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What Is the Best Diet for Families?

Jul 31, 2021

When it comes to family nutrition, it’s important to find an approach that’s suitable for each member, from toddlers to teens, plus parents and grandparents. The best diet for families should accomplish both health and weight goals. Healthy eating should meet the nutritious needs of everyone in the family, no matter if they are 10 or 70.

A diet that works for a family shouldn’t be too restrictive and should allow negotiation. This means that if a kid doesn’t like meat, they should be allowed to eat fish instead.

Here are the best diets for families that can maintain and improve everyone’s health.

Top 5 Diets for Families

1. Mediterranean Diet

This diet gives people of all ages the nutrients they need to function properly. Even though there are more variations of the Mediterranean diet, they are all based on vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts, and whole grains drizzled with olive oil.

The best thing about this diet is that it doesn’t ban entire food groups. Instead, it allows you to build it with very common foods. No wonder it’s the best overall diet fourth year in a row by the U.S. News and World Report.

  • The principles of this diet are:
  • Eating plenty of seafood, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits, and whole grains
  • Eating cheese, eggs, yogurt, and poultry in moderation
  • Avoiding processed meat, highly processed meals, refined grains and oils, and sugars
  • Limiting red meat

2. Mayo Clinic Diet

No food group is completely banned in this diet. Instead, it helps you to develop a healthy eating pattern that can be easily followed for life. It’s focused on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

The Mayo Clinic Diet will help you replace bad eating habits with good ones. For example, it doesn’t allow you to eat while watching TV, but it does encourage you to keep a food diary and know when you’ve eaten enough.

The main principles of the Mayo Clinic Diet are:

  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  • Avoiding snacking, eating out, and foods high in sodium, cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats.
  • Limiting full-fat dairy and meat.

3. DASH Diet

DASH Diet

DASH diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is a family-friendly diet that helps control high blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. It can be easily tailored for kids, teenagers, and seniors.

This eating pattern emphasizes vegetables, fruits, low-fat or fat-free dairy, grains, fish, poultry, and lean meat – all easily available ingredients.

This diet is flexible and can be modified to fit a family’s preferences and budget. It includes recipes like Buckwheat pancakes, fruit smoothies, Southwestern potato skins, and grilled pineapple. It’s unlike the typical American diet, but it’s not too difficult to follow.

The principles of the DASH diet are:

  • Eating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.
  • Eating low-fat or fat-free dairy products, poultry, beans, nuts, fish, and chicken in moderation.
  • Limiting full-fat dairy products, sugary beverages, salt, sweets, red meats, and other foods high in saturated fat.

4. Vegetarian Diet

vegetarian Diet

This eating approach can be tailored to all calorie levels. There are many variations of the vegetarian diet, the most common being Lacto-ovo vegetarianism which eliminates all fish, meat, and poultry while still allowing to consume dairy and eggs.

The vegetarian diet can provide your entire family with all the essential nutrients as long as it’s done properly. Besides, it helps prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases as well as maintain a healthy weight.

According to the American Dietetic Association, the nutrients to focus on are omega-3s, protein, calcium, iodine, zinc, vitamin D, iron, and vitamin B-12.

The principles of the most common type of vegetarian diet, the Lacto-ovo diet, are:

  • Eating plenty of whole vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
  • Avoiding poultry, meat, and fish.
  • Eating eggs and dairy products in moderate amounts.
  • Limiting sugary beverages, refined grains, and fruit juices.

5. Flexitarian Diet

The flexitarian diet is perfect for families who want to add more plant-based foods to their diet while still consuming meat in moderate amounts. If the vegetarian diet is not an option for your family members, but you still want to reap its benefits, this is the diet your family should go for.

In a way, it’s a lifestyle as there are no strict rules or specific numbers of calories or macronutrients. Its flexibility makes it a great option for every family who wants to eat more healthily.

The principles of the flexitarian diet are:

  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Eating animal products and meat in moderate amounts, occasionally.
  • Focusing on plant-based protein.
  • Limiting sweets or added sugar.

Conclusion

Wondering what’s the best diet for your family? These five diets may be different but they all focus on improving the health and maintaining a healthy weight of everyone in your family, no matter the age. So, choose one based on your family’s needs and preferences.

Article Posted In: Family Nutrition

Tags: healthy diet, best diet, best diet for families, diet for families, best healthy diet

Milena Lazova

Milena is an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in writing articles on her favorite topics - food and health. In her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, reading, listening to music, and walking in nature.