When making the change to an additive free lifestyle, a very common concern is how to get the adults in your family on board.  You know, the ones that have well ingrained habits and beliefs, favourite foods and well formed opinions?!  Not only can it be stressful wondering how to get their support, but it can actually feel like a deal breaker when deciding whether or not to make the change.  It’s a common reason some people head to the ‘too hard basket’ instead of the journey to a calm and happy life.

This blog is Part 3 in a series.  In Parts 1 and 2, you can get all the tips and strategies for informing, preparing and empowering your kids, and the steps are very similar for the big kids too – just with a little different language and approach.

It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!

First things first – this is not a magical overnight cure!  Acceptance of change takes time.  For kids, this process will be a lot quicker than adults.  Depending on the kids’ age, there are less ingrained/learned habits and fears to undo and change for littlies.  Adults – being far more cynical and stuck in our ways – tend to need proof and (dare I say it) need to feel like we’ve come up with the idea ourselves before fully jumping on board.  So please be patient.  The steps below will set you up for the greatest success and then it’s a time, patience and understanding (with a little support and a good dose of positivity), that will see you through to the end result.

How do I know this?

I have a darling husband and lovingly supportive family who were sooo not on board the additive free journey at first!  My husband consumed just about all the things on the ‘what not to eat’ list.  With the lengths I went to when our kids were babies and toddlers, I’m sure there were times he thought I wasn’t completely sane!  I was the weird mother that was seen to be denying her children all the things ‘normal’ kids ‘should’ have free access to (eg: lollies) and to top it off, I was denying their wonderful grandparents the right to spoil them.

I am the first to admit I used to be quite extreme and it took me a while to find balance. But with time, everyone was able to see the benefits and I now have a wonderfully supportive and (mostly) additive free husband, and a great deal of my extended family now understand the importance of healthy pure additive free foods – some are even growing organic foods and aware of their own sensitivities (such as gluten)!

So, bearing in mind it may take time to get the level of support you desire, let’s get stuck into the strategies to start gathering support from the adults in your family….



1. Increase their awareness & inform them

As adults, we are much more receptive to change if we are well informed and in control of our own decisions.  The adults in your family are going to come on board if they are empowered to deal with the change at their own pace and in their own way.

To empower adults, start by increasing their awareness about food additives.  Give your partner/family as much or as little information as they need to have a basic understanding of the reasons behind your decision to go additive free.  It will help give weight to your choice and may also help them learn a little about themselves as well as your children.  See Part 1 of this blog series for information that may help to inform your partner or other adult family members.

2. Outline your expectations and start small

What is it you are asking?  How much support or involvement do you expect from your partner or parents?  This is what you need to convey next.

Whilst sharing your expectations, it’s important to remember that we are (thankfully) all different.  Keep in mind that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and the right to follow their beliefs.  Let your partner or parents know their opinion is respected and they are not being asked to change their ways, merely help with changing the kids habits and/or your habits.

Start small with your expectations – mutual respect and support is what you’re after at this stage.  All you can ask is that your family respects your opinion and supports you in your decision to have happier healthier little beings – anything else is a bonus!  They don’t have to believe this change will get the results you want, just support you in your quest to try. This also means you can’t expect them to fully embrace the change and be as involved as you are – well not yet anyway.  Give them space and time to reach their own conclusions and work at their own pace.  Eventually, most naysayers will see the change in your children’s behaviour and the value in going additive free and be far more active and supportive.


ommunication is so important when enlisting support from your partner

3. Keep it real and focus on the positives

When asking for their support, try not to sugar coat things.  Keep it real when describing why you want to make the change and what it involves.  Focus on why this change is a positive step forwards for everyone, and the importance of their involvement and support.  Most resistance to change will be based around the ‘unknown’.  Not knowing what to expect triggers that fight or flight reaction… Usually displayed with responses such as  “This is ridiculous… I’m not doing this… I don’t need to do this”.  When you get this sort of response, ask for more information.  Ask why they don’t want to be involved or what’s concerning them about the change.  Use the information from Part 1 of this blog series to help answer their questions and remember to keep it positive.

For example, if your children’s grandparents are voicing concerns about not being able to spoil their grandkids, here’s one way to keep it real… Mention they can still spoil the kids, just with different things, such as additive free lollies, or special grandma hugs whilst reading them a story.  Bring the focus back to the positive and highlight the importance of the time spent with the kids rather than what foods they are given.

For more ideas and answers, keep an eye out on my website for the soon to be released FAQs page, which will include some of the most common questions and concerns adults might raise.

Remember, adults are often a lot less open to change and have well formed opinions and habits.  This means it may take longer to come around to the idea of an additive free lifestyle, but rest assured it can happen!

In the long run, you have your reasons for making this change – whether your adult family members are on board or not, hold strong in your beliefs and choice (and if you need reminding about why you made the choice, go back to your goal setting sheet!).  Yes, extra support would be very nice, but it’s not essential!  Plus, you can always count on me as your number one support crew along your journey to an additive free lifestyle!  Keep the communication lines open and in time the additive free food will speak for itself, and you will be surrounded by supporters!

Want more information, strategies or support?

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Loren x