Maintaining a healthy diet can be tricky! In fact, when most families hear the terms “healthy diet,” they tend to imagine bland and boring food. This is why it can be really hard to have this conversation with your loved ones. So, if you have been trying to bring new balanced recipes to the table and are still struggling to get everyone on board, this article will help you win their heart (and their palate)!
Why is it so hard to enjoy a healthy meal?
Junk food and sugary treats can have a long-term effect on your taste buds. In fact, one of the fastest ways to figure out if you are eating too much sugar is when you notice that normal food doesn’t taste good anymore. This has to do with the way sugar and junk food affect your taste buds and tongue. They can form a coating on top of your taste buds, which is why you can end up craving more sugar or junk. This also means that your taste buds can only recognize the same kind of food.
Is the effect permanent? You will need to have maintained an unhealthy diet for many years to experience permanent damage. More often than not, your sense of taste comes back after staying off sugar for a while.
How can I get my family to enjoy normal food again?
Think of it this way: Their tasting abilities are numb. Therefore, you want to bring stronger flavors to the table to ensure they will enjoy their food. Take a look at this recipe for the best braised pork belly in an Instant Pot: It’s got everything you want to pack a punch:
- A little sweetness
- Rich umami flavors with soy sauce
- Something sharp with garlic and ginger
- A spicy element too
The rich flavors are guaranteed to be detected by the temporarily numb taste buds! More importantly, this type of dish will help heal their taste and stay away from sugar and junk food for longer.
Besides, protein is a healthy and important part of your diet, helping your family feel fuller for longer (and therefore, they don’t have any cravings either).
What are the key elements to redevelop taste after excessive sugar?
A little sugar can be enjoyable in reasonable quantities. Too much of it will saturate y our taste buds, and it will make it hard to enjoy anything that doesn’t taste like sugar.
So, it is important to opt for rich and powerful flavors that will be able to cut through. The human sense of taste can detect 5 basic flavors:
Sour and bitter are best to be avoided as you gradually reclaim your palate after too much sugar. These are too different from sugar and will feel unpleasant at first. Instead, you want to bring rich flavors that have an element of sweetness, such as:
- Rich homemade Bolognese as tomato sauce develops both savory and sweet elements the longer you cook it. Pair it with some lardons with a salty hint too!
- Asian recipes, which can bring some sourness and bitterness along with other flavors
- Korean BBQ, where different sauces give the meat elements of sweet, umami, and salty tastes
In conclusion, it is important to take things slowly and give your taste buds plenty of time to heal after unhealthy food choices.
What other ideas do you have to get your family to eat a more healthier diet? Let me know in the comments below!