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Healthy Eating Tips For Any Diet Plan
Feeding your family a healthy diet can be a daunting task. There are so many different ways and ideas to eat healthy that it can be difficult to decide which way to go. No matter which diet plan you choose to follow, here are some healthy eating tips that are simple to follow and will work for the whole family.
1. Eat from small plates like a salad plate
When my little ones started eating table foods, I brought in plastic sized plates to preserve my china. What I didn’t realize is that I would end up eating the grown-up version of the small plate as well. It can be difficult to put a lot of food on a small plate. Since I don’t like eating from plastic or paper plates, my husband and I eat from the salad plates that are part of our daily plate set. Of course, this smaller plate idea might be a ploy by my husband to do less cleanup work after dinner.
2. Easily measure your portion size using your hands
I admire people who weigh and measure their food to ensure they get the right portions. If I had a food scale in my kitchen, my five-year-old would use it for a science experiment involving wooden blocks, a stuffed animal, and some maple syrup. I’m not the type of person who has the time, energy, or inclination to measure food portions, so I use the following system: A portion is the size of my fist, and an ounce of something like cheese is about the size of my thumb my. I use these guidelines to help me figure out what constitutes a reasonable portion of food, but I’ve never believed this type of measurement to be an exact science. Beyond that, if the food doesn’t fit on my plate, then I probably don’t need it.
3. Clean the kitchen as you go
After I finish my food and think I might still be hungry, I sit down for a few minutes just to be sure. Some nutritionists suggest that it takes 20 minutes for your body to feel full. I tried to sit as long as possible this time while my five year old kept asking, “Are you done yet? How much longer? Three more minutes up? Mmmm, why are you just sitting there?”
Since the recommended 20-minute meal time is out of the question, I adopted the “clean as I go” food prep strategy. I fix the appropriate portion of healthy food and then leave the food. If I’m really hungry after I finish my first serving, I’ll take the food out and make some more. Chances are I’m not hungry and I don’t want to clean the kitchen again just to overeat. Being tidy can play a role in keeping you fit and healthy.
4. Listen to your body
On days when life feels like it’s spinning out of control and I’m on the brink of not holding it together, I just want to sit. And eat. But I learned to ask myself, “Am I really hungry?” Ask your body if it’s really full and listen to its answer. You may be really hungry or just want a cold glass of mineral water and five minutes to yourself with the newspaper. Or maybe you’re nervous or anxious and just need to sit and breathe.
5. Eat somewhere in your home
But when I first got married, I ate all over my house and left a trail of crumbs everywhere I went. My husband shooed me to the kitchen table to sit with a napkin on my lap. But I realized that by eating in one place, I actually ate less and enjoyed it more. Now I eat alone or with my family at our kitchen table. I sit in a chair, put my fork down between bites and put a napkin on my lap and a glass of water on the table. How civilized.
6. Turn off the TV to foster an emotionally healthy environment
After having our second and then third child, my husband and I were both tired at the end of the day. I convinced him that if I was really careful I could enjoy healthy meals on the couch while watching TV. We started parking on the couch in the family room and having dinner in front of the TV. We did some work on our house and had to unplug our TV for several weeks. And we’re back at the dinner table.
Our conversations at the table became longer and more interesting. We ate more slowly and enjoyed our food. As a mother I realized my family ties when we eat together at the table. I know television is not good for young children, but I never realized how much turning off the television could create an emotionally healthy environment for my entire family. To this day, I still believe that turning off the TV is one of the best healthy eating tips.
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