Healthy eating is not always easy, especially when you’re trying to get your family members to try new things. When everyone has a busy schedule or is flying off in different directions, it can be tricky to fit in healthy meals everyday. Yet the things we eat have a profound effect on the way we feel, our immune system, and our ability to be productive. When you don’t get the vitamins and nutrients you need, you are putting yourself at real risk of illness and disease, as well.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can ensure that your family eats healthy, from making small lifestyle changes such as using the grill to cook rather than a frying pan to keeping snacks on hand that aren’t full of salt and sugar. Teaching your children how to make good decisions now will help them as they get older and will ensure that they learn how to take care of their bodies.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to help your family eat healthy.

Use that grill

The grill is a wonderful tool when you’re trying to eat healthy, as it allows fat to drip away from your food for leaner cuts of meat. You can also grill veggies; corn on the cob soaked in water can be cooked right in the husk over an open flame, while a tin foil pouch full of onions, peppers, and tomatoes will go great with grilled chicken.

It’s important to remember grill safety rules, however; if you’re using charcoal, always grill in an area that’s well ventilated. Gas grills should be checked to ensure that grease hasn’t leaked onto pipes or feed lines, and should be kept well away from the house or any other structure. Review this guide for tips on grill safety.

Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, as it gives us the fuel we need to power up and stay motivated. Make sure there are lots of healthy options at home that are also quick, such as granola, oatmeal, fruit salad and whole-grain bagels. Having a variety of quick, healthy items to choose from will help your kiddos make better choices in the morning, giving them a leg up on the day ahead of them.

Plan ahead

For many busy families, planning ahead for the week is a must when it comes to eating healthy meals. Write down meal ideas and make a shopping list. This will help ensure that you get what you need without grabbing junk food or relying on the easy, not-so-healthy meals that everyone is used to. Keep a dry erase board or notepad near the fridge where you can write down ideas and ingredients and encourage your family to contribute.

Start slowly

If you have little ones who balk at the thought of trying a new vegetable, start slowly when it comes to introducing new things. You might make a family favorite meal, but add a new side of grilled Brussels sprouts, for instance, or try substituting white rice for brown. It might also help to allow your kids to choose what they’d like to try rather than forcing it on them.

Helping your family eat healthy everyday can be a challenge, for sure. That’s why it’s so important to be a role model by incorporating good foods into your own diet, and to introduce lots of options so everyone can find something they like. With some planning and patience, you can help your loved ones eat well and make better choices each day.

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