Sometimes the most challenging thing about making a lifestyle change is getting your family on board. Overcoming cravings and missing your old comfort foods can be hard during those first few weeks of paleo dieting. To put it simply, it can be tough. You don’t need the added temptation of non-paleo foods in the house. Foods that were bought for family members who haven’t made the decision to take the paleo leap. Here are just a few tips to help you in your mission to get your family on the paleo bandwagon.
When you are doing your meal planning and preparing your grocery lists, try to find recipes that are similar to what you know your family already likes. A paleo recipe that mimics a family favorite is far more likely to be enjoyed than a brand new recipe that no one is familiar with.
Invite your family to help you pick out new meal choices. Kids (and adults) are more likely to be interested in trying new things if they feel empowered to make some choices of their own. If you do choose to try a new recipe, try it out on yourself before you prepare it for a family dinner. This will give you time to perfect the preparation and cooking methods involved, as well as a chance to decide whether or not you actually like the dish yourself.
Once you have your meal plan and grocery list ready to go, you don’t have to go it alone. Bring your kids (or even your spouse) with you and let them help you. The more you can engage them in every step of the process, the more interested they are likely to be in the final result. Give them a rough outline of the types of foods that you need to pick up, and let them take the reins. You can even make a game out of finding all of the items on your list.
With older children, you can give them each a piece of the shopping list and offer a prize for the winner who returns with all of the correct items first. For younger kids, try giving them a small choice and letting them take their time to pick for themselves. Tell them that you need three types of meat and fruit in every color and see what they come up with. Making grocery shopping fun and engaging is a great way to get them more interested in the meals that these ingredients will become.
When you get ready to start preparing your paleo dinner, let your kids help you. For any parent, this can be a little bit scary. But kids usually like to get their hands dirty and do a bit of experimenting. If you are worried about the way your child’s food will taste cook the same dish right alongside them. Not only will they feel empowered because they were able to make their own dinner, but you will have a backup dish on hand if you need it, (and if you don’t need it you can freeze the extra dish to use as leftovers).
Embracing a new lifestyle is hard, but having the support of your family will make it much easier.