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Family Friendly Dinners

Family Friendly Dinners

Losing weight can often be difficult in a family setting because it’s often inconvenient to cook different meals for yourself and the rest of the family. This is particularly the case when it comes to the meal that the family shares the most, dinner.

The key to overcoming this common barrier to successful weight loss is to find healthy dinners and healthy dinner recipes the whole family can enjoy, and we can help you to do just that with the tips we’ve included in this article.

The Dilemma

If you’ve tried to lose weight by dieting in the past and you have a family to take care of, the dilemma of preparing separate meals for you and the rest of the family will be all too familiar.

The choices usually come down to:

  1. Preparing multiple dinners each night.
  2. Forcing the family to eat what you’re eating.
  3. You continuing to eat what the family eats despite knowing you should be eating something else.

In most instances, even if you try options one and two, you end up going for option three because the others are just too hard to live with.

But there is another option.

Instead of forcing the family to eat what you’re eating, maybe they can be encouraged to eat what you’re eating.

Below are ten proven tips to help you do just that.

Healthy Family Dinner Tips

  1. Talk about 'healthier' not 'weight loss' – never refer to new recipes you want to try as being weight loss recipes, but rather healthier recipes. Weight loss recipes tend to be thought of as boring and tasteless, which of course many aren’t.
  2. Be prepared to cook the same recipe with minor variations – instead of cooking separate meals, you can try leaving some ingredients out of a recipe to make it more appealing to others. For example, if you’re preparing a recipe with mushrooms and someone in the family doesn’t like mushrooms, just leave the mushrooms out of their serve.
  3. Cater to fussy eaters – most families have at least one fussy eater and their needs are important too. Why not try introducing healthier new recipes that incorporate foods they like first, so they develop a more open mind to the concept of introducing new foods into the family diet?
  4. Plan for variety – this means a variety of dishes that have a variety of ingredients. Nutritionists and dietitians around the world all agree that the healthiest diets are those that contain the widest variety of foods. ‘Eat many things, all in moderation’, is their mantra.
  5. Food should be tasty – if new recipes and foods introduced to the family aren’t tasty, chances are they won’t like them and you’ll be wasting your time. Look for recipes that include fresh ingredients that are naturally tasty, such as fresh vegetables (e.g. onions and garlic), herbs (e.g. rosemary, basil and thyme), and spices (e.g. turmeric, paprika, and chilli).
  6. Think about ingredient based recipes – for example if you want to include more vegetables in your diet, look for recipes with vegetables as the main ingredient, or recipes with lots of vegetables as ingredients. Or, if your family likes meat, look for tasty pork recipes that are lower in fat than other meat options. If your family enjoy pasta, look for healthier pasta recipes. You get the gist.
  7. Aim to introduce a new recipe each week – this shouldn’t be too much for the family to handle. Generally people don’t like change, especially to their diet, so introduce new recipes slowly. To help you come up with new ideas each week, we publish new recipes on this website. For automatic updates, visit our Facebook page or sign up for our free Weightloss Newsletter.
  8. Don’t forget about portion sizes – if you are eating the foods the family like but are not compatible with your weight loss goals, use smaller portion sizes to help you achieve your goal.
  9. Sell new meals to the family – take a leaf out of the book of marketers of junk food, find out what appeals to your target audience (your family members) and pitch your healthy dinner recipe idea messages to what appeals to them. For example, if you have children that are sporty, tell them that the new meals are eating by their favourite sports stars and will help them to perform better at their chosen sports.
  10. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – change doesn’t often come easy and the larger your family, the harder it’s likely going to be introducing healthier dinners into family mealtimes. Be patient, keep trying new things and build on minor successes.

Conclusion

Losing weight can often be difficult in a family setting because it’s often inconvenient to cook different meals for yourself and the rest of the family. This is particularly the case when it comes to the meal that the family shares the most, dinner.

The key to overcoming this common barrier to successful weight loss is to find healthy dinner recipes the whole family can enjoy, and we hope that we’ve helped you to do just that with the tips we’ve included in this article.

© Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.

This article was written by Scott Haywood.

Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.

You can follow Scott on Google+ for more interesting articles.

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