My Oreo cheesecake was a big hit at the Super Bowl Party. For a group of 10 people, we manage to polish off half of a 36 serving cheesecake. According to my husband, “a serving is not a true serving unless it is the size of your palm.” I still want to roll my eyes just typing another one of his food opinions.
Differing philosophies on healthy food choices
My husband and I have this tug-o-war about healthy food choices in our marriage. My husband is from the “see food” school of thought when it comes to food. When he is hungry and he sees food, it goes into his stomach. Hence, he always appreciates my poor cooking skills.
Granted, he does make healthier food choices than some of my friends’ husbands, but that is not from the result of his natural inclination. His healthier food choices are the result of me harping about the evils of trans-fat, sugar, and white flour for the last three years. He even tells his friends about the extra time he spends at the bread aisle because my campaign against bread labeling. Sometimes I feel bad for the poor guy.
Can you change your spouse’s eating habits?
My readers should note at this point in the post, that I do not attack at every front when it comes to making healthy food choices in our marriage. That would be unbearable to my husband and will probably back fire when he resists too many changes at once.
The key to changing your spouse’s eating habits is the same concept of introducing solid food to a baby. Even when your baby rejects carrots the first time, you keep trying to feed them carrots at least another 4-5 times and sometimes in different forms until they are use to the taste.
How long does it take to change your spouse’s eating habits?
As long as it takes. Getting your family to make healthy food choices is worth the effort. Once you get them onboard about one healthy change, then you move on to something thing else. It is hard to attack at all fronts, throwing out all the chips and cookies, because then you only end up looking like the food police. And no one likes the food police.
Initially my husband does not like whole wheat bread, but now he reads the bread label to make sure that it is not a white bread masquerading as a whole wheat bread. It took one year to get my husband to make this switch so that now he voluntarily brings home whole wheat bread, whole wheat muffins, and whole wheat bagels.
It took 2 months to change our peanut butter to a brand that does not use trans-fat or high fructose corn syrup. Because peanut butter is something that he has no opinions on, that was a relatively minor switch without too much fuss.
If you want instant gratification, start by switching food items that your family is not too attached to, such as peanut butter or the brand of cereal. Ok, 2 months are not instant, but close enough when it comes to changing your eating habits.
Why it is important to have your spouse on board with making healthy food choices?
It helps to have another person in the house reinforcing your own healthy eating habits. I still find myself refusing to split a bowl of ice cream or downing a large Starbucks frappiciano when I have a bad day. In those situations, my husband throws out this Chinese saying that makes me giggle. The literal translation is “eat until you die.” I know it sounds weird in English, but trust me, it is funny in Chinese. Because I am an emotional eater, that is enough to snap me out of my funk and offer to split the ice cream or sometimes put it away.
Think about it. If you have your own support network at home with your spouse or your children reinforcing your healthy food choices, doesn’t that pretty much give you a huge advantage in establishing a healthy lifestyle? Of course, it probably would not work if you do not want to be healthy and your spouse is always calling you out. Then, it feels like you have a food police in the house. But if you really want change for your family, it starts with getting them onboard with making healthy food choices at home.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
Photo by: mawel.
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