In day to day family life, it can be difficult to ensure that the food being put on the table is nutritious. With hectic schedules and different tastes, convenient and cheap meals can often take precedence.
The internet is overflowing with healthy family recipe meal ideas, but these generally lack one key ingredient: simplicity. These healthy suggestions also usually require time, fresh ingredients and can end up being extremely costly.
What we suggest, is to take note of what are commonly known as superfoods and include them in your diet. Superfoods are scientifically proven to reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer and provide amazing health benefits to the body. Superfoods include baked beans, blueberries, oats, oranges, broccoli, soy, spinach, salmon, tea (green or black), tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, apples, bananas, brazil nuts, yoghurt.
You should also aim to include a fish dish at least once or twice a week. Fish is an excellent source of protein and omega-3. Bordbia has a straightforward recipe on their site for a fish and potato pie that can be easily followed.
Incorporating fish is surprisingly easy; prawns can be added to a wide variety of dishes and canned tuna can also be used in lunchtime sandwiches and in salads. Or why not try your own version of fish and chips the healthy way, with grilled sea bass and sweet potato wedges?
It is important not to get discouraged by the idea of healthy meals. Organic and low fat do not necessarily equate healthy and a nutritious dinner shouldn’t cost you the earth.
Instead, consider what your family already likes and eats and ask yourself if those dishes could be tweaked to make them healthier, could (more) vegetables be added or can the fat content be reduced.
As they say, variety is the spice of life. Try to vary family dinners and introduce new ingredients occasionally. Why not try a chicken and vegetable lasagne instead of the traditional Italian one? Good ways to include vegetables are in stir fries, omelettes, Mediterranean casseroles, ratatouilles or a spinach and lentil curry.
Many nutritionists promote the idea of the colourful plate instead of an over reliance on the food pyramid. The idea is that your dinner plate should contain a variety of colours in the vegetables, carbohydrates and meat.
Healthy eating is more often than not a learned behaviour. Encourage your children to snack on fruit and raw vegetables when possible and explain to them why it will benefit them, after all, who wasn’t told they would grow up big and strong if they ate their greens?