The term clean eating gets thrown around a lot these days, as in “we’re eating clean” – which can make you feel like you’re the idiot who’s actually chosen to eat dirty.
While it may be a trendy term with roots in avoiding chemicals and food additives, there’s really no such thing as a completely clean diet.
The best we can hope for is foods that are in as natural and unadulterated form as possible.
Eating clean is just a common sense approach to starting healthy lifestyle habits. Whether you want to lose weight, or are just looking for better eating habits for you and your family clean eating principles will be a great place to start.
There’s really nothing complicated about eating clean, the main concept is focusing on real food. The easiest way to look at this is avoiding heavily packaged and prepared foods.
Sometimes it’s hard to make the distinction because we’re so used to our lifelong buying and consumption habits that it becomes easy to forget that toaster pastries aren’t considered a healthy snack;)
Clean Eating Meal Prep Ideas for Families
I think an easy place to get tripped up is in the dairy aisle. You want a creamer for your coffee and you look for something that appears to be fresh, as opposed to a packaged dry creamer that has a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients.
So you pick up a simple vanilla creamer and believe you’ve made a good choice.
Unfortunately, if you look at the label on that tempting bottle of creamer you will find ingredients very much like you were trying to avoid in the dry version.
Sometimes you actually have to go out of your way to find a store that carries a flavored version of half and half or real cream, but when you try it you’ll immediately the difference in taste, or should we say the lack of an aftertaste.
The real stuff, whether it’s plain half and half or the simply flavored natural creamer tastes really good – and as far as creamy coffee goes, it’s what you would call a clean eating choice.
The coffee is another story altogether, but that’s where it can quickly deteriorate into something ridiculous, something that causes health damaging stress which defeats the purpose of clean eating, but helps to illustration the point:
Stress, even when it’s about making better choices is never healthy. Just focus on doing the best you can.
Making choices to help your children develop healthy lifestyle habits is not something that’s done overnight, and I strongly believe it’s not something that should be done with a tone of desperation and force.
Freaking out about our food choices causes stress, which is very unhealthy. I think you should feel good about moving in the direction of taking better care of yourself and your family.
Cut yourself some slack and start eating “cleaner”, ie.making healthier choices from the options that are available. Do the best you can with what you have.
Clean Eating Meal Prep Recipes
Simple Clean Eating Principles for Beginners
- Avoid artificial sugars, over-processed foods. (These are usually items with colorful, eye catching labels:)
- Do eat lots of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruits.
Two very simple concepts that become a whole lot more complicated when you get to the grocery store. But awareness is the first step!
Ease into making better choices and gradually introduce healthier recipes and cooking methods that your family will really enjoy. Luckily there are a lot of foods and meals that are healthy and tasty!
You don’t want to be derailed by a family mutiny. You may convince an adult to eat something because it’s good for them, but kids ultimately believe something has to taste good to be good. (watch the video for proof;)