Healthy Meals for Healthy Families

Healthy Meals for Healthy Families
Healthy Meals for Healthy Families

Helping your family make healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle can sometimes be challenging. One way to improve your family's health is by improving the nutritional content of family meals and snacks. An easy way to do this is by making healthy changes to familiar recipes your family already enjoys. If you make just one healthy modification at a time, your family's cravings for high-fat, high-sweet foods will diminish more easily.

Small Changes for Healthier Meals.

Substituting less-healthy ingredients for more-healthy ingredients
Eliminating an ingredient entirely if it doesn't add nutritional benefits
Changing your method of cooking to broiling, grilling, or steaming
Reducing portion sizes.

Here I've listed great examples of how small healthy changes can be implemented into your family's meals.

Healthy Substitutions

When cooking or baking

  • Reduce sugar by 1/2 in baked goods. This will not change consistency, only sweetness will be affected. 
  • Lower the fat by reducing the oil by 1/4 cup. 
  • Replace oils with heart healthy oils such as Canola and Olive oil. 
  • Use Evaporated skim milk in place of heavy creams for creamy sauces and soups. 
  • Fruit juice or broth can be used for salad dressings or marinades instead of oil. 
  • Two egg whites can replace one whole egg. 
  • Thicken broths with corn starch rather than heavy creams and butter. 
  • Phyllo dough is a healthier alternative for pastries and pie crusts. 
  • Replace sour cream with plain yogurt. 
  • Replace high fat ground beef with lean ground beef or lean ground turkey. 
  • Change from 2% milk to 1% or skim. 
  • Replace or add beans to meat dishes such as taco meat or sloppy joes. 
  • Replace a portion of oil in baked goods with applesauce. 
  • If lowering the fat in baked goods, use low-gluten cake flour instead of all-purpose flour for a more tender product. 
  • Replace a portion of your chocolate for cocoa powder, which is healthier. 
  • Low-fat buttermilk can replace sour cream, and it is delicious. 
  • Replace white pasta with whole-grain pasta 
  • Replace white bread with whole wheat bread. 

Healthy Add-ins

  • Adding healthy, nutrient-dense foods can increase the health benefits of your meal.
  • Add to sauces: whole or pureed vegetables, whole or pureed beans. 
  • Add to baked goods: Whole wheat flour, ground flax meal, wheat germ, ground bean flour, berries, pureed fruit (applesauce or pumpkin), pureed vegetables. 
  • Add to cereals, oatmeals, trail mixes, granola salads etc: Dried fruit, chopped nuts, whole wheat, berries, 

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Fresh fruit 
  • String cheese 
  • Fresh vegetables 
  • Air-popped popcorn 
  • Graham Crackers 
  • Pretzels 
  • Yogurt 
  • Home-made granola bars 
  • Hard boiled egg 
  • Dried fruit 
  • Homemade mini-muffins 
  • Apples dipped in peanut butter 
  • Trail mix 
  • Fruit leather (100%) fruit 

Implementing these small changes over time will result in healthier eating for your family, which will in turn help all of you to enjoy a better quality of life. Thanks for visiting our blog
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