods, you will meet resistance. Quickly. And it won’t be pretty.
- It will make the switch too jarring for your family. Introducing all new foods at once while getting rid of their favorites will probably start meal time wars you aren’t ready for. It is better to add new foods and takeaway old foods gradually, not all at once.
Try these tips instead. . .
15 Tips to Help Your Family Start Their Real Food Journey
- Switch out conventional condiments for condiments with no high fructose corn syrup. This could include ketchup, dressings, and barbecue sauce. Read the labels and make a real food choice as these things need to be replaced.
- Pay attention to seasonings that may have bad ingredients and make homemade versions instead. Some examples may include taco seasoning, ranch dip or flavored salts.
- Switch out margarine (or other fake butters) for real butter. It is much healthier for you and tastes so much better!
- Start buying whole milk instead of 1%, 2% or skim milk. It has more healthy ingredients and tastes better. If you can find a source of raw milk in your area, even better.
- Stop using more processed oils such as vegetable and canola oil when you are cooking. Instead use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for healthy fats without all of the bad ingredients.
- Instead of buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts to make a meal, buy a whole chicken. Cook the whole chicken and use it for 2 different meals. Then use the bones to make a healthy chicken broth for later.
- Eat more at home instead of fast food. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Grilled chicken with a salad or rice, spaghetti or grilled cheese with fruit can all be real food meals to eat at home.
- If you are short on time instead of money, you can sign up for meal prep services that send you meals weekly. They have the ingredients and recipe for you, all you have to do is cook it. Some examples are Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Daily Harvest, etc.
- Leave fresh fruit out on the counter for your family to see. You may not think they will eat it, but you might just be surprised. This grab and go kind of treat is faster than its processed competition if you have it ready and available for the to eat.
- Use an Instant Pot to make meal time quick. This works especially well for soups where you can just dump everything in and cook in a flash. To see some Instant Pot soup recipes, check out this post —> 50 Instant Pot Soup Recipes.
- Trade out sodas for sparkling water. It may take some getting used to, but they are a great bridge from drinking soda to pure water. Baby steps.
- Switch from white bread to whole wheat bread. Your kids might fuss at first, but if they try it I think they will like it. My kids have been eating whole wheat bread almost exclusively (at least at home) since they were little.
- Try to get in atleast one fruit or vegetable with each meal. Even better if you can get in different colors of produce. This gives them more variety and increases the types of vitamins they get from each vegetable.
- Do your kids hate vegetables? Try making them fruit smoothies with vegetables hidden inside. Most likely they won’t even notice the vegetable taste because it will be hidden by the color and taste of the fruit.
- Does your family love popcorn but you hate to think of all of the chemicals in microwave popcorn? Make you own microwave popcorn without the additives using this popcorn popper that only uses popcorn kernels, butter and salt.
These small changes can make a big impact on your family’s health. They may not even notice many of them, especially when the real thing tastes better than the fake.
For more tips to help your kids switch to a real food diet, read this post —> 7 Ways To Keep Your Kids Happy Eating Real Food.
Once you get them on board for these changes, you can start to make bigger changes. This might include sending real food lunches with them to school, cutting out packaged foods totally or cutting down on sugar.
It is always best to take things slow when making lifestyle changes. If you go all in too soon, you may meet too much resistance from your family. This can cause hurt feelings and burn out on your part.
Anything you can do to get more real food into your family’s diet is a win! So just take it one step at a time. In a few months, you’ll look back and be surprised at just how far you’ve come!
What are your favorite tips for incorporating real food into your diet? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!