Disclaimer: This is a partner post.
Tricks for Feeding Your Family Well
You know the drill—when one person in your family gets sick, everyone else follows suit before long. Particularly nasty bugs can circulate through the house for weeks. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Good nutrition is the foundation of good health, so prioritizing a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and your family feeling your best.
Of course, keeping healthy food on the menu is easier said than done. You might be dealing with picky eaters, a busy schedule, a tight budget, all three, or all three plus ten more! No matter what is standing between you and a balanced diet, there are a few ways you can overcome these obstacles to keep your family nourished and happy.
Picture the Plate
You know the food pyramid that used to grace the backs of cereal boxes? Remember how little attention you paid to it? A few years ago, the U.S. government updated its official nutritional education symbol to MyPlate. This visual aid makes it simple to conceptualize appropriate portions sizes for each food group. At every meal, approximately half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, slightly more than a quarter with grains, and slightly less than a quarter with protein. Keeping MyPlate in mind when you plan and serve meals is one way to achieve a balanced diet.
Embrace Food Trends
Healthy eating is trending now, which means that you have a lot of healthful options available for purchase at your regular supermarket. For example, Hampton Creek is a growing company that is dedicated to finding new ways to use plant proteins in foods that normally are not so healthy, like cookies and salad dressings. These revamped recipes do not take the place of whole veggies, but they can take some of the guilt out of your favorite treats. So enjoy munching on a tasty dessert, knowing that it was made using innovative and nutritious ingredients.
Shoot for Home
Between flute practice, swim class and ballet lessons, it can be hard to have your family all in one place for dinner each night. However, there are several long-term psychological benefits to eating family dinners, and if you eat these meals at home, you can skip the excess fats and sugars found in fast foods. Try cooking a meal from scratch, at home, at least twice a week. You will be able to control the ingredients that go into your food while enjoying the company of your loved ones.
Shop the Deals
Health food has a reputation for being pricey, but it does not have to be. You do not have to buy special grains with unpronounceable names to serve your family nutritious fare. Shop for seasonal produce to get fruits and vegetables that taste great and are reasonably priced. Staples like whole grain rice and dry beans make excellent bases to hundreds of dishes and cost just pennies per ounce. You can also save money by looking for coupons and signing up for rewards programs at your grocery store.
Make it Fun
Making visually appealing snacks like ants on a log or fruit kebabs can be time consuming. On the other hand, picky eaters can often be coaxed into wolfing down their most dreaded foods when said foods are presented in a fun way. You might not have time to whip up Instagrammable snacks every day, but if you are tired of fighting The Veggie Wars then you might be able to approach a treaty by making clever snacks once or twice a week.
Make it Yummy
Thanks to the availability of the Internet, there are almost unlimited resources for learning how to make delicious and nutritious foods. No matter what style of cuisine you prefer, healthy recipes are just a quick search away. You can also use your favorite cooking methods to prepare healthy ingredients. Try grilling some lean chicken or roasting some chopped veggies. Your family will appreciate the tantalizing sights and smells, and you will appreciate the wholesome results.
Change Your Chow
It can be difficult to make sure your kids are eating right. Heck, it can be difficult to make sure you are eating right yourself! No one manages the job perfectly all the time, but the important thing is to keep pursuing your overall goal of good health. By turning eating well from a struggle to a lifestyle, you can keep yourself and your loved ones feeling good both today and in the future.