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Old 04-02-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
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Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

We eat... who knows what. What we do know.. is that we want to eat MUCH healthier. I'm not sure how to make the change, though.

I thought about eating up everything in the pantry, and then from there just buying what our goal foods are (veges, fruits, healthy snacks, homemade bread, and chicken breast or organic hamburger only).

How do you transition? Go cold turkey into the new meal plans? Start one meal at a time? I'm hoping some other mamas have switched from 'normal/junk' food and gone healthy and can help me with ideas and ways to do this successfully.


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Old 04-02-2014, 10:01 AM   #2
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Re: Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

I would start with one category or item at a time. Cold turkey works for some but its quite an adjustment with kids- doesn't usually go over well. Getting kids to accept fruit is easy, veggies a little harder. Experiment, get them involved in the choices you make. DD loves when she gets to pick something new from the grocery store- she is required to eat a serving (as is everyone else), unless we find it completely disgusting, of what ever she picks. She has picked purple carrots, purple swiss chard and golden beets. She liked all but the beets but the rest of us discovered we like the golden beets even though we don't like red ones. In adding the new food we combined it in something we already like- both the carrots and beets were roasted with our normal roasted veggies (potatoes, carrots and green beans). So let them pick something new and combine it with something they already like. Don't automatically dismiss "adult" foods- my kids love olives and raw red pepper and they make a good snack. DD has a dairy intolerance and nut allergy so her snacks have always been veggie/fruit type stuff. I find for the most part keeping things separate works better like my kids love avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers if they are separate on their plate but combine them in a salad- which is what we do for me a dh- the kids won't eat them. Make it look pretty, let them play with the food some. My kids decorate their eggo waffles with strawberries and blueberries before they eat them happily with no syrup but sometimes a drizzle of honey. We make granola bars. this one is a favorite. I use half whole wheat flour/half white and reduce the sugar by half. then add whatever you want. We like coconut flakes, chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Oh dried cranberries a favorite snack too. For dh he gets cranberries and nuts the kids just eat the cranberries. You can look for copy cat healthy recipes of the junk food you already like- we do this for dd because of allergies. Its actually pretty simple.

For reducing meat- take things you already make and just take the meat out. There are tons of things that have meat in them that can easily be vegetarian. For us we do veggie pot pie and veggie and dumplings instead of chicken. Bean and avocado enchiladas (I was married to dh for 2 years before he realized there was not meat in his enchiladas). veggie fajitas (peppers, avocado and onions then whatever topping you want), philly cheese "steaks" you can just put the peppers and cheese on or you can use portebello mushrooms in place of the meat.

If all else fails- bribe them. My kids are bread snobs but crazy for almost any kind of homemade or artisan style bread. I will not hesitate to tell them they can't have whatever bread has been made until they eat the veggies. Actually I am more likely to bribe them to eat the meat part of the food. Corn bread with a drizzle of honey might as well be chocolate cake as far as they are concerned.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re: Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

I would start by buying a bunch of fruits and veggies and using them for snacks and meals along with what you have on hand. Cold turkey is a rough route for everyone IMO.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:38 PM   #4
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Re: Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

Have you seen Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook Deceptively Delicious? It's all about trying to get your kids to eat healthier. For my family, it's been a very gradual process but taste and flavor was always key--it has to taste good! Other tricks we've used: only eating sweets on the weekends, sneaking in veggies into other meals (I add all kinds of things when I make Mac and cheese), making sure my veggies have a really tasty dipping sauce.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #5
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Re: Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

great ideas
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:24 PM   #6
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Re: Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

I vote no on cold turkey. I have seen that fail so many times. I recommend trying a new healthy recipe once or twice a week until you have enough recipes you LIKE and will eat before you fully transition. Switching to healthy snacks now is a good idea, raw fruits and vegetables, hard cooked eggs and healthy crackers...
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: Switching to All Homemade, Veges/Fruit, Minimal Meat - How to Transition?

Start by switching one meal (and that day's worth of snacks maybe) per week. Such as make Monday; Mexican Night and find a hearty vegetarian meal (including fat free refried beans and/or black beans will help keep everyone full). Continue that through the month with different recipes. "Mexican pizzas" on homemade whole grain tortillas or store-bought are fun too.
The second week plan a whole foods, healthy meal that will make enough leftovers for another night. Things such as a whole roasted chicken (very economical) served with roasted veggies, salad, find a bread machine recipe for whole wheat bread, etc. Lunches can be leftovers too.
Now you have 3 nights of the week planned, do another that makes leftovers for the following night and you have 5. Pinterest has a trillion resources for healthy meals.
Make the weekend fun by doing homemade pizza on Fridays then Sat lunch is leftovers and Sat night can be a fun sandwich night or start something in the crockpot. Sun is leftovers and maybe out to eat.
Stop buying processed things for snacks and offer vegs/fruit/cheese/crackers/nuts/seeds, whatever. I sometimes like to make a big veggie platter for the kids. I don't ask them what they want, just make it and set it out and they devour it. Same for after school snacks with healthy foods.
In our house, I focus on a whole foods plant based diet (vegan), the kids still eat meat/diary, and dh is a lover of junk. So it is tricky! Good luck!
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Last edited by mama2sweetpeas; 04-10-2014 at 12:04 PM.
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