Food Fight – 7 Tips for Persuading Your Partner to Eat Healthier

7 Tips for Persuading Your Partner to Eat Healthier

Here’s the scenario: You want to eat healthier, and your partner does not. Suddenly, everything becomes a challenge, from choosing the weekly menu to resisting your partner’s culinary indulgences. Not to mention, you want what’s best for your significant other – and that includes a kale salad every now and then!

So, how do you nudge a reluctant partner in the right direction? Take a look at these tips to create your gastronomic game plan. 

1. Start the conversation

Let your partner know that you care about their health, and you want them to be around as long as possible. Together, you might brainstorm some ways to achieve that goal. Helping them find a “why,” whether that be greater longevity or something else, will make the changes you want them to adopt feel more personal.

2. Stock your pantry with healthy options

Keeping nutritious foods on hand makes a healthy diet much easier to follow. Whole grains, canned beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and spices like garlic and cinnamon are staples for creating healthy meals; nuts, Greek yogurt, air-popped popcorn, and hummus satisfy snack cravings. Over time, you can phase out the frozen burritos, sugary cereal, or whatever junk food is taking up residence in your kitchen. At the very least, keep these items out of plain sight to help your partner avoid temptation.

3. Serve familiar recipes with better ingredients

A healthier diet doesn’t mean that classic dishes, from lasagna and tacos to shepherd’s pie, are off-limits. In fact, there’s a good chance that your partner’s favorite meals can be doctored to contain more nutritious ingredients! By swapping white pasta with a whole-wheat variety, sneaking cauliflower into mashed potatoes, or mixing mushrooms into hamburger meat, you can bump up the nutrition, and even the flavor, on countless dishes.   

4. Provide encouragement, not criticism

One sure-fire way to discourage someone is by harping on each and every food choice. If you catch your partner munching on leftover Halloween candy, resist the urge to shame or scold; these methods simply aren’t effective. Change is difficult, but positivity and a kind word will make the process more pleasant. Try giving your significant other praise the next time you notice them opting for the healthier option.

5. Lead by example

If you want your partner to adopt healthier habits, you have to adopt them yourself. Model the behaviors you’d like to see your partner pick up, such as taking your lunch to work, snacking on fresh fruit, or getting up a little earlier to eat breakfast every morning. Making these changes for yourself (and for your children if you have them) may soon have your partner following suit.

6. Do it together

Turn healthy eating into a team effort. Whether it be grocery shopping or making lunches for the week, plan to be at your partner’s side. By prioritizing eating and cooking together, you normalize the changes you’re making all while bonding with your favorite person. For example, you might spend an afternoon flipping through healthy cookbooks to discover new dishes, or you could plan date night at a new restaurant in town praised for its nutritious offerings.

7. Don’t give up

Convincing your partner to clean up their diet can take time; they aren’t going to start eating six servings of vegetables overnight, after all. Patience and persistence are key to any transition. Remember that even small changes should be celebrated – it’s a step in the right direction! At the end of the day, you are your partner’s biggest cheerleader, and your love and support are invaluable through the ups and downs. HS

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