A few simple touches to a delicious home-cooked meal can seriously increase the food’s health content. If you have a young family, you want to make sure that your little ones are eating as healthy and as affordable as possible.
There’s no doubt this can be a tough endeavour – throw in a full-time job, your children’s school commitments and the mountain of stuff to get through over the weekend, and it’s no wonder why so many families are resorting to fast food for their dinner needs.
If you’ve noticed that your family is probably eating a bit too much take-away food, check out some of these affordable and smart methods to promote healthy eating habits in your home.
5 Affordable Ways to get Your Family Eating Healthy
Consider having food delivered
One of the big drawbacks of sticking to healthy meal plans is the preparation involved. Going to the shops multiple times a week to stock up on fresh produce just simply isn’t viable for some people.
You can easily sign up to food delivery services and have delicious, healthy meals delivered to your door. A leek and feta chicken breast could be just what you need after a stressful day at the office.
Moreover, it will take only 35 minutes to prepare and serve, containing almost 50g of protein. Think back to all those times you spent hours in the kitchen, preparing a complicated meal that no one really liked or wanted again.
You won’t have to spend hours toiling away in the kitchen anymore, wasting your own valuable time. Evening meals should be fun and affordable, so much so that your partner or kids should want to get involved in the process.
Experiment with healthy foods
Another thing you should consider is experimenting with as many healthy ingredients and meal plans as possible.
Children can be very picky-eaters, to the point that it can feel almost impossible to feed them what they want, while maintaining a nutritious eating regime. You want your children to feel confident and this starts by knowing what is on their plate for dinner.
Try new ingredients as a way of gauging what your children like and dislike – that way you can tailor meal preparation to better suit their likes. If they vehemently dislike a certain ingredient, you’ll know never to use it again!
No more packaged snacks
It’s very easy to simply throw a few chip packets and muesli bars into your kid’s lunchbox and call that a meal.
There’s no doubt that this saves time, and at face value, money. However, a lot of these packaged, highly-manufactured snacks are quite expensive when compared to their nutritional value.
Ask any child and they’ll likely say that they’re still hungry after a muesli bar.
Switching to homemade snacks is a great way to ensure that your family is sticking to healthy foods, even during snack time.
Instead of flavoured crisps, consider oatmeal crackers, dried/fresh fruit or even raw vegetables. Carrot sticks are fantastic when serving fresh dips, like hummus or guacamole.
Have set meal plans
Another effective way to encourage healthy eating habits in your home is to have set meal plans for each day of the week.
Indecision often leads to poor eating outcomes. Think of it this way, if you have a plan for dinner and have everything prepared, you want to make sure you stick with it, so the whole endeavour isn’t a waste of time.
Make your family commit to set meal plans and you’ll see a dramatic improvement in the quality of their diets.
Swap out white bread for brown rice
White bread is one of those foods that tastes great, works with a lot of different meal types, yet leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its health rating.
White bread is often full of preservatives, sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.
Instead of making your children and family white bread sandwiches for lunch every day, consider switching to a healthier carbohydrate source: brown rice.
Not only is brown rice really affordable and delicious, it contains a lot of great nutrients that are important to maintaining a healthy diet. Brown rice is rich with things like magnesium, B Vitamins and fibre, which can be attributed to the bran and germ, which is removed from white rice and white bread.
So, it’s clear that there are many greats ways you can get your family eating healthy and nutritious meals often. While it may seem like a time-consuming endeavour, it certainly doesn’t have to be.
In fact, by using the strategies discussed in this article, you can easily provide your family with healthy meal plans, while sticking to a strict time schedule and financial budget.
For more great advice on healthy food for your family, check out our Grown ups: Food and nutrition section.