Peta Todd shares her top meal tips for a healthy family lifestyle in January and beyond – The Sun

ARE you in the midst of Veganuary, Dry January or even visit-your-nan-uary?

For me, it’s just plain old January.

That’s not to say that I’m not making little changes or being more aware of my lifestyle choices, but I’m afraid I’m one of those people who is pretty healthy all year round.

As a family we are fairly boringly consistent when it comes to eating healthily. I enjoy cooking and the kids are good eaters. Being married to an athlete who is very aware of his nutritional choices probably has something to do with that too.

I try to just do everything in moderation. We still have treats in the house, I don’t force the children to forage for nuts and berries for goodies and when it’s my time of the month I would put up a fight for the last bit of chocolate in the cupboard, believe me.

But while I love a fresh start of a new year and making positive steps towards your goals, I hate the idea of making these changes feel like a punishment.

Also, giving your change an “end date” makes it harder to then carry on any good habits further than that date. How many people will reward themselves for completing Dry January with a few drinks on February 1?

For me, it’s better to drink a little less, or be meat free for a day or more a week, or to try out more vegan dishes when cooking for friends. This way, I feel, we’re more likely to keep it up.

DON’T COMPARE PROGRESS

Here are some of the little things I have found that might help that healthy January last a little longer.

  • Have plenty of fruit out so that it is visible and easy to access. Put the fruit bowl somewhere the family regularly hangs out.
  • Try going meat-free for one day a week to start. It’s easier than you think. Some of my favourites are tomato spaghetti or jacket potatoes with a choice of toppings.
  • Plan meals in advance as it is then easier to think of healthy options and also reduces waste.
  • Keep a big jar in the kitchen with a mix of plain peanuts, choc chips, raisins and sunflower seeds. This is my go-to when I need something to snack on.
  • Don’t buy fizzy drinks or drinks that you don’t want to be an option.
  • Sit down with the kids and look on some cooking websites for inspiration. Choose meals together that you would like to try and let the kids write a menu or even help cook if you are brave.
  • Try getting up even ten to 15 minutes earlier so you are not rushing as much and therefore have time to make better choices about breakfast without having to grab something on the go.
  • Don’t try to give up everything at once. If you make yourself live like a monk you are setting yourself up to fail, unless you have the willpower of a saint.

Lastly, these changes are for you and not for Instagram or Facebook. Do not compare your progress to others . . .  they could be scoffing Hobnobs in the dead of night for all you know.

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