Disclosure: This post is written by Luke S.
After munching your way through a calorific holiday season, the chances are you and your family have promised each other that you will eat healthier this year. If you’re finding it hard to keep the resolve, here are some tips for how to keep mealtimes healthy yet still great tasting.
The little changes can add up – and keep everyone happy
You’ve been meaning to do it for ages, now. Perhaps weight gain is an issue, or a general lack of energy and feelings of sluggishness. Whatever is driving you, it’s time to stop procrastinating – everyone can switch to a healthy diet, and get their families on board, too.
While a dramatic changeover to a new and healthy diet isn’t necessarily going to go down well with all members of the family, it’s more about making small, gradual changes to what you put on their plates that is the key – and that way, you won’t find yourself with a revolt at the dinner table. Perhaps you have a little one who is determined not to let anything green past her lips, a teenager who wants to live on burgers and pizzas, or one notoriously picky husband – so rustling up a dinner they will all like is quite a challenge.
Swapping out meat for plant-based alternatives, little by little
Times are changing and plant-based alternatives to meat-heavy meals are becoming more and more commonplace, as people realize the environmental as well as health impacts a red meat diet constitutes. From obesity to diabetes, many of the ailments of modern life can be fixed with dietary shifts.
No one is suggesting the whole family abstain entirely from sugar or go vegetarian, but you might want to consider a little more varied shopping cart next time you head out to the market.
Meat-free Mondays – and a new twist on Taco Tuesdays
Try varying things a little and having a meat-free meal once a week, for example, and generally bringing more plant-based foods into the diet. See what’s on offer in your local supermarket – you may be surprised by how many inexpensive, low-cost meat-free, organic and low-fat meal ideas there are available these days.
If things like nuggets, Sloppy Joes and tacos are the biggest hits at your family meal table, don’t get rid of them! Bring a new twist to popular dishes with low-fat mince, organic sauces and a few more vegetables. Try making your own, home-cooked version of packet noodles or breadcrumbed nuggets with fresh, free range meat products, lots of homemade dips and an imaginative table arrangement – you’ll be amazed at how simple it is.
Easy meal ideas with healthier produce
With so many modern health issues being traced back to poor diet, it’s little wonder that food manufacturers have gotten wise to the need to package fast and easy meal ideas that are both healthy and tasty. One such company is Hampton Creek, a young and dynamic business with a focus on finding new and interesting ways of incorporating plants into everyday food products. The aim here is that you don’t need to work on the farm or slave for hours in the kitchen to cook your family good, healthy food; these are simple, well-priced meal ideas targeted at families with busy lives.
Get the kids to help more in the kitchen
If the idea of all these vegetables is making the children nervous, you could try getting them involved in the kitchen. It’s amazing to see how much tastier a vegetable soup, for example, seems to taste to the nine year-old after she gets to peel and chop the veggies herself. Try making some fun, healthy snacks together – these could be anything from cheese sticks to homemade mini burgers. Keep it fun with quirky presentation ideas and lots of imagination, and let your kids’ fantastic ideas keep you inspired.