At times in my life, I’ve insisted my family immediately change everything about the way we eat, and it creates too much stress. People have actually protested, like the time I switched all the meat to tofu and my husband said, “If this keeps happening, I’m going to call my mama.”
And my changes never stuck. But little by little, I’ve learned to add in some healthy meals and practices that everyone loves. Nobody seems to notice my incremental changes. So, if you’re reading this as the main chef in your household, let me encourage you. If would want to try one vegetarian or vegan meal a week, nobody will stomp their feet. If you want to add in kale and broccoli sprouts to your caesar salad, nobody will start crying at the table. And nobody will care if you occasionally serve quinoa instead of rice or if you’ve sprinkled flaxseed into the soup you’re serving.
It’s always little changes that stick. Add a bowl of nuts to the selection of after school snacks, along with popcorn and sliced oranges. Make a green smoothie every once in a while. Make Tex-Mex Quinoa Bowls, loaded with veggies, for the tailgate this weekend (it’s so good that people won’t know it’s healthy.)
Remember the little changes–the avocado oil you spritz on popcorn instead of lathering it in butter, the green tea you steep in the morning instead of a second cup of coffee that’s mostly creamer, and the salmon you’re serving instead of fried chicken.
Soon, folks around your table will feel better, sleep better, and even look better. As someone who finally made my lifetime goal at Weight Watchers, I’m learning how to make healthy eating part of everyone’s day without shocking the family system.
So let the little changes begin, the ones nobody may notice but you.