Household · Kitchen · Menu Plan

Tuesday’s Tips: Healthier Food Choices

I have really enjoyed sharing Erika’s and my tips about saving money on groceries and finding recipes. This being our last week, we decided to split up our post a little differently. To read the first half of this post, go HERE. Erika is sharing all kinds of helpful information regarding farmers’ markets and some resources to get more info on those in our area. After reading it, head back here by clicking the link at the end of her post.

For those that missed the Tuesday’s Tips collaborations we have previously posted, check them out:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

My portion of the post will be regarding healthier choices for your meals. As I am sure I have said about 100 times, my family has been eating almost 100% organic for about 5 months now. I have noticed some changes regarding our health, our appearances, and my attitude towards food. All of those changes have been positive, and I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned about making healthier food choices for those of you looking for some positive changes!

(As a side note, I just wanted to say that we made the change because we knew it was right for US. Of course, I encourage everyone to make only changes that are suited to their own families. Just because this way of eating is what is right for us, I’m not saying it is something you must do or should do or that you’re not doing the best for your family if you don’t. To each their own, right?) 🙂

I have 7 tips for ways to make healthier foods or food choices. Enjoy!

  1. Add veggies in everything! You can throw shredded veggies into just about every dish to increase your daily intake of vegetables. Shred or dice vegetables (carrots, zucchini, broccoli, celery) and add to casseroles, soups, even meatloaf!

  2. Substitute a homemade item for a processed item in every meal. Making every single thing from scratch may not be for everyone. I get that. We have families and jobs and activities and a billion other responsibilities. But try making one of your items from scratch instead of having them all processed. if you’re making a casserole and it calls for cream of chicken soup, make a white sauce instead. The flavor is a little different, but it does the same thing as far as adding liquid/moisture to the dish. The healthy benefits are that you control the salt in it and there are no additives or preservatives in that sauce. It is pretty versatile, too. You can increase the pepper in it to use as a gravy with biscuits for breakfast. Put cheese in and it turns into a cheese sauce – great for veggies! It’s so good…and really good to know it’s homemade!

  3. Make a grain with every dinner. Grains are full of fiber, which our digestive system loves. I try to have us eat a grain at every dinner. Couscous, millet, barley, oats, rye, brown rice, bulgur, and corn are just some of the grains available. Be sure to pick whole grains, not refined ones. The refined grains have had all the nutrient-rich portions of the seed stripped, so you are left with a grain that isn’t a healthy one. Whole grains are high in fiber, which may help avoid constipation and slow digestion. They are packed with B vitamins, as well as iron, magnesium and selenium.

  4. If eating meats, know the details. I don’t want to gross anyone out with this one, but seriously…there is so much information going around right now about the processes of the meat industry and the poor conditions of the “farms” that the big companies are raising their animals in. A couple resources for finding out more are Food Inc (a great documentary), Wallace Farms (where we now purchase or meats), and meat.org (I’m not a vegetarian, but it’s an interesting site…and graphic).

  5. Fruits at EVERY meal. We love fruit! I try to offer a fruit at almost every meal for us. Breakfast usually has oranges or pears. Lunch has apple slices or pears. Dinner (when I’m not lazy) has pineapple or bananas. Fruits have fiber, vitamins and natural sugars.

  6. Flavored water instead of pop. We all know pop/soda is unhealthy (even the diet kinds!). And we all know that drinking plain water gets really old, really fast. 🙂 Try making a flavored water to change things up a bit. Throw orange slices in a pitcher of water and refrigerate. Or lemon and lime slices. Or cucumber slices. Or strawberries. Mmmm. All of those options give the water a slight flavor and are MUCH healthier than the pre-made flavored drinks or sodas. If you like the carbonation of pop, try using a sparkling water (or soda water, seltzer, club soda…whatever you call it) with the flavors!

  7. Make your snacks. Kids like to snack. I love to snack. It can get expensive…and unhealthy. Try some of these homemade snacking options: granola bars, apple slices with organic peanut butter, raw veggies, homemade juice popsicles, smoothies, homemade trail mix, nuts, dried fruits and homemade quick breads. Even if it’s cookies…make them instead of buying them. So much healthier and tastier.

Making changes to our meals can go a long way to improving our health. Of course, if you have allergies or medical conditions, be sure to talk with your doctor before doing anything drastic. I am not a medical professional – just a mom that has done a ton of reading in 5 months to get us moving toward a more healthy lifestyle.

Do you have any ideas or tips for making your meals healthier? Please share!!

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