Find Success with Healthy Meals for the Whole Family!
From our expert: Shannon Smiley, RD
Patients often make statements before bariatric surgery such as: “I can’t eat healthy because my kids won’t eat fruits or vegetables.” “It’s hard to not eat my favorite food because my spouse eats it daily and I feel tempted.” “Eating heathy costs too much money.”
In order to be successful with your weight loss journey, having support from your family is critical.
Eating healthy is important for everyone regardless of weight or age. When you eat nutritious foods your body will feel better and work more efficiently. Here are some steps to incorporate a healthy bariatric meal plan at home.
- Educate your family. Get your family involved by letting them know what you need to do to be successful. Let them know the kinds of foods you will be eating and what they do for your body. Nutrition needs to be taught at a young age so children understand the importance. For example, eating protein is necessary after bariatric surgery to maintain your muscle mass. This is important for anyone! Having low-fat protein options can benefit everyone in your family. Eating vegetables and fruits provides your body with vitamins, minerals and fiber. These are important tips for everyone to follow!
- Review your family favorite recipes. Look for ingredients to adjust. Such as substituting low-fat plain Greek yogurt for sour cream. Replacing regular cheese for low-fat cheese. Replace regular ground beef with lean ground beef or even ground turkey/chicken. Enjoy trying some new foods!
- Research together. Once a week as a family pick a new healthy recipe to cook. Make it fun!
- Sneak in fruits and vegetables. Think of easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Instead of having a bread basket with your spaghetti dinner try substituting sliced vegetables that are cold and crunchy. If you are making tomato sauce try pureeing vegetables into the sauce. Any homemade soup/chili you can always puree in vegetables without changing the flavor. Season your vegetables to add flavor. Maybe try zucchini or butternut squash to replace your pasta noodles. Be creative!
- Costs. Pre-planning your meals with always help cut costs. Batch cooking is a great idea to save on both time and money. Try to cook with fruits and vegetables that are in season which will help to lower costs. Look at the local ads from your grocery store and try to buy produce that is on sale. For example, if you shop at Sprouts on Wednesday you will receive all the sales from last week and the week to come. Planning is key!