I feel like I know what you are going through. You are ready to start eating healthier. You are ready to jump in and make the change, BUT there is only one problem… Your husband is not on board. To him, it’s great that you want to eat healthy and he even encourages YOU, but he’s not into it. He has no desire to eat healthier or change anything that he is doing.
I understand that it can be hard getting your husband on board when it comes to trying something new, especially a new way of eating. I had the same issue! We all have habits. We have things we like. Things we don’t like and the misconceptions that go along with all of that makes things even harder. I have felt the frustration and discouragement that comes when your husband is not buying into something that you think is best for the family. There is light on the other side though, even though he may not be interested RIGHT NOW.
Recently my husband has completely changed his way of eating. It is important to mention that it did not happen all at once, though. It was a slow progression over time. I wanted to share some things with you that helped me to get my husband on board even though he was not interested, in the least bit at first. I hope that by me sharing these things, you will not only be encouraged but you will also leave with some ideas on how to move forward.
Things that helped
#1: Made Gradual changes
It is so important to make gradual changes. Although you may be tempted to, don’t do a pantry and fridge overhaul all at once, especially if your husband is not on board. That will further deter him from wanting to get on board with healthy eating. Introducing too many new things at once is just too much of a change.
I tried to make the transition to healthy eating seamless for my husband (and myself). I’m a firm believer that when we change too many things at once, we set ourselves up for failure.
I started making small substitutions in the kitchen, so it didn’t really feel like we were making any major adjustments. It was like we were “baby stepping” our way to healthy eating.
I started making brown rice, instead of our typical white rice. At first, my husband did not like brown rice at all, because to him it did not have the same great flavor as white rice. When he told me this, what I started doing was cooking the brown rice in vegetable or chicken broth to give it more flavor. He now prefers brown rice over white rice.
My husband loves ranch dressing! Typical ranch dressing sold in stores has tons of ingredients, some of which I cannot even pronounce. I did not want to stop buying ranch dressing, because it’s one of his favorites. I did want to find a better alternative. I found a ranch that was sold at my grocery store that had natural ingredients and tasted really good. It’s important to note that I did not simply replace his ranch with the natural alternative. I continued to buy his favorite ranch, but I introduced him to the new natural version that I thought he would like. He tried the alternative, liked the flavor, and we have been buying the natural alternative ever since.
These are just two examples of simple changes that I introduced.
#2: Had him start to taste some of what was on my plate
If I was hesitant as to if my husband would like something, I did not make him that meal or side dish generally. I simply said something along the lines of “honey try this, if you don’t like it that’s fine I just want to know what you think.” If he did not like whatever it was that I asked him to try, I would either try to improve how I made it to suit him and then ask him to try it again or I just moved on and had him try something different the next time.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve turned my husband on to something, that he was sure that he would not like, just by doing this.
#3: Got him involved in ways that fit him
Instead of trying to guilt my husband into changing, I decided to involve him in ways that fit him. Instead of asking him to cook a full out healthy meal, I would ask him to do small things like help me cut up the vegetables or taste test what I was making at the time. If he was actually trying something that I was making, I almost always asked him for his opinion.
I asked questions like:
“What do you think?”
“What would you do differently?”
“If you don’t like it, what is it that you don’t like about it?”
“Is this a keeper recipe?”
Asking these questions gave me insight into what he liked, what he did not like, and helped me to know what to do next time.
#4: Showed him that healthy food could taste good
I did not give my husband food that did not taste good, just because it was “healthy.” To this day, if something does not taste good then we do not eat it. If he tells me something that he does not like, I do not try to pressure him into eating that particular food (even if I like it).
Here’s an example:
I really like red lentil pasta, but my husband does not. I do not make red lentil pasta for him. When we are having pasta, I will either put whatever sauce we are having on the side so we can each have our personal favorite pasta with it or I will eat the pasta that he prefers, which these days is whole wheat pasta (which a year ago he would have never eaten by the way.)
#5: “Healthified” his favorite dishes
For your husband to come around he must enjoy the foods that he is eating. Something that I started doing was putting a healthy spin on my husband’s favorite dishes.
My husband loves… and I do mean loves… fried chicken wings. Instead of making him plain ol baked chicken because it was “healthier,” I taught myself how to make chicken wings that were just as crispy and delicious as the wings that he was eating before, but that were not fried. He really enjoys the chicken wings that I make at home and now prefers them over the ones that he used to get out.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. Even if your husband is not fully sold yet, continue to encourage him. Be patient and remember that this is a new way of living for him, so it may take a little while, but in time he WILL come around!
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