Having someone to keep you accountable on your trek to reaching your health goals is important. Hopefully your spouse is the best accountabilibuddy since their proximity to you makes it easier for each of you to keep the other in check. Alas, not all spouses are ready to jump on the healthy lifestyle train. What are ways that we can get that slightly stubborn significant other to eat healthier?
My sister-in-law grew up in a “meat and potatoes” kind of household. Any vegetables that were eaten were of the starch variety (e.g. potatoes, corn) or they came from a can. Not too surprising, but as an adult, there were few vegetables that she would eat. My brother had to come up with a way to expand her horizons. He played around with the way he cooked them (broiling brussel sprouts vs. sauteing them). He tried different spices and flavor combinations. Basically, he would pick a veggie that he wanted to eat, then tried to make it appetizing to her. It worked!! She loves eating so many different veggies now, and they have been able to move away from a meat and potatoes kind of dinner. She still has aversions to some vegetables, but it’s good to focus on the positive growth she’s made. The key here is that it also took time. She wasn’t eating kale chips at the end of the week. But together, they were able to start eating along a similar, healthier path.
When one person is on a nutrition quest, it can be defeating when the other person isn’t as excited about making these changes. When you have kids who won’t eat your delicious, healthy food, that can make things even worse! Don’t give up that easily. Review my previous posts about your picky eater children for help with your little ones. As for your spouse…. my number one tip is to lead by example and to not make a big deal about it.
For instance, we do not:
However, we can:
I think one of the most important keys to success here is keeping your end goals in mind. This is about getting your spouse to eat healthier, so that is the goal. If my brother had forced my sister-in-law to eat a bowl of creamed spinach or replaced her snacks with celery and carrots right off the bat, it would never have worked. If your significant other is picky, hesitant, or both, you will need to take time to get them on the same page as you. Make it about you, not them. Leading by example can subconsciously get them to change their minds and begin joining you on your health quest!
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