Licensed/ Degreed Nutritionist , Diabetes Peer Educator, & Weight loss Expert
“5 Things to Help Support Your Partner, Family and Friends Make Healthier Food Choices”
One important question I ask my Nutrition clients is: Who do you receive the most support to meet your food and nutrition goals? It may seem like a simple question, but it actually requires thought. We all go through the days, the years of work and business lunches, birthdays, holidays, and other social gatherings. We develop a daily routine of food patterns, behaviors and habits. Regardless of your age, sex, or lifestyle, your life revolves around food, day-in and day-out. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, healthy or not. One thing I think everyone can agree on is that food, has the capacity to show how well we all show how much we love, care, and have compassion for those in our circle. I created this list that may help anyone trying to support or get motivated to make healthy nutrition changes. These tips may also help support a friend or loved one in their journey to nutrition wellness. Please share, if you care.
- Help them seek the help of a Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian – Just like any friend, let them know it is okay to get help. They may need to discuss their food challenges with a Nutrition professional. They can get the best educational information to assist them with the obstacles they face with food. Nutritionist/ Registered Dietitians are educated and trained to assist you in understanding your nutritional needs and requirements for your specific health and lifestyle. There are educational requirements to become a Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian in most states. Always remind them to consult with their MD before starting any new regimen.
- Cook for yourself, friends and loved ones– Cooking for people is the most beautiful and simple symbol of love. Cooking does not have to be a fancy gourmet dinner . Keep it simple. Cooking for yourself, is also a great way to build your skills and experiment with your taste buds. If you have a large family, and very busy, making a simple fresh salad, will add a special touch to a family meal. If you are great at making a healthy homemade soup, make it for the family to have ready for the week. If you want to remake a family recipe to a healthier version, do it. Cooking and experimenting with foods and nutritious recipes is a lot of fun and teaches a family a lot of valuable skills, especially for young people and children. Cooking involves learning, using and applying some of the basics in science, math, and english, get them involved young and it will be a healthy habit for a lifetime.
- Beware of what you Read and Share – Be sure to take time and read and share credible nutrition related information and resources with your loved ones. There are so many fad-diets, product-bloggers, weight loss claims and gimmicks. A credible source will allow the reader to be able to read the writers credentials and educational background and has licensed and credentialing information with the nutrition information.
- Rethink your Grocery Shopping Goals – Take time to shop. Many people seem to have bought into the thought process and mentality of: “Let me run in and run out of the grocery store, real quick.” Why? Do we run in and run out, to buy a car, a home, an outfit for that special occasion , or a new pair of shoes? The secret that helps many people achieve a successful and healthy nutrition goals is they take time to shop, they take time to read, time to study and make good, better, and the best decisions about what they are shopping for and why. I teach my nutrition clients, their goal is optimal nutritional health. Their food choices and time they use to make food decisions matters everyday, 365 days of the year.
- Talk about foods you like earlier – The conversations we have about food are very important. Our loved ones and families often ask, “What’s for dinner?” or we ask “What do you want for dinner?” Having these conversations are great, but it is usually late, very late, because most of the time someone is already hungry. My suggestion is to consider talking about some of your favorite vegetables, fruits and types of lean meats and fish ahead of time. Have the family get involved and have everyone write/text a list of their favorites.
Even though these may seem like little acts. These tips go a long way when someone or a family is trying to take a better direction in the food journey. These are a start to making better decisions in their food and nutritional health. Eat well, Family!