Do you ever feel like feeding your family healthy foods is overwhelming and complicated?
I get it, because I used to think this way too.
Trying to meal plan and make healthy meals that everyone in the family would like felt like a challenge I was never going to be able to conquer. On top of that was all the conflicting nutrition information which lead me to spend hours researching “What to eat” instead of actually trying to eat healthier. I’d often just give up before I even really started.
It’s taken me years and a lot of practice, but overtime I’ve found ways to make healthy eating a lot more simple.
One of my personal and business core values is simplicity. I am always asking myself, “How can I simplify this?” So when I was really trying to get over the hurdle of getting my family to eat healthier more consistently, I asked myself this exact question, “How can I simplify healthy eating”.
If you are ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or defeated when it comes to feeding your family healthy foods, then you are in the right place!
Here are 15 Tips to Simplify Healthy Eating for the Whole Family
1. Start Small
If your family is new to healthy eating, then it’s best to start small. Don’t go crazy trying to completely overhaul your diet or you will likely come up against some resistance. Start small by only changing 1-2 things per week. You could simply start adding more vegetable to each meal. You could revamp one meal at a time. For example, starting with a healthier breakfast the first week, then lunch the second week, and by the third week you will be eating all healthier meals.
2. Get in the Kitchen
The best way to eat healthy is to cook meals at home in your kitchen. This allows you to know exactly what is in the food that you are cooking and eating. If you think you aren’t a good enough cook, think again. I’m no chef by any means, but overtime I’ve learned how to cook delicious, healthy meals for my family. Just get in the kitchen, have patience, and practice. Oh, and have fun with it!
3. Healthify Meals Your Family is Used to
Love pizza? Instead of ordering out, try making your own pizza with all fresh ingredients. Buy 100% whole wheat dough, organic pasta sauce with minimal ingredients, and grate your own organic mozzarella cheese. This can actually be a great way to get the kids involved in helping in the kitchen. They will love spreading the sauce and sprinkling the cheese on the pizza. Love mac and cheese? Try making a delicious vegan mac & cheese. I swear your kids will barely know the difference!
4. Batch Cook
Instead of prepping a bunch of meals for the week, I love to batch cook a bunch of different foods. I will cook a big batch of rice, beans, lentils, pasta, or roasted veggies and store them in glassware for the week. Then I can get creative and use the already prepped foods throughout the week to make tacos, salads, wraps, or buddha bowls. Batch cooking saves a ton of time and makes healthy eating inevitable because you already have the food prepared for you.
5. Utilize Your Freezer
This may seem like common sense to some, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started to take advantage of my freezer. There are so many ways you can use your freezer to help simplify healthy eating. When I cook a healthy meal, I try to double it and freeze half for a day when I don’t have time to cook. You can cook a bunch of shredded chicken and freeze it in separate freezer bags to use for meals during the week (this will save you the time of actually having to cook the chicken and instead you can just warm it up quickly and add it to whatever else you are having). You can batch cook sauce, smoothies, salsa, dips, energy balls and freeze for later use. Lastly, if you buy bread or other healthy foods on sale you can buy extra to store in the freezer to always have healthy options on hand. A great bonus tip is to have an extra freezer so you have plenty of room for storage.
6. Crockpot and/or Instant Pot Dinners
This is nothing new, but so worth mentioning. For some reason, I always used to forget how easy it is to throw something in the crockpot in the morning and have a delicious, healthy meal ready for you in the evening. In the last year, I also started using the Instant Pot to save on time and cook meals quickly. If you are interested in learning more about how you could use an Instant Pot in your life, click here.
7. Chop up Vegetables & Fruit for Easy Access
Each Sunday or Monday, I try to chop up a bunch of vegetables and fruit to have readily available. This way my kids always have healthy snacks that they can easily get themselves and they can use them for school snack and lunches. You can also use the prepped veggies and fruits to add to salads, soups, bowls, or smoothies.
8. Have Lots of Healthy Snacks
Besides vegetables and fruits, it’s good to have lots of other healthy snack options in your house at all times. This will prevent you from feeling the need to run to the store for some junk food or grabbing something less than healthy when you’re short on time. Some healthy snacks I love are Buddha Bowl Popcorn, Lara Bars, Brown Rice Cakes, or coconut yogurt.
9. Ditch Processed Foods - Just don’t buy them!
This is pretty self explanatory, but seriously a game changer. I’m not saying never eat anything processed ever again, but just don’t keep them in your house.
10. Eat the Same Breakfast (or Meal) Each Day
Now most people don’t love eating the same thing each day, but I find it really simplifies things if I stick to the same breakfast each day. Each week I pick 1-2 breakfast ideas that I will eat each day so I never have to ask or think about “What’s for breakfast?”. I usually stick to smoothies or oatmeal because they are easy, healthy, and can come in so many variations. You could also do this with lunch or dinners. The less decisions we have to make in the moment about what to eat, the easier it is to just eat healthy automatically.
11. Have Leftovers for Lunch
To me, there’s nothing better than having leftovers from last night’s healthy dinner for lunch. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. I usually try to make sure I cook enough food at dinner to have for leftovers for lunches throughout the week.
12. Use Less Ingredients for Each Meal
I aim to use 10 ingredients or less when creating meals. If I am using a recipe I will either specifically look for recipes with less ingredients or I will leave out ingredients I don’t feel are necessary. This can save time and make your meals simple which also allows for better digestion. That’s a win win if you ask me!
13. Know Your Staple Recipes
The more you cook healthy meals you will start to notice which ones are easy and your family truly loves. These will become your staple healthy meals for busy days. I try to incorporate 2-4 staple meals each week so I know that my family will be satisfied. The other days may include new recipes, left-overs, or eating out.
14. Meal Plan for 4 Days
A lot of people try to meal plan for all 7 days of the week. While that may be fine for some, I’ve found it a lot easier to plan for only four days of the week. The thing is when I was trying to plan for 7 days I would end up not cooking everything I planned and wasting a lot of food. This means I have at least 4 meals that I know I will cook at home for the week. The other days I will use my prepped food, left-overs, or eat out.
15. Use the Magical Meal Plate Template
The Magical Plate template makes creating healthy meals quick and easy. All you need to do is grab your already prepped food and make a plate that consists of ⅓ green vegetables, ⅓ high quality protein, ⅓ nutrient dense starchy vegetable or grain, and 1-3 tbsp of high quality fat.
Now, I know we’re talking about simplifying and yet, I just have you a long list of tips which may seem overwhelming. Choose the tips that most resonate or excite you and leave the rest behind.
I love to give you all my best ideas, but I don’t expect you to start implementing it all right away. As tip #1 states, start small! Choose 1-2 tips and start incorporating it into your life and once those things become habits, then you can move on and implement a few more!
Tell Me Below - Which tip do you plan on implementing today?
Want to Learn How Mindfulness Can Help You Simplify Healthy Eating Even More?
Sign up below to join my free 5 day Mindful Eating Mini Course delivered straight to your inbox!