Some foods are more nutritious than others and some are more calorie dense, but we shouldn’t be attributing a “good” or “bad” moral value to it. Healthy, balanced eating means that all food is good food and has a place in our life. Unfortunately, many people do struggle with effortlessly enjoying more nutritious options. Fear not! The following tips are for you:
1. Manipulate Your Taste Buds
Your taste buds regenerate every 1-2 weeks. Also, we generate more taste buds for flavors that we encounter more often, and less taste buds for the flavours that are present less often in our diet. These two factors can help us change our taste preferences by eating more often foods that we want to develop a taste for.
2. Create Positive Associations
Food is highly connected with emotions and you can use this to your advantage by choosing more nutritious snacks that you already like when you are in a festive mood instead of grabbing the “guilty pleasure” food as a treat. It could be a warm cup of tea instead of that big mug of extra sweet hot cocoa, or toasted pita with hummus instead of regular chips. This way you are far more likely to associate these with positive emotions and to want them as comfort food after a long day.
3. Pair Different Flavours Together
Let’s say you are not usually particularly enticed by broccoli, but you love cheese. Try pairing that broccoli with a piece of delicious cheddar or our Squash Mac n' Cheese with Broccoli and you might end up discovering that their flavours marry very well AND you will get a great combination of a variety of nutrients.
4. Increase Visibility
Ever heard the saying “we eat with our eyes”? If something looks delicious and is right in front of our eyes, naturally we will want it. Therefore, if you leave ripe and colourful fruits in a big bowl well in view on your kitchen counter instead of having boxes of cookies, you will be more likely to be tempted by them. Make your nutritious food appealing and more visible, and you won’t even have to make yourself remember to eat it!
Take cooking classes or make it a fun activity with friends or family members. Experiment with different ingredients. You will be proud of yourself for your creations AND you will associate homemade food with pleasurable moments spent with loved ones. It’s a total win-win!
6. Visit a Farmer’s Market
Being surrounded by so many fresh and colourful produce will do the trick for many of us. An added bonus to the farmer's market is that the farmers there are a great resource for cooking tips and delicious recipes since they know their products so well.
7. Take Your Time
I know, I know! This one is hard, we are always so busy. But give it a try anyway! Take the time to appreciate the aroma, texture and flavours instead of chowing your meals down before you even have a chance to notice any taste. Go ahead and try a few of these tips! See which ones work best for you.
Learning to love nutritious foods is possible with a few simple tricks. It's important to understand that all foods have value and a place in our diet. By manipulating our taste buds, creating positive associations, combining different flavors, and increasing the visibility of healthy foods, we can develop a taste for these foods. Homemade cooking, visits to the local market, and taking the time to savor our meals are also effective strategies. Feel free to try these tips and find the ones that work best for you. With a little practice and perseverance, you can truly learn to love all foods and enjoy the benefits of a balanced and nutritious diet. So, embark on this culinary adventure and discover new flavors that will delight your taste buds while providing the nutrients you need for a healthy and fulfilling life.