How many times have you thought to yourself, I should be eating healthier foods but then the excuses start, no time, it will cost too much money, and the kids won’t eat that. These are all perceived barriers to making great changes. Change can be hard and it takes time to develop new habits to replace the old ones, but it is possible and definitely worth it. This article will give you some easy tips to help you make the changes you need.

I can’t afford to eat all those ‘superfoods’

You don’t need to be spending a fortune on food at the supermarket to make healthy choices. Fruit and vegetables, meat and meat alternatives, wholegrains, legumes and dairy are where the majority of your shopping budget should be spent. When you are not spending money on processed foods you will be able to afford more of the fresh produce. You will feel fuller for longer if you are eating wholefoods with plenty of fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates and some healthy fats, therefore you will not need to be purchasing the same quantities.

I don’t have enough time to cook a proper meal

If you spend a little time each week planning your meals and shopping, you can have a healthy meal on the table in 30 minutes or less. Many meals can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for when you need them. This time of year salads are a great quick option and you can have some ingredients cut up in the fridge, ready to go. Encourage your children to be involved in the preparation of the meal, this can help save you time as well as encourage them to try new foods and learn how to prepare meals. Some parents find it easier to involve the children on a weekend, when there is a bit more time.

I don’t know how to cook, I’m not a Masterchef!

Simple meals can be delicious, experiment with herbs and spices to add flavour. Try one new easy recipe each week to build up your confidence. Taste the food before you serve it and check to see of it needs more of a particular ingredient or if it is cooked to your liking.

The kids won’t eat those foods

Children’s taste buds are continually changing. It will take a child up to 8 times of tasting a particular food to really decide if they do or do not like it. Offer a new food on their plate each week, prepared or presented in a variety of ways. Children are developing eating habits that can set up them up for a healthy adulthood or set them up for a greater risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol and it is up to parents to encourage good eating habits.

I would have to give up the foods I love, you need to have some enjoyment in life!

Changing the way you eat can actually lead to more energy and feeling healthier, which will provide opportunities to do more and have fun with family and friends. If you continually choose unhealthy options you may end up too sick to enjoy life. The foods you love can be swapped for healthier alternatives or can be enjoyed as occasional treats.

If you have trouble making changes or overcoming barriers when it comes to food choices, talk to Qualified Nutritionist, Carla McInnes who will be able to provide you with an individualised plan that will work with your lifestyle and budget. Carla can be contacted on 0488 523 427 or carla@wellnesscentrensw.com.au