And then ask him, directly and plainly, what you want him to do. "Men respond best to this," says author John Gray. "If I support your health by buying good food and make it taste good, will you eat it so we can be healthier and live longer together? "I'd like you to read this, it explains a lot ... " You might share this article with him, or have him read Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice — it's a huge eye opener.
4. Let fruit be sweet enough. I recently made a new friend of my hairdresser's 5-year-old, when I intercepted his whining for sweets with a question: "You know sugar's a fooler, right?" He looked at me wide-eyed. Jokingly I pursued, "Oh, but I'm sure you don't get all hyper from candy or all cranky after you eat it, do you? Oh yeah, it tastes so good but then sneaks up on you and smacks you right in the head, Bam!"
"Yeah," was the reluctant response.
"Apples are sweet, though and they're really good for you," I added.
He smiled and said, "Mom, can I have an apple? Can we talk some more?"
5. Let him see how he feels. Even 5-year-olds know that when they eat junk, it makes them feel terrible. So if (or more probably when) he pigs out, you can get your guy to acknowledge how lousy he actually feels from eating all those processed snacks or drive-through take-out, you've planted a seed that can sprout into more of his own consciousness about eating. Read more of my own personal experience and insights with this in Help! I Eat to Live, He Lives to Eat.
6. Stock healthy foods, even snacks. Skip center-of-the-store processed and shop around-the-perimeter real food. Buy quantities of raw nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut and dried fruit at a wholesale store or through mail order, then make up large batches of trail mix in a large mixing bowl or pot. Divide up by cupfuls into small, reclosable baggies. Load up the freezer door so he can just reach in and grab one for himself on the way out the door. Tasty, satisfying, Nutritional Insurance for both of you.
7. Buy organic food. If it's not in the soil, it won't be in the food. Organic food has more minerals, thus more flavor. Homemade pizza made with whole wheat flour, roasted vegetables and organic cheese is so much tastier, satisfying than that cardboardy, metallic-tasting stuff from the freezer or take-out. Using more nutrient-rich, fresh, organic vegetables in salads and stir-fries, with some added protein, equals satisfying one-dish meals in any season, even for a guy. More nutrient density equals feeling nourished with less food.
8. Become a sneaky cook. There are a ton of clever, slight-of-hand strategies you can use to create what I call "me-too" versions of favorite foods that are delicious and healthier. For example, substituting whole wheat pasta or gradually increasing amounts of whole grain flour in breads or pancakes is hardly perceptible to most guys. You can boost the fiber by adding canned beans and other vegetables like finely chopped carrots, celery to sloppy Joes or chili. Colorful greens like spinach or kale cut into fine strips called chiffonade more easily slip unnoticed into salads or stir-fries.
9. Get a garden going or go direct. Now's the time to start pouring through seed catalogs and making plans for creating your own little garden this year. Even if it's a small patch of herbs or vegetables in your flower bed. Or pots or stackable towers on your porch or patio. Being able to grab some fresh lettuce, zucchini or parsley right outside your backdoor or front yard is a delicious and nutritious treat. Try it, believe me, it's much more satisfying and revitalizing than store bought.
Or join a local vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project and get a fresh box or basket of fresh-picked organic vegetables every week. Make acquiring healthy food a part of your weekly or weekend activities, maybe visiting a farmer's market or local seasonal store, is a fun Saturday morning activity that consistently underscores your determination to have a healthy life.
10. For even more helpful ideas, read my 13 Tips for Women Whose Husbands Eat Like S*** article here on YourTango.com.
Believe it or not, you'll find these tips will actually decrease your food budget. Not only will he be amazed at how much more delicious this food is, you'll both find yourself craving and eating less. Investing your time and energy in more nutrient-dense food like this will boost you and your partner’s health for the long haul; ultimately even reduce your medical bills.
Still think it's "too expensive?" … And medical bills aren't?