Some reasons people give for not eating healthier is that it doesn’t taste good, takes a lot of time or costs a lot. Studies show that sugar and other ingredients can be addicting. Once you start eating healthier, in many cases you will crave healthier foods over other foods that may not be as good for you. As with changing any kind of habit, it is important to take small steps instead of trying to change everything at one time. Some examples are cutting down on soda consumption, eating out less, cutting down on sugar, etc. Try one step at a time.
I have been eating more fruits and vegetables and can tell if I don’t eat as much as I usually do. I have started looking for nearby grocery stores or delivery when I travel. On a recent trip, there was not easy access or delivery of groceries. I had room in my luggage so I packed some to take with. It is also nice to have items packed to eat healthier and save money at the airport. In some cases, with flight delays, etc you may not have time to grab something at the airport. I packed a couple plastic yogurt containers with fruit (pineapple, melon, grapes and blueberries. I also packed tortillas, meat and lettuce for wraps. I ate the fruit with a muffin for breakfast and also for snacks. The wraps made quick and easy lunches instead of going out for every meal.
An important step to eating out less is to make it easier. One way to do this is to meal prep, doing some of the work ahead of time so it is easier to finish the meal when it is time to eat. Some people pick a time such as a weekend afternoon or evenings when you have extra time while cooking other meals. Cut fruits and vegetables, cook meat, pasta and other items you will be using in the next few days. You will save time by taking things out of the refrigerator and cutting at one time instead of multiple times during the week. I will have an upcoming post with more information on meal prep.
Research also shows that tastes change over time. If you think you don’t like something, try it again, you may like it now. I like many foods now that I either didn’t like or thought I didn’t like previously. Also, if you don’t like a food, try preparing it a different way. There are some foods I like raw and others cooked.
A mother of a 9 year old student said her daughter discovered she liked red peppers at a cooking birthday party and now eats them with dip for a snack. I mentioned this to an adult class and a lady made a comment about it being an expensive snack. You can usually get peppers for $1-$1.5 and can pay that for a small bag of chips and up to $4 for bag of chips or other snacks.
With Healthy Hands Cooking classes, we show kids and adults that healthy cooking can taste good and doesn’t have to be difficult or take a lot of time. Some students who think they are picky eaters try everything they make and end up liking most things they try.