You know that eating healthier foods is the only way to get great transformation results but what about the rest of your family?  Are you doomed to make two meals for the rest of your life?  Not at all.  You can cook healthy meals and please the entire family all with one daily meal.   Here are my top 5 strategies to escape the “two meal mommy” trap.

#1: Introduce them to healthy fare early!

As a mom you have a huge influence on your child’s culinary preferences.  You can start to influence their preferences as early as pregnancy.  Try as much as possible to eat healthy foods like proteins, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats during your pregnancy.  Continue this habit through your child’s infancy- especially if you are breastfeeding.  When your little one is ready for solid foods, avoid the temptation to feed them quick, convenient, processed food.  Continue the healthy food theme that you started during pregnancy.  They will eventually start school, visit a relative, or attend a birthday party and be introduced to foods that you would not normally feed them but when you set the stage early for healthy eating and remain consistent, you will minimize your food battles and likely raise a healthy eater.

#2: Keep meals simple and skip the starch.

Almost overnight, you may expect your meat and potatoes eating family to be happy with grilled chicken salad spritzed with lemon juice- GOOD LUCK!  When you cook meals that include a protein, starch and vegetable (rather than casseroles and other one pot dishes), it is easy to satisfy everyone in one meal.  You can simply skimp on or skip the starch for you and serve them as normal.  Be sure to season everything well so that the meal does not resemble bland hospital food.  You will get more buy in when the food does not taste like it was cooked for a dieter.

#3: Make healthier versions of “kid foods” and family favorites.

You simply have to get a little creative.  For taco night, you can eat fewer tortillas or put your meat and fixings over a pre-made salad (bag salads are wonderful for this).  For pizza night, you can use a high fiber, high protein tortilla for the crust and make them at home with sauce and lean ground meat.  Since you will be making individual pizzas, you can load yours with plenty of vegetables.  If you order pizza, you can enjoy one slice along with a salad and a nice piece of meat that you would have pre-cooked earlier in the week.  Finally burger and fries night for them can be a burger on a chopped salad (see the theme here) for you with a few of the baked, all natural fries on the side.  As you see a little creativity can go a long way with keeping you on track and your family satisfied with the nightly meals.

#4: Let them help.

You may discover that depending on the age of your children that they will eat a meal simply because they are proud that they helped make it.  I will always remember the different response I got from AJ when I let him help with the meal prep.  He was chomping away on vegetables and meat because he cut and cooked them and he was proud of his accomplishment.  This was a meal that would have normally required a little tough love to get him to finish.


#5:  Just add dipping sauce.

While you may have come to see food as fuel, kids (and some husbands) see it as fun- an experience if you will.  Giving your little ones a few healthy sauces to use for dipping could be the only change you need to make to get them to eat the family meal.  Some of my regulars are ketchup or BBQ sauce (without high fructose corn syrup), honey mustard (made with regular mustard and a drizzle of honey),and honey soy (soy sauce and honey).

The final thing you need to remember to escape the” Two Meal Mommy Trap” is that you are NOT doomed to either eat healthy and cook double daily OR eat unhealthy.  There is a sweet compromise that will work for your family.  You just have to be patient and persistent to find the strategy that works for you.

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