How to develop healthy eating habits



When healthy choices are convenient, practical, and rewarding, they become good habits that keep us healthy and happy.

Makes sense, but how do you cultivate such habits?

In an effort to help the rest of us learn how to develop healthy eating habits, researchers from Cornell University analyzed 112 case studies that focused on healthy eating behaviors. The result is their acronym, CAN. If you make healthy food Convenient, Attractive, and Normal, they say, you will eat more of it. 

What does this mean for you? Here's how to put these ideas into practice:
  1. Make healthy food convenient by ensuring it is as easy to grab and go as a bag of potato chips
    1. Buy baby carrots already washed and peeled
    2. Cut and wash fruits and vegetables so they are ready to eat when you get hungry
    3. Keep nuts in your snack drawer
    4. Boil eggs and store for snacking
    5. Buy whole wheat crackers
  2. Ensure healthy food is attractive and enticing
    1. Store produce at eye level in your refrigerator
    2. Place cucumber slices in water and cool it in your refrigerator in a pretty glass pitcher
    3. Put foods in appealing, see through containers
    4. Buy fruits and vegetables with deep color
    5. Keep a fruit bowl on your kitchen table, and fill it with colorful, seasonal fruits
  3. Normalize healthy foods so they become the obvious choice for you
    1. Keep healthy choices front and center in your kitchen
    2. Make unhealthy choices less convenient. Store desserts and chips on an inconvenient location that takes effort to access (above your refrigerator or behind the pots and pans)

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