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Improve Your Family's Diet -- Without Complaints

By Sara Butler

As a parent, you want your family to be healthy. What you eat and the habits you instill in your children around eating is what makes all the difference. But it's hard to make changes in your house without some resistance from the peanut gallery. No kid is going to like going from chicken nuggets to baked chicken with vegetables overnight, but there some subtle things you can do to gradually move your family toward healthier eating habits. Here are a few ways you can start.

Go Lean

One small thing you can do that probably won't even be noticed is to switch to lean cuts of meat. While cuts of meat with more fat are less expensive, switching to leaner cuts is one way to save some calories and fat without giving in on taste.

Some easy switches include ground turkey for ground beef or chicken instead of red meat at the center of the dish. When you do use ground meat, drain the fat away with a colander before serving or adding to whatever you're making to save some calories and reduce fat.

Puree the Vegetables

It's not about fooling your kids into eating their vegetables, it's about adding more nutrients to the foods they're eating! Consider pureeing vegetables to add into some of the sauces or casseroles you routinely make to up the nutrition profile. You can even use vegetables to thicken sauces instead of using milk or cream.

Some great ways to add nutrition include adding beans to chili, broccoli to the chicken casserole, or pureed zucchini or carrots to pasta sauce.

Make It From Scratch

Boxed convenience foods are not a great way to be healthy. Sure, they may save time, but it's at the cost of your family's health and wellness.

Instead of reaching for the box, consider making something from scratch instead. That means instead of frozen fries, try making our own sweet potato wedges. Or make some brown rice and add vegetables to it, along with some spices. Swapping out the box for something you make yourself is an improvement to any meal.

Have Water

At meals, forget the sweet drinks such as sodas and juice, opting for water instead. Chances are your family could benefit from drinking more water each day and this is a great way to make that happen. You can help to make the transition a little easier by adding fruit or herbs such as mint to the water in order to add a little pizzazz.

Eating healthy is a family affair, so work toward a healthy lifestyle together. Like many other things in life, your kids will thank you later.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Louis, Mo.

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