Healthy Eating Without The Battle

A New Year's resolution to have a healthier family starts in your kitchen. But changing your child's eating habits is no small task. From taking stock of your pantry to sitting down to a proper place setting, discover 5 easy ways to change your family's eating habits without resistance from your brood.

family eating dinner together

Getting your family to make healthy eating a part of their daily routine won't happen overnight, but making small changes can mean big results when you're trying to change your family's eating habits. Here are some ways to get closer to your goal, including some tips by celebrity fitness trainer and nutritionist Jay Cardiello:

1Cut down on sugar

It may seem like an obvious solution, but sometimes we simply don't realize how much sugar is contained in the food that we hand our families. "Simply look at the label where it says 'total sugars' and divide the number of grams by four. That's the number of teaspoons of sugar you are ingesting," says Jay Cardiello. "This exercise alone should scare you off sugar for good." Limit the intake of sugar, especially sodas, if you want to change your family's eating habits.

 >>Check out 5 food priorities for healthy eating that every mom should know.

2Limit television time

Saturday morning cartoons are not only saturated with junk food commercials, seeing food cues on television also fires up the part of your brain that drives you to eat, even if you're not hungry. If you want to change your child's eating habits, start with limiting television time...especially food shows!

>>Make the most of television time with these top 10 ways to make tv time more educational for preschoolers.

3Avoid store-bought,
pre-made meals

When you make your family's meals at home, you can control the amount of fats and sugars that your household is consuming. But if you have to reach for ready-made meals, be sure to check the labels and "per serving" numbers. You could be serving up more calories than you think.

>>Searching for a healthy snack? Discover fast, healthy lunch and midday snack tips.

4Set the table

According to Cardiello, families who sit down to a set-table with plates and utensils ate 33% less food than families that don't. Proper place settings, plus family bonding through dinner chatter, gives your body the time to realize it is full and cuts down on over-eating.

5Turn off the t.v.
during mealtimes

Cardiello advises that, "children who watched television while eating actually consumed 288 more calories on average than children who didn't." Turning off the television during mealtimes will cut down on the distractions and let your family realize when they are full.

Changing your family's eating habits without moans and groans from your household is easier when you focus on taking steps that aren't only focused on the foods you serve. By using these easy ways to change your family's eating habits, your family will be eating healthier in the New Year!

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Comments

Comments on "5 easy ways to change your family's eating habits"

Michelle January 25, 2011 | 1:17 PM

I feel that any change is possible with a consistent routine, and that any effort that helps keep change in a positive light is essential, especially when kids are involved. Thank you for the positive comments, Amie!

Amie January 18, 2011 | 7:43 AM

Thanks, Michelle, for a concise article on healthy family eating. Jay Cardiello's suggestions are focusing only on the body, but healthy to me is a mind, body, spirit thing. It is so important in my family that we spend quality time together. And part of that time is surrounding the table and a good meal. We turn off the tv regularly and actually turn on positive music the whole family can groove to. Our conversation stays away from negative stuff, and instead focuses on the happy parts of our day. What's your take on this?

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