Whole Foods Lifestyle - How to become a SuperFood family??




olivia627
06-12-2010, 11:36 PM
Okay, I'm used to jumping into SuperFoods with both feet, but how do I get my family (hubby: 37, children: 8, 5 & 2) on board? Do I get them to become SuperFood-ers by gradually weaning them off of the junk that's in my kitchen or do I just throw them in to healthy eating head first, whether they want to or not? LOL!!! I'm thinking the latter. I dunno, I'm just in an overthrow kind of mood! Out with the bad and in with the good!

One thing that will help is that everyone wants to become more involved in meal preparation. If they help to prepare it, they'll be more inclined to EAT it! I think it'll be fun to recreate less-than-healthy meals into SuperFood versions. And they love to help with grocery lists and shopping, so we can make this a fun family transition.

Those of you who changed, not only your way of eating, but your spouse and/or your entire family's way of eating: Which approach did you take, and how did your family or spouse adjust? What was the most difficult? And what was easier than you expected?


bronzeager
06-14-2010, 06:53 AM
I'm not sure which list of SuperFoods you're using (Googled it and there are lots of different lists). But in my calorie counting I did try to add in as many nutrient-dense things as possible so I am eating a lot of those things on the lists regularly now.

Some I just jumped right into, like olive oil. It's what I use now for cooking (carefully measured because of the calories), and almost all my salad dressings are olive oil based because the low-fat commercial dressings don't taste very good to me.

For the others, I don't have a family to deal with, but I started basically with one new food a week and whatever way worked best I now eat regularly. Cranberries and almonds in the steel cut oatmeal, 1/4 avocado in the lunch sandwich, grilled broccoli and sweet potato at dinner etc. Maybe you could make it a competition for the kids: this is the new food of the week! How can we use it? A sticker for the one who comes up with the most ways or eats it the most.

Also I discovered grilling vegetables and how good it made them, with just a little salt and pepper and lemon, or soy sauce, or ginger. After a couple of months I basically had the attitude "Will this grill? Yes!"

Do you have people in your family who would get into grilling, outdoors or even a George Foreman grill? That might be a way in.

I also follow several cooking blogs that tend to highlight creative ways to use vegetables, fruits, whole grains etc. One I use a lot is The Kitchn (http://www.thekitchn.com/) (no e) although it does feature high fat things sometimes that strain my temptation.

Somewhat surprisingly Martha Stewart also does lots of creative healthy things with vegetables and grains in her magazine, and those recipes are not usually as complicated as her reputation suggests. Or you can skip some steps and buy some basic spice mixes instead of all the ones individually and come up with basically the same thing. You can find lots of things on her web site, and most libraries keep back issues of MS Living magazine.

olivia627
06-14-2010, 10:56 AM
Such GREAT ideas!!!

For the others, I don't have a family to deal with, but I started basically with one new food a week and whatever way worked best I now eat regularly. Cranberries and almonds in the steel cut oatmeal, 1/4 avocado in the lunch sandwich, grilled broccoli and sweet potato at dinner etc. Maybe you could make it a competition for the kids: this is the new food of the week! How can we use it? A sticker for the one who comes up with the most ways or eats it the most.

Funny you suggested this, because I was going to start having cooking competitions amongst the kids, kind of like my fav show Chopped! What a fun way to have them use those 'special ingredients' to come up with their own signature dishes. LOVE THIS idea!!! And this past Saturday, I took them with me to pick blueberries. We came away with 3 quarts full of beautiful, tasty blueberries. That could be our ingredient of the week!

Also I discovered grilling vegetables and how good it made them, with just a little salt and pepper and lemon, or soy sauce, or ginger. After a couple of months I basically had the attitude "Will this grill? Yes!"

Do you have people in your family who would get into grilling, outdoors or even a George Foreman grill? That might be a way in.

Both my hubby and I LOVE to grill and smoke things. I have your attitude that EVERYTHING can be grilled!

I also follow several cooking blogs that tend to highlight creative ways to use vegetables, fruits, whole grains etc. One I use a lot is The Kitchn (http://www.thekitchn.com/) (no e) although it does feature high fat things sometimes that strain my temptation.

Somewhat surprisingly Martha Stewart also does lots of creative healthy things with vegetables and grains in her magazine, and those recipes are not usually as complicated as her reputation suggests. Or you can skip some steps and buy some basic spice mixes instead of all the ones individually and come up with basically the same thing. You can find lots of things on her web site, and most libraries keep back issues of MS Living magazine.

Thank you for replying and sharing such great ideas and information!


olivia627
06-14-2010, 10:58 AM
Oh, I follow the SuperFoods Rx & SuperFoods Health Style books, by Steven Pratt.

bronzeager
06-14-2010, 12:54 PM
Gosh, I totally want blueberries now. Sadly, here (Middle East) they're only available frozen. I am somewhat making up for the loss with fresh mangoes. I'll have to look that book up. Does it have recipes too?

Forgot to add: The Kitchn web page has been around for several years, so if you use their search function for "quinoa" or whatever, you can usually get hits both for past articles on basic cooking tips and for recipes that use it. Also I found out about Kalyn's Kitchen (http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/) on the low carb forums here, there are lots of neat recipes on there. Really good for seeing ways to use herbs and spices to jazz things up.

WarMaiden
06-14-2010, 01:06 PM
My husband does the majority of the dinner cooking in our household. It's very important to him that I am willing to eat what he cooks, and that I like it and compliment it; so, to be honest, what I did to get him to change our family's dinners was a little manipulative. I basically told him flat-out that there were certain things I was not going to eat anymore (white rice, potatoes, meat cooked in too much fat, veggies cooked in too much fat), but that he was welcome to still cook and eat those things himself. If I was hungry and the dinner didn't suit me, I'd just fend for myself. Well...he hated the idea of that because being a helper/provider is very important to him :)

We had a period of some tension as our dinners were changed over to what they are now, which is basically lean proteins and veggies. (That was 2 years ago.) Even now we will have some tension on occasion when I want another change, such as recently I complained that we just were not having enough volume of veggies at dinner. After politely stating this for a while, I kind of blew up about it and we had a bit of a fight. Then I suggested to him that he just get $&*^ 2-pound bags of chopped frozen broccoli at the store, since everyone in the family likes broccoli and will eat it, and then he doesn't have to spend the time chopping it up and so on...and I get the VOLUME of veggies that I want rather than a few florets.

So for me it's a process of manipulation, polite requesting, some tension and fighting, and some finding creative solutions to problems :)

Really, it's an ongoing thing. Just in the last few months I have again adjusted what my kids get to eat for breakfast. On weekdays no more cereal--not even plain Cheerios--because it just doesn't fill them up and that sets them up for crankiness and poor behavior the rest of the day. Now I cook them things to eat that they're willing to eat and which have plenty of protein and good fat (like pumpkin custard or mini cottage-cheesecakes) ahead of time, to take that burden off their dad.

And we have recently implemented a rule that says "If you are truly hungry after dinner, you can have some fruit of which there is plenty in the house, rather than asking for candy." Lots of protesting about that, but the key is to stick to it.

Good luck!

olivia627
06-14-2010, 05:26 PM
Oh, bronzeager, I'm so sorry about the blueberry thing... I crave them when they're not in season, and frozen is definitely NOT the same as fresh! Hang in there!! Yes, the SuperFood books have wonderful recipes in them and in the Health Style book, he arranges the SuperFoods according to their seasons. Very helpful books. I highly recommend!

WarMaiden, it sounds like you've found a system that works! LOL!!! My husband couldn't boil an egg, but he does like to use the grill. What may help us is that he'll eat whatever I cook, no questions asked and with little to no complaints over content! He should be an easy sell on this. But the kids??? Well, I think you're spot on: the keys are to offer them good snack choices, in place of bad ones, and to stick to it! Thanks for the suggestions.