How To Enjoy Eating Healthy

So you've finally decided to switch to healthier food alternatives. The problem is, you've never been big on fresh fruit and vegies, and you'd rather a big juicy steak than a piece of fish.

The good news, according to nutritionists, is that it's possible to develop a taste for healthy foods you've avoided for years. Here's how:

• Go slow. Make one small change at a time over a period of weeks. As your taste buds adapt, gradually add in more vegetables, fruit and seafood.

• Stay away from plain. Don't start off with a plate of raw broccoli. Instead, mix pureed or diced vegetables into foods you already like, such as macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, chili, seasoned noodles, sauces, soups or baked goods.

• Use flavouring. Vegetables can taste much better with some herbs and spices, Cajun seasoning and healthy dips such as hummus - or simply grilled with a little salt, pepper and garlic. Go for a known favourite; if you like Asian cuisine, for example, cook with a teriyaki glaze.

• Experiment with cooking time. You may remember your childhood vegetables as a mushy heap. Texture can matter as much as taste: if the same food is firmer or cut into smaller pieces, it may be much more appealing.

• Consider fresh, frozen and canned. Frozen or canned vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh but taste better to you. Just watch the salt and sugar content.

• Be adventurous. Every time you go to the grocery store, buy one fruit or vegetable you've never tried before. You're likely to stumble on a new favourite.

• Give fish a chance. Different types of fish don't taste the same - some are much less "fishy" than others. Ask your seafood supplier for recommendations.

• Be patient. Children often won't accept a new food until they've tried it eight or nine times, and the same may be true of grown-ups.

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