A low immune system, obesity, and long-term health issues are all side effects of eating unhealthy.  The best way to ensure that your family eats healthy is to eat at home.  Along with the aforementioned risks, food poisoning is another hazard of eating at restaurants. 

The best way to ensure you and your family are eating healthy is to eat at home–yes, like your grandparents did! 

Here are a few ways to make eating healthy at home possible: 

1. Prioritize your family’s health. 

Today when there are endless demands on your time, you could easily leave the house at 7 am and not return til 10 pm several times a week.  Challenge yourself to put your family first.  If you do not do so voluntarily, you may be forced to do so later due to a medical crisis. 

While you may not have much control over pollution in your city and your neighbor’s toxic fabric softener, you do have much control over what foods goes into you and your family’s bodies.  

2.  Set a weekly appointment for grocery shopping.

It’s challenging to eat at home when the refrigerator is empty.  When you make a weekly appointment with yourself to go grocery shopping, you will have all the ingredients to cook healthy foods from scratch. 

Keep this appointment as you would keep any other important appointment.  Ideally, it should be at the same day and time each week. 

Your shopping list should consist mainly of fruits, vegetables (both fresh and frozen), nuts, meat, and spices.  In short, replace convenience foods with whole foods. 

3.  Reduce or eliminate hindrances to being at home for meal times.

If you are out of the home for a meal time, it is easy to choose convenience foods and fast foods.  These foods are very high in calories (and often sugar) and very low in nutrition. 

If you cannot be home for a meal time, plan ahead and bring your food with you. 

4.  Plan ahead.

In her book Hum of the Home, Leah Simpson shared how she and her family would plan ahead for when they would not be home for meals.  She and her children would prepare meals ahead of time and bring them in a cooler.  Her children actually insisted on these meals instead of relying on concession stand food during meal times.  By taking time for this task, she and her children ate healthy (one of the foods they prepared ahead of time was salads in a jar), saved money, and had control over what they ate. 

For you, planning ahead could mean batch cooking, freezer cooking, or using your crockpot or pressure cooker. 

5.  Keep meals simple. 

You may think that cooking from scratch takes hours and hours each day.  This is not true.  The majority of my cooking is done two days a week in two hours or so each day.  Your meals do not need to be elaborate to be healthy.  Simple salads, roasted vegetables, soups, and casseroles can all be made in 30 minutes or less. 

Go here to learn how to save time in the kitchen. 

6.  Plan for leftovers.

Another myth in cooking at home and eating from scratch is that you’ll be in the kitchen constantly and not get anything else done.  By doubling your dinner, you can have two meals ready in the time it takes to cook one AND have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 

You can also use leftover meat to make sandwiches, soup, or a casserole.  Leftover rice and also be added to a soup or casserole.  Leftover fruit salad can be made into smoothies the following morning.  Be creative and use what you already have! 

If you are making efforts to eat healthier, it can take time to change your likes and dislikes.  While you are making these changes, it’s important to fill the gaps in your nutrition.  Filling these gaps may decrease your junk food cravings and motivate you to continue on your healthy eating journey.  Do your goals include eating healthier?  I’d love to listen to your concerns and healthy eating goals and share with you more of my healthy journey.  If you would like a personalized recommendation for filling your nutritional gaps, email me right away.  I will reply to your email within 24 hours to schedule a phone or Zoom chat with you.  I look forward to your email! 

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What are your favorite tips to eat healthier?  Please share them in the comments below.