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Tricks To Healthier Meals
Tips to cut unhealthy fats out of your meals:
1) Shred/grate carrots instead of slicing them. Top off a bowl of chili with a sprinkle of grated carrot to make it look like cheese. This makes the chili visually enticing, and adds fiber& nutrients to your childs' meal.
2) Replace butter in hot oatmeal with a tablespoon of organic healthy Coconut oil. It has many health benefits, and is one of the best healthy fats you can utilize!
3) choose the leanest cuts of meat, poultry, and seafood. Use extra-lean ground turkey or chicken more frequently then ground beef. Remove extra fat/ skin from meats before cooking.
4) Have at least one meatless meal every week. Designate a day, such as "Meatless Monday," where whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts & seeds, Greek yogurt, meatless soups, fruits, veggies, and salads are front and center in your meal planning.
5) Toss the mayonnaise! Mayo is super high in fat, sugar, sodium, and other unhealthy ingredients. Replace mayonnaise with healthy fats and proteins such as mashed avocados or hummus as sandwich spreads instead of fattening mayonnaise.
6) Toss corn oil, vegetable oil, shortenings, lard, and replace with heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil, Grapeseed oil, and coconut oil. Use small amounts of healthy oils. We don't want to over-do it just because they're healthy!
7) Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats as well as a healthy serving of protein. A very small cupped-hand full of nuts (or about 10-12 nuts) is the equivalent of 1 serving.
8) Switch your sugary, fattening brand-name peanut butter to an all-natural nut butter instead. Regular peanut butter has more then 16 grams of sugar and 9 grams of fat!
9) Switch from frying/deep-fat frying to baking or roasting. Did you know that carcinogens appear in deep fried potatoes and other foods? Think french fries... Bake them instead of frying them. They really are much better for you. Try using yams or sweet potatoes in place of russets for a tasty and healthier alternative.
10) Spritz your skillets with extra virgin olive oil or canola oil instead of dumping oil or butter in them to cook foods on the stove top.
11) Forget that nasty, fattening, chemical laden microwave popcorn! Try this instead: Heat a large pot or dutch oven with lid over medium heat on stove top for 1 minute. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry organic (non-GMO) popcorn kernels to the pan. Turn heat down to medium low, an cover with lid. With potholders in both hands, very carefully shake pan back and forth gently, to keep the kernels moving around. After about 2-3 minutes, kernels will begin to pop. When the popping sounds like it's slowing down, turn off burner. Crack the lid so steam can escape, and allow to sit for 30 seconds or until kernels stop popping. Carefully pour hot popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, a few pinches of sea salt, and any other seasoning/ spice you like. I like dark chili powder, or cinnamon with a few drizzles of raw, local honey. So good, and no artery-clogging fat or toxic chemicals!
12) Fruits and veggies: Mince, grate, shred, or puree any fruits and veggies that your kids won't eat on their own. Add the fruits to oatmeal, muffin mixes, baked bread, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, healthy pancakes, etc. Add the veggies to scrambled eggs, omelets, meatloaf, baked muffins and breads, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, casseroles, etc. My favorite way to disguise vegetables is to shred them and add them to a turkey or chicken meatloaf. The flavor is enhanced, and my granddaughters don't see any chunky vegetables, so they never know that they are in the meatloaf! Another sneaky way to add vegetables to your kids meals is to add a cup of spinach to a berry smoothie... they'll never taste it, but they will surely benefit from the extra nutrients!
*I hope these suggestions are helpful. You may always send me a private e-mail message with questions or suggestions on my main 'Cooking for Kids' site.
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