If your mom or dad lovingly made you a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup when you came home from soccer practice as a kid, you probably still feel wonderful when you have that combo today. Comfort foods are often attached to loving memories, according to a recent study, and each time we eat them, we feel loved and satiated. These foods are like a big hug.

The connection between certain food and feeling loved and accepted is likely set early. However, if your attraction to comfort foods, like pizza, mac and cheese, or an ice cream sundae from your formative years have you forming unhealthy eating habits as an adult, it may be possible to create new, positive experiences around healthier foods.

Try these ideas to form new comfort food imprints that support your wellbeing today.

Avocado Toast Brunch Party and Power Walk
Invite your favorite friends over and ask them to bring their go-to, healthy ingredients for avocado toast. As the host, you provide the multi-grain or whole wheat toast, fresh from the bakery, plus the ripe avocados, which are loaded with all kinds of health benefits. Then, you’ll be delighted to learn all kinds of ways your friends dress up their avocado toast. Have a feast, then, go for a group power walk!

Smoothie Saturday
You have a new, fancy juicer, so create a Saturday ritual for the family or with your significant other. Make a date to shop for organic fruits and vegetables at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Have fun researching the seasonal bounty and related benefits, then return home to create juices from what’s fresh right now. You get together time, plus a warm association around fresh fruits and veggies.

Neighborly Kale Contest
For a spin on the chili cook-off, organize a kale (or other leafy green) contest. Get your friends and/or neighbors to gather for a kale-themed potluck – the only rule is kale has to be one of the primary ingredients. Number the dishes, have people vote, and give out a prize – doesn’t need to be extravagant – maybe another bunch of kale tied with a blue ribbon?

Comfort Food Redux Challenge
With your loved one or BFF, plan dinner featuring comfort foods on the menu – but with a healthier spin. Sub ingredients and adapt recipes to make a more health-conscious version of mac and cheese, or use veggie noodles instead of pasta for spaghetti and meatballs with a reduced caloric and carb impact.

You get the picture! Create happy memories and redefine the foods that bring you comfort and joy.