Tips for Eating Healthier as a Family in the New Year

The new year is a great opportunity to set goals for eating healthier as a family. The Feed to Succeed RDs in this post, answer the following question “With starting off the new year, what are your tips for eating healthier as a family?” Read their responses below for some helpful tips!

Include a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.

“Make it a goal to try one new fruit or vegetable together each week or month to promote a wider variety!” -Abby Olcott, MS, RD, CDN/LDN

Set nutrition goals that focus on incorporating healthy foods.

“Setting nutrition goals around the New Year can seem daunting!  One thing that can make this easier is thinking about adding healthy foods, not taking away foods, food groups or trying to revamp a whole kitchen pantry!  Instead of thinking about the foods that can be removed or what can be changed, think about some foods with health benefits and that are good for growing bodies and how these can be incorporated.  Maybe this is adding a new fruit, like blueberries, at breakfast or adding roasted almonds at snack times.  Thinking about adding new foods, not taking away foods can be more positive and rewarding approach!” -Amanda Gordon, MS, RDN, LDN, IBCLC

Promote all types of foods.

“I agree with Amanda on “Thinking about adding new foods, not taking away foods can be a more positive and rewarding approach!”. Another thing would be to avoid using desserts or certain foods as rewards. Promoting all types of foods prevents any disordered eating or the risk of disordered eating or eating disorders. Kids and adults should be able to enjoy and try all foods. So having a dessert of yogurt with fruit is great, but also enjoying ice cream with fruit as a family can be a fun way to enjoy and promote all foods.” -Andrea Hinojosa, MS, RDN, LDN, CLC

Add vegetables to recipes to increase the nutritional value.

“Love all the responses so far! One of the ways I try to make meals healthier for my family is to either add some veggies to a dish that otherwise doesn’t include them or to add more than what a recipe calls for. Especially in one-pot recipes like soups/stews/casseroles, I always add more vegetables to up the nutritional value. Sometimes we even use roasted, diced sweet potatoes as croutons for soups and it’s delicious!” -Christine Sharp, MS, RD, LDN

Get teens involved by having them take an active role in nutrition.

“I like to encourage all family members to take an active role in nutrition.  One way to get teens involved is to have them help select the meals for the week.  Challenge them to find a new recipe that they think will fuel their body AND taste delicious.  Over time, this can help pique their interest in nutrition, and increase their autonomy when it comes to fueling.” -Bailey Jones, MS, RDN, LDN, CSSD