I want to share with you some ways I have consciously thought of to help make my families meals healthier. We are considered a rather large family these days and are on on the go often. But, family dinner time is one of the most important! I'm fortunate my children are not very picky. I'm sure this is from being from a large family they really don't have a choice. Our dinners usually consist of the basics. A meat, veggie, & starch. However, when preparing each one of these I try to be a bit creative on flavor but, health is most important. These are some of the ways I do this. I hope this will give you a few idea's for your family meals.
2) A better choice for table salt ~ I use Sea Salt instead of the highly processed salt you find in many grocery stores. Nothing beats a sea salt/peppercorn mill to cook with and on the dinner table.
3) When I make cookies or cake ~ I try and substitute half of the butter with applesauce, pumpkin or prune puree depending on the recipe. Less fat; more nutrients.
4) Add Beans ~ Thicken soups with pureed beans. Delicious and added nutrition. Our family loves them. Yes, we have to sing the song... beans, beans the musical fruit... I think most of you know the rest of that song! :]
5) Try healthier ways to actually cook your foods ~ We often grill or stir-fry. Even microwaving, baking, and boiling instead are better than say deep frying.
6) Try fresh or dried herbs ~ (basil, oregano, parsley) and spices (lemon pepper, chili powder, garlic powder) to flavor your food instead of adding less healthy toppings such as butter, margarine, or gravy.
7) Trim the skin and fat off of your meat ~ You'll still get plenty of flavor and it's more nutritious.
8) Slowly change your dairy fat intake ~ I have weened my family to fat-free/low fat dairy products. Whenever I can I will use fat-free milk in recipes and reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream, & reduced fat cream cheese. Once in the meal you can't really tell a difference.
9) Use cooking Spray ~ I use cooking spray instead of butter/oil. Less calories & fat. Check label's first.
10) I substitute regular pasta's and rice ~ With High-Fiber and Whole-Grain Pastas they are the best for you. Whole grain rice is the healthiest rice. Brown organic rice as well. I have tried several different brands as they all all taste a bit different. The family majority rule wins on the best flavor.
I feel that this is all good advice. We get caught up these days in quickness. But, a lot of these steps are easy. Once you make the conscious effort to eat healthier it just becomes routine. I hope I was able to give you a few new idea's at least to try for yourself and/or your family. Good luck & here's to HEALTHIER EATING!
~ Bon Appetit! [I wish you] a hearty appetite!
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