Healthy eating doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favourite foods or resign yourself to kids who simply refuse to eat their veggies. In fact, almost every recipe that your family has grown to love and enjoy can be made healthier with a few clever substitutions. There are many ways to make your meals healthier for the betterment of your family’s health and wellbeing, and today we’ll be sharing with you our top 7 tips for healthy home cooking.
Keep on reading if you’re ready to say goodbye to bland meals and hello to healthy (and delicious) nosh on the daily.
Invest In The Essentials
When it comes to transforming the way you cook, investing in some key essentials is first on our list of healthy cooking tips and tricks. Our top 5 picks when it comes to must-have kitchen appliances include a trusty food processor, hand mixer, blender, an air fryer, and of course, a quality set of non-stick cookware that will help you almost fully eliminate excess fat from your recipes. Armed with these essentials, you’ll be able to tackle almost any recipe you find.
Even better, these appliances will help save you a ton of money by making it easier than ever for you to prepare usually expensive ingredients such as zucchini noodles and more in mere seconds and at a fraction of the cost. What’s not to love?
Switch From White To Brown
One of the easiest ways to maximise nutrition is to switch from white to brown. This simply means swapping your white rice for brown (or black) rice, switching from regular pasta to wholemeal, and replacing your usual loaves of sandwich bread with hearty whole-grain alternatives. The reasoning behind this is simple — brown rice, pasta and bread is higher in fiber, magnesium and other nutrients. Additionally, they aren’t artificially enriched with nutrients like their white counterparts often are. They are also the best way to ensure that you stay fuller for longer, thus reducing the chances of excess snacking in between meals.
Gentle On The Oil
As delicious as lashings of olive oil may be on crusty bread, if you’re not careful, cooking with too much oil can lead to a lot of added calories (more than 100 per tablespoon for many oils) to your daily macronutrient intake. The easiest way to control the amount of oil you use when cooking is to either use spray oils or carefully measure out the amount of oil you use in recipes. Alternatively, you could opt for healthier cooking methods such as air-frying, grilling or steaming. With that said, fat shouldn’t be entirely eliminated from your diet as it is essential for healthy brain function, skin, and vitamin absorption.
Pay Attention To Portion Control
Too much of anything can become a bad thing which is why paying attention to portion control is key. Avocados are incredibly nutritious but eating too many of them may cause gastrointestinal issues or weight gain due to excessive calorie consumption. We’re not saying you’ll have to measure out every single bite that you take, but sticking to the general rule of a plate filled with 50% vegetables, 25% lean protein and 25% starchy carbohydrates is a fantastic start. Some other great portion control tips include using smaller plates, starting meals with a glass of water and eating slowly so that your brain has the chance to register fullness.
Did you know that the average adult should eat no more than 6g of salt (about one teaspoon) per day? Unfortunately, many of us easily double or even triple that intake in one meal! Excess sodium intake can lead to a myriad of various health issues such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, fluid retention and frequent headaches. Sodium is often found in high quantities in processed foods which is why cooking with fresh ingredients is always recommended. We also encourage you to try out various salt alternatives such as Herbamare, garlic powder or lemon juice that offer all the flavour without the sodium.
Stock Up On Frozen Veggies
Research has found that frozen fruit and veggies actually contain more antioxidants such as vitamin C, polyphenols, beta carotene and lutein compared to fresh varieties stored in the fridge for three days. Contrary to popular belief, frozen veggies are actually no less superior to their fresh counterparts and are often snap-frozen very soon after they are picked. They are also incredibly affordable and a great way to ensure that your fridge is always stocked with something fresh. So, the next time you see frozen veggies on discount at your local supermarket, be sure to stock up on them!
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Last but not least, try your very best to not deprive yourself of treats once in a while. Many studies have shown that food deprivation can actually lead to bingeing — when you feel deprived, you’re more likely to overeat once you stop restricting. This restrict-binge cycle is incredibly unhealthy and impossible to sustain which is why enjoying a treat once or twice a week is totally acceptable. In fact, trying out new recipes for “healthier” versions of your favourite desserts and baked goods can be an exciting process that helps you further fall in love with healthy cooking. The next time you feel like munching in a brownie, why not try making a healthier version at home? You’ll be surprised at how yummy and delicious some recipes can be!
Preparing healthy meals on a regular basis is one of the best ways to ensure that you are giving your body all the nutrition it needs to lead a happy and healthy life. We hope that these tips for boosting your family’s health and wellbeing have inspired you to experiment in the kitchen with various flavours, textures and ingredients. All the best and happy cooking!