I have always been the type to eat a pretty healthy diet but my husband on the other hand was the polar opposite of me when it came to eating habits. Before we got married he ate a steady diet of pizza and McDonalds. After we got married I started helping him change his eating habits, I cooked whenever I could but at the time we were both working full time and we had gotten pregnant on our honeymoon so I was not always around to cook him dinner.
After the birth of our second child we made the choice to have me become a stay at home mom, this is when I began taking bigger steps in making sure the whole family was eating a healthier diet.
When you have picky eaters in the house I know how hard it can be to make a well balanced meal. My daughter and I love almost all foods, my husband and son on the other hand are really picky eaters. Here are a few ways I have been making sure they are getting a proper balanced diet.
1. Make your own spaghetti sauce. It is a lot simpler then you would think and in making your own you can add other vegetables in it. I personally add zucchini squash to mine.
2. Replace stewed tomatoes with v8 juice when making soup. Not only does the v8 have more vegetables in it but it adds a really nice flavor to your soups.
3. Cut down your intake of red meats. Some red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease.
4. Stop boiling your vegetables, eating them raw or steaming them keeps more of the nutrients in your vegetables.
5. Avoid processed, prepackaged or boxed foods. It is a lot healthier to make from scratch. For example home made mac and cheese is very simple and it making it your self you can take a lot of easy steps to make it a healthier meal ( using wheat noodles, skim milk and adding vegetables just to name a few )
– My Mac and Cheese Recipe
Whole wheat mac and cheese noodles
Sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
( I will also add one of the following depending on the day ( bacon bits, cooked hamburger, cooked broccoli )
Cook the noodles like normal
Then layer in a glass casserole dish in the following order
Whatever mix in your are using
A combination of the cheeses
Salt and pepper
Repeat until dish is full, stopping with the cheese
Add milk until is is about half way up the pan
Bake on 325 for about 45 mins or until cheese is melted properly
My kids will no longer even eat boxed mac and cheese they like this so much.
6. Eat wheat noodles and bread. It is a simple and easy way to eat healthier. We have always eaten wheat or whole grain bread but I made the switch in noodles about a year ago, my husband did not even notice the difference until he saw the box.
7. Grow a garden and do organic gardening. I can not stress enough how much you will enjoy having fresh vegetables. My son love tomatoes but he will not eat a store bought tomato. He loves going out to the garden and picking a fresh tomato, he then happily sits down and eats it like an apple. If you live in an area where you are not allowed to have an in ground garden you can do container gardening also. Even a small amount of fresh vegetables is a great thing.
8. If you can not do any gardening at all look for fresh and organic vegetables at local farmers markets. Look for deals and stock up, you can freeze the veggies for later use.
9. If you do not drink a lot of water because you do not like plain water try adding a lemon or orange slice. I had issues getting my son to drink a lot of water but he drinks it all the time with a little bit of flavor in it.
10. Try eating beans instead of rice. Brown rice is better than white rice but beans are better than both. One cup of kidney beans has 16 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein. If you are using canned beans rinse then first because it will rinse off the excessive sodium.
– I make a three bean salad with black, kidney and pinto beans. Mix those with salad greens and it makes a great salad and a great source of protein.