It is no secret that proper nutrition is crucial to good health. However, healthy eating may seem too time-consuming or expensive to many. With the right tools, it can be just as easy and delicious. Here are just a few ways you can optimize your family’s well-being by preparing fresh, healthy meals they will enjoy.

Create Healthier Family Favorites

Every family has its favorite foods. While these are not necessarily unhealthy, more often than not they filled with unhealthy ingredients or are fried. The good news is that there are numerous healthier alternatives. Nix deep frying and favor cooking techniques such as steaming, sautéing, grilling or baking. Trim any visible fat from beef. Skip the batter when making a favorite fish or chicken dish and oven bake a breaded version or grill it instead.

Fake It Until You Can Remake It

If your family won’t touch your healthy remake, consider substituting high fat ingredients with their lower fat alternatives. Another way to make family favorites more nutritious is to use fruit or vegetable purees instead of eggs or cooking oil. This works especially well in baked goods such as zucchini brownies because the texture of the pureed produce closely mimics that of eggs or oil.

Favorite Flavors For Picky Eaters

If you are cooking for children, you will find that most of them do not like certain flavors. In fact, many of them do not like flavors you may enjoy as an adult such as cheese, broccoli, greens or cinnamon. Simply using small amounts of the offending flavor can help cultivate your child’s taste for it, as can mixing it with a preferred item such as spaghetti sauce with broccoli.

Making Healthy Look Good

As with anything, people tend to choose the most attractive option when it comes to food. Most fruit and vegetables are brightly colored and beautifully shaped, so all you need to do is arrange them artfully in a fruit bowl or find a fun, portable way to eat them such as fresh veggie skewers.

Turn Meal Time Into Family Time

One of the best ways to ensure your family eats more healthfully is to involve them in preparing more healthful food. Spend time with your family searching, shopping for and preparing healthful food. When you involve your family in the whole process of healthy cooking, they will eat their creations with pride and learn a valuable life skill. If you find that your teens don’t want to have anything to do with meal preparation with you, or don’t want to eat dinner with the family, you may want to talk to them about eating disorders. Sometimes their symptoms are mild and are hard to notice, and other times it’s obvious there is a serious problem. Consider the Center for Change to help your teen overcome their eating disorder and manage their behaviors better. Family dinner time can be a great insight to strengths and weaknesses with your family.

As you add these tips to your routine, your meals will become more nutritious. This is the real recipe to better health for your entire family.