Parent: I can’t get my son to eat healthy. He is over weight and does not want to exercise. All he ever eats are doughnuts.
Medical provider: Who buys the doughnuts and leaves them out for the child to eat?
This conversation is alarmingly common. When it comes to eating healthy there are several strategies that are known not to work for many people. One is to trust will power that you will not to eat the junk food that is purchased every week and is conveniently available in the house. When a person is rushed and hungry, it is easy to justify grabbing a plastic wrapped snack instead of preparing a good quality meal.
Another strategy is to stock the kitchen with “healthy” versions of the same junk food. This makes the rationalization easier when grabbing a snack instead of taking the time to make a good meal. An all natural organic soda and organic snack chips are really not better than a home cooked meal made of fresh ingredients.
Some simple strategies and preparation can avoid the situation where poor food choices are made due to easy availability of poor food choices.
- Ban junk food from the house. If you really want junk food make it a difficult task to specifically go out and buy it.
- Buy fresh food often and have it available. Buy healthy snack foods like vegetables, fruit, dried fruit and nuts.
- Prepare in advance. After buying fresh foods, prepare the foods in advance of needing them. Cut up vegetables and meats and store them in quantities specific for your needs. If you have a favorite recipe, have all the ingredients prepared so that when you need a meal fast, the ingredients are ready to go.
- Set a weekly cooking time. Find a time each week that is free and use it to prepare ingredients for meals. Make soups and pasta salads, hard boiled eggs or other foods that are easy to grab for lunch or a quick meal. Having prepared easy to grab single serving meals ready to go, helps curb the need to buy fast food.