Eating on the fly has been tempered somewhat by the rise in popularity of meal delivery thanks to the lasting effects of the pandemic. Without monitoring your diet and food-prep habits, though, such conveniences can quickly turn into a nightmare. But there’s help! Fitter Past Forty shares how to ensure your family stays healthy and happy with these dining and snacking tips.
Begin with a balanced diet
Eating a well-rounded diet is a key source of nutrition, wellness and an overall healthy lifestyle. Without a proper diet, your body won’t have the building blocks it needs for energy, to fight off illnesses, and to make repairs from daily living.
Ensure your family eats plenty of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors since the colors essentially represent different vitamins and minerals. Consume lots of whole grains, like brown rice and whole-wheat bread, which provides fiber to help prevent chronic illnesses and control weight. Dairy products should also play a role in your family’s diet, as they help keep your heart and bones healthy. And last but far from least, lean proteins are important sources of vitamins and minerals.
Especially for seniors
While sufficient protein is important throughout life, U.S. News & World Report notes it’s particularly crucial for seniors to consume enough lean proteins. Caloric needs decrease in older adults, but without ample protein, seniors’ health can deteriorate. When they lack protein, the risk for osteoporosis and reduced immune function can result.
Also, avoiding foods with empty calories, such as soda, ice cream, and candy bars, is especially important for senior health. If you have parents and grandparents struggling with a healthy diet, talking with a nutritionist often helps. Some insurance plans cover nutrition therapy.
Fun in the sun
Handling food properly on warmer days can make a world of difference to your family’s health, so the Food Network advises following proper safety guidelines. For your cookouts, separate cooked from raw foods, and never reuse marinades no matter how delicious you think they would be. Keep all food at appropriate temperatures, with raw poultry and meats packed on ice and in their own cooler. Cook meats to proper temperatures, and store leftovers carefully.
Healthful food exchanges
Some of the foods we associate with parties and get-togethers aren’t particularly healthy selections, but what can you eat instead that will still tantalize your taste buds? Thankfully, for every puzzle, there’s a solution! Side dishes and desserts are often a downfall, but they don’t need to be. Instead of ice cream, try sorbet.
When you and the kids are craving chips, make some of your own out of sliced sweet potatoes or zucchini. Instead of candy bars, Shape suggests dipping some dried fruit in chocolate, or for a cooling version, try dipping bananas in chocolate and freezing them.
Marinating your meat
Healthy eating doesn’t stop with sweets and sides. Your main course should also be healthy, so remember those lean proteins, and use them in nutritious recipes. Choose refreshing, healthy marinades to amp up flavor, and base them on ingredients like olive oil, herbs, spices, and citrus juice. Besides including healthy ingredients, marinating meat, fish or poultry can reduce harmful carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) when cooked at high temperatures, as with grilling, by up to 99 percent.
Bring on the burgers
When a burger is the perfect meal to have, go with healthy, kid-friendly selections your whole family will love, like tuna, lamb, bison, quinoa, or satay chicken. Whole-grain buns are a natural swap for traditional white bread buns, but you can also opt for creative alternatives, like grilled portobellos, lettuce leaves, beefsteak tomatoes sliced in half, or hearty slices of grilled eggplant. Round it out with well-chosen toppings, like sliced avocado, fresh salsa, feta cheese, spinach, or pesto sauce. When it comes to prepping the burgers into patties, work in a little extra nutrition — and flavor! — by mixing in an egg or two, and diced onions, bell peppers, or even carrots.
Feeding the family should be fun, engaging and a health promoter, not a health disaster. Aim for balanced nutrition, handle foods properly, and jazz things up with refreshing food swaps. Keep meals interesting and healthful for all age groups, and your mealtimes are sure to be a good time with no regrets!
About the author:
Cheryl Conklin created Wellness Central from her desire to share various resources and her thoughts on wellness. Apart from blogging, she enjoys traveling and going on endless adventures, and writing about her experiences at the end of the day.