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starting a new family Diet

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Posts: 14
3/5/13 1:28 P

I would be (and I am)honest with everyone, not manipulate or hide things.

I would also set the new reality. For example, apple slices don't *replace* chips with a sandwich. Chips are not really even a food, so how could a whole food like an apple replace it? Point it out as an error. It's okay, because you're fixing the error. Your five year old will get that and pick up on it. "Yeah, Mommy, we used to eat that junk but now we eat healthy!" I can just hear it :) Stick with your guns, make the change, don't look back. You have this, Mom!

Posts: 38
3/3/13 2:29 P

Introducing my husband to 1 new vegetable at a time, has made my having him eating all kinds of vegetables easier. Since he doesn't cook, it is up to me to make the dinner. I, too, don't call it a diet--just a new way of eating. I recently added bok choy to our meal. He ate it and remarked, "This is good." I sauted the bok choy in minced garlic, olive oil and fresh grated ginger made the "new" vegetable tasty.

Edited by: LOISY3 at: 3/3/2013 (14:30)

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3/2/13 8:36 P

I don't know that I necessarily have ideas for you, but wanted to say great job on working on this as a family!

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3/2/13 4:19 P


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2/28/13 6:00 P

Kick the diet and change your lifestyle starting with small things that you agree upon. Spark is full of information to help you.

Posts: 341
2/27/13 7:15 P

good luck to you both.

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Posts: 90
2/27/13 4:03 P

Lots of great tips in this thread.

Something that worked for us was to join a CSA/produce delivery service. Each week we select one of 3-6 different boxes of produce, and a few days later, a copier paper size box of a variety of produce is left at our doorstep. It's all grown in the state (I'm in NC), and it's incredibly fresh. Caveat: many CSAs are not delivery, meaning you must pick it up on a particular day within a few hour window at a designated location that may or may not be convenient. Check this before signing up. Additionally, if there aren't multiple farms participating, you might be getting an entire box of only one item, which is fine if you're into freezing or canning, but you may want more variety. The one we've found has at least 6 items in easy to use quantities (as well as offering stock-up boxes if the urge to freeze or can strikes you!). Some CSAs want a full payment up front to the tune of hundreds of dollars (again, fine if you know what you're getting); mine is a small, $18 fee then about $26 or so a week (depending on what is selected). It also allows us to skip weeks if we want to. It's one of the most flexible CSAs. (If you're in the Triangle, Triad, or Wilmington, NC, private message me and I'll be happy to give you the details.)

When the box is delivered, involve your husband and children in examining the box, reading the enclosed recipes, and helping to put it away. Take pictures of the children with the vegetables and really make it fun for them. Also have everyone help select a recipe (if age appropriate) or even if they can help wash or cut them, they'll take ownership of their food. Taking ownership goes a long way into eating them! For hubby, ownership may boil down to, "we paid for this and we're not wasting it!" (And it works!)

Sometimes you'll look at the box and happily exclaim, "Look, a stir fry and pasta primavera, with lots of peaches for snacks!" Other times, you'll see those 7 baby eggplant and mutter something similar to, "What do I do with THAT?" And, thanks to Google, those 7 baby eggplant became some of the best grilled eggplant sandwiches (and several other recipes) that we now go out of our way to buy eggplant -- I had never purchased it before!

For us, we have found that we love eggplant, bok choy, chard, field peas, collard greens, and purple and white bell peppers -- among many that I can't recall offhand. Kale, not so much, but there are a couple of recipes where we can hide it well. We have found that they have THE BEST sweet corn we have ever had, peaches that were OUTSTANDING, some of the most flavorful celery ever (I didn't really think it had a taste, but wow, this stuff was amazing!), and generally the produce is of the highest, freshest quality. So much better than the local stores, and sometimes it even tops the farmer's market! We eat more produce now than we ever have, and our meat consumption has gone down to make room for the produce.

One thing I learned quickly is that my meat-and-potatoes husband doesn't like plain veggies. However, if you stick them in a stir fry, a tomato-based sauce with lots of herbs and/or spices, a casserole (without the cream-of-whatever soups or lots of cheeses that add calories), or even make them fritters, he doesn't notice them too much. Each time I introduced a new veggie, it was "buried" in a dish similar to something he was comfortable with. My son (age 21) was much more adventurous, trying absolutely everything. I had to start identifying which items were earmarked for meals because he'll easily blow through pounds of broccoli, carrots, grape tomatoes, and fruit for snacks if I'd let him. In fact, a quart of berries or grape tomatoes didn't last as long as it took to put the rest of the box away! (Gotta admit, I'd help him eat them!)

In the middle of last summer, after a year of doing this, we started needing TWO boxes for the three of us. And I still needed a weekly trip to the farmer's market as well as regular grocery store for those things not grown in NC or are off season, like onions, pineapples, kiwi, potatoes, etc. It really forced us to try new things and find lots of new recipes. Especially for summer may get more than you need! However, I'm now using the last of the stuff I've frozen, so I'm really ready for it to start back in early April.

We now absolutely adore vegetables, and my husband will eat a lot of plain vegetables, enjoying them even more than a plain baked potato. (And he'll do Greek yogurt on his potato instead of sour cream, especially since he thinks it's low fat sour cream emoticon ).

It's a great way to ensure that you cook healthy at home, because you'll look at this pile of produce and not want it to go to waste. And you'll have to try different things, either with the enclosed recipes or by searching on your own. SP has some great recipes, and there are many, many other sites.

Posts: 5,439
2/26/13 11:28 P

Very commendable of you to do this now when your child is still young. That is the best time to do it so they form healthy habits from a young age. I would recommend that you try roasting vegetables. Roasting veggies with seasonings makes carrots, onions, potatoes, etc. very tasty and it could be something that would go over with the family. Please don't think of you new healthy lifestyle as a diet. That sounds like a temporary fix and you really want to have a mind set that you are changing to a new healthy eating program for life. Best to you and yours!

Posts: 36
2/26/13 7:40 P

When I started weaning my BF on healthier foods I would do the following:

-Use the food processor to grate carrots and other veggies and throw them into a vegetarian lasagna. He couldn't see them, so he couldn't "taste" them. I also would put half a block of tofu into the blender with the ricotta cheese and he still to this day has no idea half of the "cheese" is tofu.

-Cut up apple slices to serve with a sandwich instead of chips. I also steam snap green beans very lightly so they are crisp and non-mushy and he eats them with his fingers like fries.

- Substitute 1/2 of your ground beef with organic TVP when you are making sloppy joes, tacos, meatballs or meatloaf. TVP isn't my favorite because its processed, but it is better than beef and way less calories and fat.

- Make sweets with applesauce or yogurt instead of oil/butter.

Most of all, just try new things! There are some things that you all won't like, but you may be surprised with the new things you DO like! :-) And after a few weeks, your tastebuds will change and you will start the way healthy food tastes!

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2/26/13 6:53 P

hi everyone!

I recently started a blog where I've been posting recipes that I make for my boyfriend and I. He's a picky eater but so far all the recipes I've posted have been major hits with him! They are all very healthy recipes that don't contain processed foods and on top of it all, they're delicious!

hope you like it! Follow it for updates!

Posts: 322
2/25/13 9:38 A

I've been bugging my husband to look online for new recipes for weeks. My only stipulation was that they not be fried. Finally he told me why don't you just buy a cookbook and I'll look at that. So I did, and he picked out two recipes he wanted me to try. He even took the baby out while I cooked them, and he liked them both! His problem isn't that he doesn't eat healthy, he's very thin, he's just so picky and I get tired of eating the same three things!

Having him pick out the recipes was perfect. I think psychologically he was more invested in enjoying them, and they were nice and healthy. When my daughter is old enough I will do the same thing with her.

Posts: 12,830
2/24/13 4:38 P

Thought we were on track with healthy eating, focusing on paleo. But I guess we have slipped since DH is down 10 pounds. Have to watch we both do 1800 calories daily for his sake.

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2/23/13 3:21 A

I noticed as i make changes and they become habits, my hubby also responds and makes small changes.

Posts: 1,509
2/22/13 1:00 P

If you can't change his habits, then you'll have to change yours. Plan for healthy snacks, and say no when he brings out his. Remember - you are the one who controls what you put in your mouth - he doesn't force-feed you junk food. Only you can decide what you want to eat.

This might sound mean, but that's not how its meant. It's like when we were kids and wanted to do something just because everybody else was doing it. My mom would say "Would you jump off a bridge just because everybody else is doing it?"

Well, you're an adult now, not a kid. It's not easy, but you have to want to lose weight enough to make the right decisions for yourself.

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2/22/13 12:37 P


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2/20/13 5:28 P

My children are 9 and 6. Somewhere along the way, I read an article in a parenting magazine that suggested putting at least two foods your kid likes on the plate at every meal. To get an additional serving of anything on the plate, your kid has to eat everything, including the new food.

So let's take tonight's dinner as an example: We're going to eat brown rice, shrimp, stir-fried vegetables and pineapple for dessert. My younger daughter will not be happy about the rice or the shrimp, so she'll get a big heaping serving of vegetables, some pineapple and then a quarter cup of rice and two or three shrimp. Two out of four isn't bad, and if she's really hungry, she'll eat it all. Last night, on the other hand, we had chicken lettuce wraps and she scarfed down twice as much food as her older sister. I figure it all works out in the end with the kiddos.

As for the BIG kid at your house, that will be more of a challenge. However, I'd consider the same strategy. Serve a steak with a baked potato AND BROCCOLI. Or serve a gigantic spinach salad WITH CHICKEN. Include something he really really likes at every meal.

If all else fails with the big one, appeal to his love for the kid. Studies show that kids eat their veggies when Dad eats his veggies. Guilt him into being a great role model. To that end, my husband now eats steamed green beans, and his mother still cannot believe it!

Good luck!

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2/19/13 12:56 P

My problem is my DH is 6' and weighs less then 160 pounds, so he has to eat as much as he can. My youngest DD is on the swim team so she is ALWAYS hungry. This doesn't mean we don't eat healthy however. I can't remember her name or the name of the book (so big help I am emoticon ) but Jerry Seinfeld's wife has a book about how to "hide" veggies in foods to get them into kids. I know one of them was to puree either carrots or broccoli and use that as the coating for oven fried chicken. You can add purred veggies to sauces and the like.

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2/18/13 8:55 P

If what you bring into the house is healthy, your family will have to go out to get junk food. My guys are now eating bananas for dessert and cuties tangerines for snacks....a miracle!

Posts: 114
2/18/13 8:02 P

My fiance was the same way when we first moved in together. It used to drive me BANANAS trying to make him eat healthier because even if he did actually try something new he would gag himself. I then resorted to not only grating vegetables into things like meatballs, taco meat, etc, but I would give it a whir in the food processor so it was even finer. I take pride in the food I cook, so it used to really get at me. It basically came down to me having a bad day one day and I just let him know that I'm mad at his mother for doing me no favors in making him eat healthy, our future children will NOT eat the way he did and that if he ever expected to get into shape, get healthy and get into the police academy, he better learn to love produce. Looking back, I feel bad now. But guess who roasts broccoli on his own now? emoticon

Posts: 2,035
2/18/13 7:03 P

In the beginning I would stick with what your husband likes. He likes meat so, prepare your meals with a portion size meat like chicken breast, turkey, steak, etc and you can season it different ways. If he won't try other veggies then a side spinach salad with light dressing would be good. Also a good snack is an apple with a piece of cheese or a side of peanut butter. Also baked potatoes and baked french fries are fine, just watch the butter and anything else you add for flavor.

There is nothing wrong with eating the same thing over and over and over again. I do that and it keeps me very consistent. You didn't mention anything about breakfast foods. Oatmeal and egg whites are a good choice and you can saute apple slices to add to the oatmeal too.

As your hubby is more on board then you can easily add new food items to your meal plan as he becomes more open to the idea. Otherwise we as a whole don't like to change much and it makes it harder to stick to a program if nothing appeals to your eating habits. Good luck and good for you to want to make change as a family. Kids are very moldable and your child should just adjust easily to what you are eating. I don't make different foods for our kids I just let them know this is for lunch dinner etc and if you are hungry then eat, if not I am not making anything else. Ha Ha! It works for us.

Edited by: FITGLAMGIRL at: 2/18/2013 (19:04)

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2/16/13 12:23 P

My boyfriend and I set out together to change our lifestyle - specifically in the health and wellness areas - at the beginning of the year. My boss laughed at me when I refuse to call it "going on a diet". Diets are temporary - this has to be permanent. We're middle-aged with no kids around, but he's got a lot of issues with eating healthy.

It takes baby steps - you can't do it all in one week, or even one month. Definitely eliminate the processed foods. Our big challenge is portion control. The kitchen is the heart of our home and we love to cook and to eat good food. Invest in a set of digital scales and use them. Measure, measure, measure. The first time I measured everything on his plate, he said "that's a lot of food!". Yes, honey, and it's only about 500 calories. emoticon

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2/15/13 1:17 P

Some nights I serve what I serve. There are typically other good choices which they can fix themselves. I also encourage the picky eaters to at least try a bite before they decide "it is awful". Sometimes I am surprised by what they actually like.

Posts: 661
2/14/13 10:59 A

KERI414 had a great suggestion of figuring out the why a child or husband doesn't like things.

my son has texture issues. he will gag on a soft cheese, but will eat feta or a hard parmesan cheese.

sometimes you can just present it in a different way and they will eat it. my daughter is super picky. i can add shredded carrots to soup or a salad and she is ok with that. but she won't eat a raw carrot unless she drowns it in ranch dressing to hide the taste.

Posts: 448
2/14/13 9:16 A

Hi. I'm a single mom with 2 very picky kids. Once a month we go to "Sweet Tomatos" it's a soup and salad bar resteraunt. Everybody has to try 2 new things on their plate - including me... My oldest figured out that he likes beets. Maybe you can try something like that - where at least once a month everyone has to try something new - they get to pick what the items are. Everyone may find something new that they like.

Posts: 3,851
2/13/13 9:51 P

Great thread. I got lots of good ideas for my family "lifestyle change". I am making small changes- more water, no white bread and a transition to WW pasta (ongoing). I find that if my husband and son pick out the recipe, they are more likely to eat it. Good luck. It will take time, but having lost weight and kept it off using SP myself is a great model for them

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2/13/13 5:02 P

There are some great suggestions here. I wanted to add that getting your son, and husband too, involved in the food selection and prep process will help a lot. Do you garden? Kids love to dig in the dirt, so you could have your son grow some veggies -- even in pots if you don't have a yard to dig up.

I take my children to the farmer's market, where the vendors frequently offer samples, and that encourages the kids to try new foods. Sometimes they want to get a strangely-shaped vegetable (hello, enormous crookneck squash!) or different fruit; I always say yes.

Roasting or grilling vegetables may make them more appealing to your husband, as other commenters have said. My partner is not big on cauliflower, but when I tried cauliflower steaks on him, he ate it like it was going out of style:

Having healthy snacks easily to hand works really well. Someone else suggested fruit salad; my kids will eat cut-up fruit more readily than whole fruit, so I try to remember to leave a bowl of it in the fridge, along with cut-up veggies and hummus.

Good luck!

Posts: 2,667
2/13/13 11:18 A

more echoing of previous statements.

Don't call it a diet; say you're striving to eat healthier.
Yes, it's mental gymnastics, but a better motivator. Usually "diets" have an end date; healthy lifestyles don't.

Small changes that you can live with, and keep adding/subtracting until you're satisfied with the overall picture.

Best wishes, and it's so great that everyone is going to be involved.
Especially get the five-year-old involved in the preparation of things (peeling veggies, washing stuff, measuring, etc.) It will make it more a lifestyle for him, too

Posts: 4,104
2/13/13 11:07 A

As others have said, this isn't a diet. This is improving the way the family eats.
Top recommendation--minimize the packaged/processed food that you have in the house.
Get back to real food.

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2/12/13 10:47 P

Try cutting down on sugars. It's amazing to see how much sugar we actually eat when we eat out or processed stuff. I made some mixed berries muffins to sneak some fruit in my diet. Stir fry is another great way to load up on veggies.

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2/11/13 3:20 P

Lean meat is great. You need to find out what he is eating that has caused you to gain the weight and stop eating that. Get rid of the chips and process foods.

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2/11/13 2:04 P

with my older kiddos (10 & 8), we included them by having them look through healthy recipes, taking them to the farmers market, and talking about balanced meals (ie. needs for protein, whole grains, veggies & fruits). i always stress that its not about 'never' having treats or unhealthy foods, but that they should be just that, treats, not every day items. with my littlest guy (3), he only gets to eat what i put in front of him, so i just make sure to offer him a wide range of healthy foods to let him explore what he likes

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2/11/13 1:44 P

I think it's important to get to the bottom of why it is exactly your husband and child do not like certain foods. After you've determined that, you'll have a better action plan. For example, is it a texture issue? Temperature issue? An issue with limited prior exposure to certain foods?

Posts: 321
2/11/13 12:37 P

Introduce new foods slowly. Let your hubby and/or son pick out the veggies at the store. If they pick them, they might actually eat them.

Besides salads, roasting veggies with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper makes them taste good. My family will eat just about any roasted veg, even beets and brussels sprouts. You can also go directly from freezer to oven. Easy.

For fruit, smoothies with frozen fruit and protein powder do the trick. You can easily get 4 types of fruit in one smoothie.

Good luck and don't give up. Also, don't get mad if they don't eat the fruits and veggies at first. Eventually, they will. At least your son will. Hopefully. Ha.

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2/11/13 11:59 A

Go slow - one change each week.

Posts: 31
2/10/13 12:53 P

You're on the right track if you want to start the whole family eating healthier, but I agree with the other posts - take it slow. There is a lot of trial & error that goes along with swapping out good for bad. I wanted to try ground turkey in my meatballs, tacos, chili, etc. I found the best way to do this was to use 1/2 lb. ground turkey & 1/2 lb. ground sirloin. This worked well as no one in the house knew the difference except for the day they spotted the turkey package in the frig! I've been trying to do the same with white flour & wheat flour.

Also, I weigh & measure all my food. The family has been watching me for months and they are getting a much better understanding of what an actual serving is. I'm not sure if they've figured out that I've been weighing their chips & counting the cookies out for their lunches! Some things they catch on to right away. For example, I put Who Nu Chocolate Sandwich Cookies in their lunches instead of Oreos. They knew! It's been easier to switch from ice cream to either low fat or light ice cream or even frozen yogurt.

If I cut up celery & carrots & put them in a Tupperware container w/ water, they get eaten. You can sneak vegetables & beans into recipes by pureeing them. I'm planning on doing this to a recipe this week!

Become a label reader. Buy cereals with high fiber content. Switch from white rice to brown rice (not that my husband likes either!) Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of margarine or butter (look for a conversion chart on line). My biggest tip to you would be to cut out processed, prepackaged & prepared food from your grocery order. The more natural the food, the better it is nutritionally. Also, join Pinterest. I've found some really good recipes I can't wait to try or browse the Sparkrecipes for ideas.

Good luck in your new venture!

Posts: 11,723
2/9/13 7:29 P

1. i will say that the primary definition of diet is what one eats. so anything you choose to eat gets included and anything you don't happen to eat is excluded.
2. if he likes spinach, try starting off with spinach salad. use spinach as a base, watermelon as a bit of low cal juiciness [in place of dressing if you can], and then try one new thing in there [perhaps a little shredded carrot?]. see how that goes over. if you find something everyone likes, keep it in. if no one likes it, move on to the next trial [tomatoes, onion, cucumber, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, squash, and so forth]. keep what y'all like, ditch or try to rotate in again [it can take ten to twenty tries to get your tastebuds used to something].
3. if he like potatoes, try roasting other root veggies with the potatoes with a piece of meat and having that. if he likes some of the roots [parsnip, carrots, winter squash, sweet potato], start trying to rotate those in as sides in place of potatoes.
try adding half a cup of cauliflower to your regular mashed potatoes recipe. if they like, gradually boost up the portion til you can start decreasing the potato content just a little.
alternately, add veggies to your mash. cauliflower, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli, peppers, really any veggie can be added to cook down with the potatoes [ i tend to cube my potatoes, fill water to halfway up, and use the water to mash instead of draining. i've made very pretty confetti potatoes that had butternut squash, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and onion in them before] and that adds a bit of extra nutrition and exposure without being too out there.
4. shepard's pie. it's meat and potatoes and the best thing is that you can add anything else you want in there. all the dark green leafies, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, lentils, peppers, onions, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, root veggies pretty much anything can be added. and like i mentioned before, you make the basic meat and potatoes version and you add a half cup of the new thing for the first few times. if it goes over well, you bump up the amount of new thing in it the next few times you make it. if you want to bump up the new item again, do so. then add another new item and ease the portion up to where you want it to be.
5. stripe peel the apples. in other words, leave just a little bit of skin on them, gradually increasing the amount you leave on til they are eating them with the skin. works with pretty much all vegetables that have easily edible skins. even the pickiest eaters get tired of removing everything all the time and often find it's not worth the effort to try and peel the last 5% of the apple skin you keep missing, at which point apple skin becomes less of an issue.
6. there are plenty of other foods besides yogurt, applesauce and cottage cheese. it's perfectly possible to have a diet that doesn't include them. and while i can't vouch for that on the applesauce and yogurt as i enjoy them, i have hated cottage cheese my whole life and living a very fulfilling life without it. personally i tend to stick to yogurt or ricotta or just plain cheese instead.

Posts: 1,445
2/9/13 5:20 P

I suggest you don't try to change everything all at once. As already suggested use healthier products or cooking methods in your normal recipes and try to introduce one new food each week. You can look on spark recipes for inspiration on how to prepare them.

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2/9/13 2:32 P

My problem was, the weight balance, too much of a good thing. Rarely do I "go out" anymore, and that is especially true for a filet mignon. Those petit filets are consumed from the home grill.

When I "go out", it is mostly sushi/sashimi. I am building some confidence of myself, and my grocer, to hopefully bring that one home.

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2/9/13 2:19 P

Actually, a grilled filet mignon is a very lean piece of beef, much better for you than a rib eye steak or chuck steak. There's almost no waste, and when cooked properly, is wonderful. Enjoy it!

When hubby and I go out to eat, it's usually for steak - and for me, it's always filet mignon. I'm a slow eater and can't finish mine anyway, so hubby gets to finish mine.

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2/9/13 1:21 P

I took the "Medieval Barber" approach. I was a meat, and everything thing else, kinda guy. My first move, was to simply cut the serving size of meats in half. I found myself filling up with everything else, which was an improvement. There were some protein craving moments where I would hedonistically (is that a word?) revel in a spoonful of peanut butter to curb it.

I am much more involved in the kitchen, planning, preparing, serving, and cleanup (which needs some more commitment). I have found myself looking over the fence now, for new things.

There are few things in this world tastier than a medium rare, grilled, filet mignon. I just make myself earn it, at double cost, now.

Edited by: INTOTHENEW at: 2/9/2013 (13:23)

Posts: 1,509
2/9/13 1:05 P

I agre with the others, don't call it a diet, because that implies rules & deprivation. You'll need to have a talk with hubby. He has to buy into the whole program and be a good role model for your son. If hubby refuses to eat certain foods, your son will follow suit.

Start buying healthier foods - read the labels. Get the junk food out of the house - if it's not around, they can't eat it. You can also start making current family favorites healthier by switching out full fat ingredients and using low or no-fat ingredients, saute, grill or roast meats instead of frying them.

Fat-free Greek yogurt is a good substitute for sour cream. Low-fat cheeses for full-fat. If you buy sliced cheese at the deli, ask them to slice it thinner. Use less mayo on a sandwich, add lettuce and tomato. User leaner ground beef - it might be a little more expensive than the cheaper meat, but you get more for your pound of meat because there's less fat.

Have healthy snacks on hand. There's nothing wrong with apples & watermelon for snacks. How about making a fruit salad with other ingredients, like cantaloupe strawberries, blueberries, etc., when in season. One of the best salads I've ever had was a spinach salad, with strawberries, blueberries, grilled chicken & a little feta cheese, with a low-fat raspberry vinagrette dressing.

Try stir-fries - you can use whatever vegetables you like - celery, peppers, onions, carrots, etc. Red peppers are sweeter than green. To me, fresh red peppers taste almost as sweet as apples & make a good snack with low-fat ranch dip or hummus - good for an after school snack.

Make smoothies to give them some fruit. Banana & strawberries blended with fat-free yogurt makes a good healthy snack.

What does he eat with his raw spinach? You can use that as a basis for a healthy salad, cook it into an omelet.

Roasting vegetables with a little olive oil & spices really changes the flavor. My husband wouldn't even try certain vegetables until I started roasting them. I make a mix of potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, add a little salt & pepper and roast them. Since there's variety, he tries all of it - and he LIKES butternut squash. Even at the ripe old age of 60+ they can learn to like healthy foods.

You can make desserts that incorporate fruit, like apple crisp - change up the fruits.

Posts: 1,594
2/9/13 12:26 P

My husband also wants to lose weight but is resistant to anything he thinks is "diet." Spark Recipes has a lot of good possibilities for pork chops, chicken, and lean cuts of beef. For potatoes, I make this one a lot, always to rave reviews:

Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes

On the fruits and vegetables, I agree with the previous posters. See if you can work them into sauces and burgers or meatloaf or chili. Or try chopping up some fruit and offering a bite; he may find something he didn't know he liked. (Or not.) Either way, you're doing the right thing by trying to eat healthy, and it will be good for your son too.

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2/8/13 10:01 P

Ground meat hides a multitude of veggies. Try grating zucchini and carrot into it, as well as finely chopped spinach. You can't taste the veggies and they are too small to pick around.

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Posts: 10
2/8/13 9:21 P

I agree don't call it a diet, it's a food plan. I started off with the Cinch Fast 5 day. Which is raspberries, eggs, spinach and plain greek yogurt. I added the raspberries to the yogurt. I think my stomach really shrank. I am now on 1200 calories a day and cannot eat that much food. Of course your child cannot do this. Get your family involved in choosing the foods and making them. Add lots of fruits, veggies, & lean meats. Water with fruit and veggies added is much more enjoyable than just plain water. I heard Dr. Oz say that people who have a 6 oz. fat free yogurt before every meal lost 81% more than people who didn't. It also helps you feel more full before you sit down to eat.

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2/8/13 9:13 P

Another thing, don't call it a "family diet"!!! Those are famous last words for people who just want to learn to eat healthier. Can you make an appt. with a dietitian, or get some magazines and read lots of different stuff. Or just read articles on this web site, first, you can't make sweeping changes and you can't force people to eat a different way, suddenly. A dietitian can help you alot with choices, and put a better spin on the whole thing.

Posts: 661
2/8/13 8:51 P

i started with small changes. i would have had a hard time changing everything overnight and sticking with it.

tracking really helps too. it helps you see what you are eating and where you can make changes. even if i was within my calorie range, at first i usually had too many carbs and not enough protein and fiber. i never had enough veggie servings per day at first.

sometimes kids like if they help you with the cooking.

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2/8/13 6:30 P

I would stick with meat and spinach. I would switch out the potatoes with:'

sweet potatoes
mashed cauliflower
zucchini fritters

Posts: 526
2/8/13 5:42 P

Making a change to whole grain pasta, bread, crackers and rice is a smart move wihtout eliminating those items all together. I also hated fish...but made myself start eating salmon 1-2 times a month. My family likes it and I'm learning to like it better myself. I also try and go meatless 1 night a week. My kids will ususally eat what we eat. My DH is more the problem if I'm going to have one. And the deal is we do not complain about foods we don't like in front of the kids so as to not affect how they feel about them! Just a few ideas :0) Good luck!

Edited by: MOMTOMONKEYS2 at: 2/8/2013 (17:43)

SparkPoints: (15,605)
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Posts: 2,171
2/8/13 11:20 A

I would try to find recipes that sneak veggies in. For example, this meatloaf has both red bell pepper and zucchini in it, but it's in meatloaf and it's seriously really good:
My meat and potatoes SO loved it. Also, that site, is GREAT.

Another recipe I made recently used pureed butternut squash to make a sauce, and it was really good:
I don't usually like cooked spinach, but am OK with raw. But I didn't mind it in this dish since it was added in at the end and didn't get "slimy" like cooked spinach can.

Also, maybe try cooking veggies in different ways. My SO said he didn't like fresh green beans (he said he preferred canned!). Turns out he just didn't like how I was preparing them (saute with some shallots). Last night, I seasoned them with some garlic powder, salt & pepper, and then roasted them in a 425 oven for about 13 minutes. When out, I topped with a bit of parmesan cheese, and he LOVED them. I do the same for asparagus and broccoli.

As for disliking yogurt, apple sauce, and cottage cheese, I'm not that into them either, and almost never eat them, so it is possible to eat healthy without eating those things. I do use greek yogurt for cooking, but never eat it by itself, I don't like the texture. Same for many fruits, I usually just eat apples, as I don't like the texture of bananas, and I don't like the texture and seeds of berries. Not that into the texture of citrus either. I'm guessing the texture is your husband's issue too.

You can also find ways to make their favorite meals healthier. Again, on skinnytaste, she has a great recipe for garlic mashed potatoes, I make it all the time. I use greek yogurt instead of the sour cream:
My guy likes them a lot too.

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Posts: 1
2/8/13 11:09 A

Hi guys and gals, my hubby and I are trying to loose weight and get healthy (really for the first time) and we have an almost 5 yr. old boy. We're trying to start a "diet" together and I want to encourage our son to eat the same stuff.
My hubby's a meat and potatoes guy and the only veggie he likes is raw spinach. And I think the only fruit he likes is Watermelon or Peeled apples. He hates yogurt, apple sauce, cottage cheese.
I'm just not sure where to start with this change in our diet! He's willing to try new things... or so he claims, but it'd be helpful if we could start off with some things he'll actually enjoy.
Any ideas as to starting a family diet?

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