Cooking healthy for your family is important for everyone. Not only will you be eating healthy meals, but your children will learn a lot from eating healthy. They will get to experience healthy foods that they may have not even tried before, or wanted to. They will learn how to cook healthy meals so that they can pass down this tradition to their own children in the future. They will also come to enjoy healthy meals better than junk or foods that are bad for them.
Cooking healthy meals for your family will give everyone the energy they need for a full day, give them better concentration and focus, and help them do well in life. This will not deprive your family in any way. You will all be getting the proper nutrients you need without completely passing on all treats. Eating healthy is important for your health – not just now, but for the future as well. Studies have shown that eating healthy can help to reduce the risks of various ailments, heart disease, stroke, and many cancers. You can help your family lead a healthier life by cooking healthy meals.
Guidelines For Healthy Cooking
1) Use Plenty of Fruits And Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are often overlooked in today’s diet. However, fruits and vegetables are very important because they have vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants to keep you healthy, strong and help you fight illnesses. It is important to use fresh ingredients when cooking. Do not overcook your vegetables, as this will take out some of the nutritional value of them. Consider serving your vegetables raw or just blanch them (boil for about 5 minutes). Kids will especially love blanched veggies because it brings out their colors and makes them a little bit softer. Blanching doesn’t take out nutrients because you are only boiling them for 5 minutes. Just wait for the water to boil and place the veggies in. Put them on ice after the 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. You may also want to serve fruits with dinnertime as well. Most people don’t and that is why most people don’t get enough fruit in their daily diet. Serve a fruit and veggie with each meal.
2) Stick To Lean Meats And Fish: Lean meats and fish are an important part of your diet. However, too much meat can actually cause health problems. This is why adding fish to at least two meals a week can increase your health. Lean meats are better for you because they have less fat and sometimes less cholesterol than the other meats. Look for lean meats in your grocery store. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of fish: salmon, tuna steaks, haddock, cod, etc. Fish has important fatty acids that are excellent for your body and mind.
3) Watch The Fat You Use: Try to wean off of real butter and other fatty foods. If you must use real butter remember that just one tab of it a day is enough – no more. There are other options to choose from than just butter or lard. Add some of these items to your kitchen and your meals: olive oil, avocado, vegetable oil, butter spread made from olive oil, etc. You can also try using spices for your meals instead of fats. Try balsamic vinegar on your salad instead of salad dressing, or vinegar and olive oil. These can make great alternatives to other fatty foods.
4) What You Drink Counts Too! Do not forget about what you drink. As adults, we tend to not pay any attention to what we choose for beverages. A simple can of soda can have a lot of calories, sodium, sugar, and more in it. It doesn’t really matter if it is diet or not. It is still unhealthy. Cut down on drinks like soda, juices, coffee, and tea. You can healthily have coffee and tea about two times a day – that’s two cups a day, especially if you use sugar and cream. Try using lemon in your tea instead of honey or sugar. The best thing to drink is water. Always try to choose water over any other drink. Kids should not have more than two cups of juice a day because of the sugar. Make sure they get water everyday – and you too!
5) Treats In Moderation Are OK: This is not a fad diet. This is a lifestyle change for you and your family. Yes, you can have treats in moderation. Have something every once in a while.
Take Charge of Your Health!
Changing your eating habits can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be if you take a little time to think it out and create a plan.
This Healthy Eating Worksheet will walk you through the process of creating a healthy eating plan. All you need to do is print it out, set aside some time to complete it, and then fill it out. Then you can create your plan, knowing that you have addressed potential obstacles and came up with some creative ways to handle them.