One month, one challenge: eat more plant-based food, effortlessly. Shopping, taste, preparation… we’ll give you the tips and tricks you need to reach your goal step by step. We promise simple actions and tasty dishes, without upsetting your habits. Satisfy your taste buds, your health needs and those of the planet.
We don’t need to remind you of the benefits of a plant-based diet. While we are all aware of the pros, eating sufficient plant-based foods isn’t as straighforward. In this article, we’ll guide you to take action and ensure an easy and effortless transition. Simple everyday things that you can do to enjoy delicious meals without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Why should we eat more plant-based food? For health and sustainability. Read all our articles on the subject
Week #1 | Add ingredients instead of eliminating them
Do you have meat with every meal? Don’t force yourself to stop. Depriving yourself increases the risk of falling back into old habits. The key to long-term change is to take it a step at a time, to create new habits without disrupting old ones overnight. The key is to learn to appreciate plant-based foods, to get the whole family to enjoy them (including children), and to understand how to prepare these products without any extra effort.
How do you go about it? Follow the tips below during the first week. Choose one tip to try each day:
1. Eat fruit every day
Start off with 1 piece of fruit a day if you didn’t eat any before, then increase your fruit portion to 2-3 servings a day. What is a portion? What Does “5 Servings per Day” Mean? Find out here!
2. Include nuts at breakfast
(Low-sugar) cereals, pancakes, granola or smoothies: add a handful of fruit of your choice and a few nuts and you’re all set.
3. Eat vegetables at lunch
A soup, raw vegetables, or grilled vegetables in a sandwich, a salad, leftovers from the day before …
4. Serve a half plate of vegetables at dinner
Choose the vegetables first, then the accompaniment. For example:
- Tatin tart with courgettes and aubergines
- Peppers stuffed with vegetables and fresh cream
- Tagliatelle with goat cheese and garden peas
- Red kuri squash and shallots with honey
5. Serve up some pulses as an appetiser
- Creamy hummus with a bit of parsley
- Grilled and spicy chickpeas
6. Offer vegetables with drinks, and/or have them as a snack
- Raw vegetable sticks with a dip (hummus, tzatziki with cucumber, avocado guacamole)
- Crisps and mashed carrot, broccoli and celery
7. Use wholegrain instead of refined cereals
Go for brown rice, wholemeal pasta, bulgur, wholemeal bread, etc.
WEEK #2 | Learn to enjoy vegetables!
Yes, you can make children love vegetables! Did you know that you need to try a new food repeatedly (up to 10-15 times) before you can really tell if you like it or not? The colour, the smell, the taste, the feel, the texture in your mouth… everything is new and it takes time to get used to it. While most vegetables are familiar to adults, some people have never had them. Don’t jump to conclusions after trying just once.
My child is familiar with vegetables but still won’t eat them, what can I do? There are several options, and not just for the little ones. There are picky eaters in every age group.
- Start with ‘easier’ vegetables, which don’t have a strong taste: carrots, courgettes, pumpkin, tomatoes (raw and cooked), green beans, etc.
- Children like eating with their hands: offer them some vegetables in a bowl as a snack.
- Add vegetables to a dish they love, for example, spinach-ricotta blinis, mashed potatoes and celery or hot dogs with courgettes.
- Include them in a bake, quiche or stuffing, or make a kind of puree.
- Present them differently: cut them into chips, bake them in the oven and serve them up in a carton like fries (like these pumpkin chips for example), arrange them into shapes on the plate, serve them with a dipping sauce (ketchup, tzatziki, mayonnaise …) or make them into dumplings mixed with meat or mashed chickpeas.
- Do not reward children for eating vegetables. If eating vegetables deserves a reward, this can give the impression they are not good. Instead, reward them for finishing their whole plate or for good table manners.
Did you know? It’s best never to use sweets as a reward for the same reason. This can give the idea that sweets are sacred and can cause uncontrolled cravings. Instead, reward with an outing, a nice movie or some other activity the child enjoys.
This article may interest you: Plant-based foods: a base for nutrition at every age
My child suffers from neophobia towards a certain food, what can I do? Bring them into contact with the ingredient without forcing them. Let them get close to the product, touch it with their hands, then with their mouth, without forcing them to eat it. Give them time to get used to it and play with it. Try a mouthful and continue in this way, little by little, without forcing anything.
WEEK #3 | Think ‘plant-based’ first
The greatest risk with plant-based food is not thinking about it. To eat more plant-based food all you need is a reminder. But how can you go about it?
- Think about it when you go shopping: put it at the top of your shopping list.
- Make sure to fill almost half your shopping trolley with plant-based foods.
- Always have vegetables, fruit, nuts and pulses at home.
- Keep a fruit basket somewhere prominent. For example, always leave it on the table or the work bench.
- Keep nuts in your car, so you can eat them whenever you are hungry.
- Always keep veggie bags in your shopping bag.
- Prepare a weekly menu and include vegetables in each main course.
“A plate full of taste, fibre and protein from
plant sources, gives you an energy boost!”
WEEK #4 | Move from change to habit
Falling back into your old food habits? Don’t worry, it’s normal. The important thing is to realise it and react in time. Our advice:
- Stick post-it reminders on the fridge, in the car, in your shopping bag…
- Ask the other members of the family to remember: together, you can do it!
- Remind yourself of why you want to adopt a more plant-based diet.
- Start the challenge again from week one.
- Find yummy recipes that include plant-based foods.
- Make a daily checklist with benchmarks.
To ensure a healthy diet for nearly 10 billion people in 2050, and according to the diet established by the EAT Lancet Commission, we should eat:
- 300 g of vegetables/day
- 200 g of fruit/day
- 75 g of pulses/day
- 50 g of nuts and seeds/day