This post is inspired by my good friend, Jodi of Off The Wall Painting. We were at her house Saturday for movie/pool night with the kids, and she said, “Hey, you need to blog about what to do when YOU want to eat healthy, but your family is so NOT into it.”
I’ve seen this time and time again even with my own family. Sometimes Kate and Jack still cry “UGH!” when I say “let’s get a healthy snack” OR “Try this. It ‘s so healthy for you.” Even though they know the drill living with a health coach, they still sometimes nag and complain when I drop that “healthy” word.
(Wouldn’t it be nice if those June Cleaver-esque days were still around? I bet you these kids didn’t complain about healthy meals. They look so happy. I know, I know, this is NOT real life!)
Healthy eating is rather unpopular if you think about it. We’ve been told that healthy means boring, no flavor, bland; that healthy food tastes like cardboard.
So announcing that you are going to start cooking healthier is going to backfire. No one wants to think they’re eating cardboard for dinner.
Here’s were it gets even trickier: you are exercising, drinking your water, learning how to eat foods that nourish you, (even meditating), and then you have to cook for the naysayers. This is extremely difficult, in fact, almost darn right impossible at times. You have the motivation, but the crap you get from the skeptics is what stops you.
Since those familiar with real healthy eating-seasonal, fresh whole foods- know it is actually delicious and much more tasty than the processed junk food that has numbed our taste buds for the past decades.
So how can we get others to come over to the “healthy” side? You are going to have to sell it.
I asked the naysayer experts (aka, my family) for some tips on how to sell “healthy.”
Here is what they suggest:
1. Use psychology. Perception of taste is actually deep rooted in psychology. If you believe something you’re going to eat will taste good or bad before you eat it, chances are your experiences won’t be too far off from your expectations.
You can use this to your advantage the next time you choose the right words when describing your meals.
Use words like tasty, delicious, juicy, scrumptious (Kate’s favorite), freakin’ amazing. Food is more satisfying if it is described as “tasty” or “delicious” rather than “healthy.”
2. Be excited. Each time someone asks about what you are cooking, it’s an opportunity for you to make your food taste better and be more satisfying. Make sure to show your enthusiasm by mentioning getting fresh veggies hand picked from your garden. OR you can steal from restaurant menus. Check out the chef’s specials. You will see words like roasted, chilled, marinated, drizzled, spicy to describe the meals. Try to use words to appeal to all the senses to psyche up your audience about the fabulous meal they’re going to have. This especially works great with adults.
As for children…
3. Make it their idea. I have to say, this works like a charm. Let the kids help you in the kitchen. Have them sit down with you and decide on what to make. Let them cook with you. Even if it’s kale chips, make sure to involve the kids, and they will most likely eat their creations. (okay, we are still working on the kale chips).
Take it from me, these suggestions do work. BUT it is only the beginning. Look for Healthy Eating Part II next post. I’ll show you how to put together healthy meals (oh no I didn’t! ), I mean scrumptious meals that will leave your diners happy.
How do you get the naysayers to eat healthy food?
What is one way you get your family and friends to share your “healthy” enthusiasm?
Leave your tip below.