Simple Changes for Healthier Eating

 After posting an earlier article on how to afford organic food, I realized that it may have given the impression that I believe organic food is healthy food. I do believe, based upon loads of research (like this and this) and my family’s own experiences, that organic food is healthier than non-organic options of the same items.


However, I don’t believe that organic = healthy. A diet of chips and cookies is not high quality nutrition, even if the chips are made with organically grown potatoes and the cookies contain only unrefined sweeteners. Choosing organic food is only one consideration of many for healthier eating.

It can seem like eating healthier is amazing complicated but there are some simple changes you and your family can make that will have you all eating healthier soon. Here are a few:

  1. Make water your first beverage choice. Let’s be honest, soda is not a healthy option but more Americans drink soda than any other beverage. First there is the added sugar, much of which comes in the form of high fructose corn syrup – the same high fructose corn syrup that has been found to contain mercury and has been linked to a variety of diseases including diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Then there is the bone weakening effect of phosphorus and the extra calories, just to name a few more issues. And don’t think that drinking diet soda is better – studies have shown that people who drink diet soda have a higher risk of obesity than those who drink regular soda. Save your health, and a bunch of money, by drinking water instead.
  2. Surround yourself with easy healthy options. One of the draws of many snack foods is how easy they are to eat. Help to level the playing field by making your healthy food more accessible. Put a bowl of pre-washed fruit on the counter so you can grab and go. When you get home from the farmer’s market or store, take a few minutes and cut up some of your veggies so they are ready for snacking or cooking. Keep nuts on hand for more than parties. The goal is to have a couple of healthy choices ready for those times when you or your kids just can’t wait to eat.
  3. Make the hard decisions in the store. Part of surrounding yourself with healthy options is limiting the unhealthy options around you. If you don’t buy a bag of chips while you are shopping, only only have to deny yourself the chips once. However, if you buy them and bring them home, you have to make the decision not to eat chips every time you see them in the cupboard. Make it easy on yourself by setting guidelines for what you will buy and then stick with them.
  4. When you do eat a treat, slow down and enjoy it. After we had a family chat about the Slow Food movement, our girls really latched on to the idea of enjoying the food we eat. I recently discovered my eldest daughter sitting at the kitchen table, eating with her eyes closed. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "I’m savoring it, Mommy." This is great advice! If you are having a treat, treat yourself to the time to really experience it and enjoy it on a whole new level.

What changes have you made to make your eating healthier?

Visit us at Greening Families for more earth, wallet, and family friendly tips!


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