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Eating healthy isn’t always easy, and it can be a thousand times harder to stay on track if your family members aren’t interested in changing their diet with you.  Here are a few ways to get your family on board with a healthy lifestyle.

1. Start slow.  When you’re in the mindset of wanting to get healthy, it may be hard not to just dive into a strict diet.  Resist the urge.  Remember, perhaps not all of the members of your household signed up to drastically change their diet, and you may have to get them on board by making one healthy change at a time.  Additionally, studies show that those who follow a strict diet are more likely to give up.  Get your body used to small changes such as roasting instead of frying or having vegetable noodles in place of flour noodles.  It’s amazing how quickly those small changes add up and result in a much healthier, well-balanced lifestyle.

2. Be role model. When your family members see you enjoying healthy and nutritious foods, they might want to try them too.

3. Keep healthy foods readily available and in plain view.  If you keep a cookie jar on your counter, replace it with a bowl of fruit. You and your family are more likely to go for the foods that are in plain sight.  You may also want to rearrange your fridge and pantry so that less healthy foods are in the back and the healthiest foods are facing you. Remember, you don’t need to rid yourself of less nutritious foods.  Treats are great in moderation!  You just want to make better choices most of the time.

4. Head to the farmers market as a family.  Allow each family member to pick out one vegetable they want to help prepare/help prepare that week.  Not only will that take some of the pressure to find new and exciting healthy food off of you, but your family members will be much more likely to eat healthy if they’re the ones selecting and preparing the food.

5. If you have kids, have fun with healthy foods!  Make celery boats instead of just laying out celery and peanut butter, or cut fruits and vegetables into fun shapes.

6. Learn a few healthy ingredient swaps such as Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or coconut oil in place of butter to make your kids’ favorite foods just a bit healthier.

7. Teach your family to honor hunger cues.  Don’t force family members to finish what’s on their plate if they’re full.  They can always wrap it up and save it for later.

8. Adopt a “No Added Sugar Drink” policy at home.  Encourage family members to stick with water or milk at mealtime rather than a sugary soda or fruit juice.

9. Choose healthier snacks. We have a blog dedicated to healthy snack time here. Snacks should be 200 calories or less and contain protein, fiber, or healthy fats.

10. Last but not least, be patient, not only with your family members, but also with yourself. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight and there will always be bumps in the road, but when there’s a will, there’s a way!  You’ve got this!

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