Leading with Enjoyment to Spark Healthy Eating
Motivating people to adopt healthy behaviors can be a challenge, but teaching them to focus on the benefits can help.
“Food is so much more than a plate of nutrients,” says Sonya Greer, a professor of marketing at American University. “When it’s done right, food is well-being.” She reminds us that food not only nourishes us; it also ignites our senses, conjures up emotions and can help connect family and friends around traditions, cultures and special events.
Marketing research and insights show that people are increasingly focused on eating while remaining disconnected from the sources of their food. They don’t always know where their food comes from, who produced it or how far it traveled from farm to table. These days, people also spend less time planning and preparing meals and eating together.
The dairy community’s new Undeniably Dairy effort aims to reconnect people to the farm and show how dairy foods make their way from farm to fridge. The campaign helps remind people why they love dairy in the first place, while also spreading the word about the nutritional benefits of milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Here are a few ideas for you and your clients to embrace as we help connect people to their food in a new way:
- Healthy eating is a gift. Turn what may seem like a chore, such as physical activity or healthy eating, into an enjoyable part of your day. Relax with a fat-free cinnamon latte after a morning of running errands, or dig into a low-fat yogurt and fruit parfait for a delicious and nourishing recharge after a long day.
- Eating is a sensory experience. All food and beverages can elicit the five senses: taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. For example, this delicious Touchdown Taco Salad delivers the crunch of fresh, crisp greens; juicy chunks of ripe tomato; mild, textured black beans; and the creamy sharpness of Cheddar cheese.
- Foods that are good for you can also taste great! Make familiar meals feel new by experimenting with herbs and spices or adding new textures.
- Eat mindfully and enjoy your meals without distractions.
- Food connects family and friends. When people gather around the table, they nourish both body and soul. Eating together is a way to reinforce traditions, share ideas about food and trade recipes. Check out these tips on how to make family meals happen and the benefits they can have for health and well-being. Click here for some great seasonal recipes.
- Learning about where food comes from can connect people to the farm. This video gives us a glimpse of a day in the life of a dairy farm family as they work together to bring us milk to drink, cheese that goes into a favorite veggie casserole and yogurt for creamy vegetable dips.
As nutrition professionals, we should remember just how much enjoyment and well-being motivate people’s food choices. By finding creative ways to make healthful food fun and appealing, we can inspire others to eat better and have healthier lives.