Making Good Nutritional Choices

Making good nutritional choices can sometimes seem like an obvious and simple way to vastly improve the quality of our lives. On paper, nutritional food choices can seem like the easiest of all the choices we make on the road to good health, good parenting and a sense of strength and well-being. In this day and age, we face a bewildering variety of life decisions and eating properly should be the least intimidating one of all, right? Not really.

The truth is that sometimes, we just want a cheeseburger. Or sometimes our picky child just wants nothing but cheeseburgers day after day for weeks at a time. When this happens we find that the easiest, least healthy choices have a more powerful pull than we ever could have predicted before encountering them in real life.

Food and Healthy Choices

In this section, we explore a few of the daily situations in which our nutritional decision making skills are most challenged. Some of these include:

  • Breakfast time
  • Holidays and social gatherings
  • Moments of impatience or bad moods
  • When dealing with picky children.

In any of these moments, resolves may break down and rules can bend, dropping nutritional food choices to the bottom of our list of priorities.

But unfortunately, the way most of us live these days, if we wait for the perfect moment to think about nutrition–the moment when all other problems disappear and forces competing for our attention fall silent–then we would rarely think about nutrition at all.

We don’t live to eat, we eat to live. But at the same time, what we consume has a direct impact on our health, our children’s development and the enjoyment we get out of life. So even if nutritional food choices are a background priority, they still have to be made, and made well. And given how many times a day we eat, they must be made well consistently if they are to lead us down a positive path.

Tips on Making Good Nutritional Choices

Below are some tips on how to make healthy choices, even during trying times:

  • Don’t strive for perfection. Leave that to nutrition experts and Olympic athletes. When you’re late for work or losing your patience with a child’s food-related meltdown, feel free to bend a little–but only a little. And be prepared for the compromises you make to repeat themselves. Food and eating are habits, after all, and humans are extraordinary creatures of habit.
  • Every little bit helps. Each mouthful of greenery you can sneak into your picky child’s belly makes a difference. The same applies to your own belly.
  • Praise your triumphs. Most importantly, enjoy every victory, no matter how small. Notice and contemplate how good your body feels after healthy choices, nutritious meals and smart decisions.

Resources

American Heart Association. (2010). Frequently asked questions about nutrition. Retrieved September 5, 2010, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Frequently-Asked-Questions-About-Nutrition_UCM_305740_Article.jsp

FamilyDoctor.org. (2010). Nutrition: How to make healthier food choices. Retrieved September 5, 2010, from http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/food/general-nutrition/297.html