Make Time for a Nutrition Makeover

If you had to point to the one thing that contributes most to Americans’ notoriously poor nutritional habits, you might want to look beyond the kitchen table to the clock on the wall. Yep: It’s time that seems to push us most toward bad eating habits. Our busy lives make us focus more on speed and convenience than nutrition.

The solution? Pediatrician and author Dr. Natalie Muth says that it’s a matter of taking time to focus on your family’s eating habits. Here’s what she suggests:

Clean out the pantry, fridge and kitchen. Get rid of the bad stuff … the sugary drinks, junk food, etc. … and replace it with good stuff. Even better: Make the really good stuff, like fresh fruit, easy to reach.

Plan meals. If you plan ahead, you’re less likely to reach for processed food or junk. Use your plan as your shopping list, and only get what you need.

Cook at home. Sure, this might be asking a lot in these busy times, but research shows that the more you cook at home, the healthier your food likely will be.

Eat together as a family. “Kids who grow up in families that eat together at least three times per week have better nutrition habits,” Dr. Muth says. An added bonus? They also tend to have better relationships and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors as teens.

Yes, these steps will take more time, but they’ll pay off in improved health … something everyone has time for.

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