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Having your family eat healthier can provide countless benefits but contrary to popular belief, creating healthier meals for you and your family does not have to be a difficult feat! Follow these four easy tips for creating healthier meals that you will feel better feeding to your loved ones and that everyone will enjoy.
Choose Your Ingredients Wisely
While planning, check out the ingredients that you typically use in meals for your family. Often, there are many ingredients that can be sneaky and relatively unhealthy for regular consumption. Take salt for example. Meals that are high in sodium can have a lot of negative side effects for those consuming them. Try to find the best salt for cooking that is healthy and delicious. There are salt options that will still make your meals taste great without the high level of sodium that is included in regular table salt. This is just one example of a common cooking ingredient and addition that you may want to rethink when striving to create healthier meals for your family. Do your research, read labels, and look for and choose alternative ingredients that are better, healthier options.
Take Some Time to Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail! When making the effort to create healthier meals for your family, take a little time to do some research and planning. Typically, it is best to plan, shop, and prepare for one week worth of meals. This will ensure that the food chosen is fresh and will also help to alleviate constant shopping and cooking throughout your busy week. Do a little research on food and dishes that best fit the goals you are trying to achieve for your family. Whether you are looking to reduce sodium or unhealthy fats or working to incorporate more vegetables, expand your knowledge on what you should be including and not including in your meals. Plan some meals and assemble your ingredient list according to your goals before hitting the grocery store to simplify this whole process for yourself and give yourself some direction while shopping!
Use Healthier Substitutions for Favorites
Are meatballs and spaghetti with sauce a favorite in your family? Not to worry, there is a healthier alternative for that along with many other meals that may be staples in your house that may not be the healthiest choices. Zucchini noodles and other spiralized vegetables have made their mark in households over the past several years. It can be very simple to use healthier substitutes in favorite meals. These healthier options do not stop at using zucchini noodles as a substitute for spaghetti or other pastas. Consider using cauliflower as an alternative for rice as a side or in place of potatoes in mashed potatoes! Cauliflower can also be incorporated into pizza crust for a fun pizza night with various healthy toppings. Having burgers for dinner? Try a lettuce bun instead of a regular bun. Lettuce can also be used in place of bread or wraps for various sandwiches that can make for quick and easy lunches or snacks.
Meal Prep in Advance
Meal prepping falls into the category of planning and preparing but really can help to keep you on track with your healthy meals for your family. When not prepared, on a busy, hectic day it can be very easy to grab some fast food or order unhealthy take out for the sake of convenience and time. If your meals are prepped, it will be a lot less easy to fall into this trap! As mentioned before, typically, it is best to prepare for one week’s worth of meals. Choose a day that is most convenient for you and dedicate some time to cooking or doing most of the prep work for the meals you chose for the week. Keep these prepared healthy meals frozen or in the refrigerator so that when it is almost time to eat, you can just quickly heat them up and serve!
Create healthier meals for your family by following these easy steps for success. Plan your meals in advance after doing a little research on ingredients and dishes that best fit your family goals. Consider using healthier substitutes for both ingredients and larger aspects of your favorite meals and meal prep for the week or a few days to make healthier eating even easier!