How to sneak extra nutrition into your meals
Eating healthfully doesn't mean you have sacrifice some of your favorite foods. In fact, you can enjoy delicious meals and still get your much-needed nutrition by simply incorporating some extra healthy ingredients. You may not even notice they are in there, but your body will thank you!
Step 1: Slip in the veggies
Sass up your spaghetti sauce by adding chopped onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini. If your children don't like "chunks" in their marinara, simply saute the vegetables in a separate pan, then blend the veggies in a food processor and add them to the sauce.
Step 2: Finagle the fruit
Puree fruit in a blender and add it to plain or vanilla yogurt. Pre-mixed fruit-flavored yogurts have tons of added sugar.
Step 3: Consider whole grain
Make the switch from white to whole grain varieties of bread, rice, pasta and even flour. For the kids, try whole grain white bread, which has the nutritional value of whole grain bread but the look, taste and texture of white bread. Win win!
Step 4: Sub in cauliflower
Switch from mashed potatoes to mashed (or pureed) cauliflower. Simply steam 1 pound of cauliflower florets until tender, then combine them with 1/4 cup of skim milk, a tablespoon of light butter such as Smart Balance, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Blend in a food processor or with a hand blender.
Step 5: Sub out milk
Instead of using milk in a recipe, try substituting chicken stock instead. It provides tons of flavor but has fewer calories than milk.
Step 6: Reduce fat and sodium
Purchase reduced-fat cheeses and look for reduced-sodium versions of items such as canned soups, which are packed with sodium for preservation.
Step 7: Create the ultimate smoothie
Toss some boiled or pureed carrots — along with frozen fruit, milk or fruit juice and yogurt — into the blender when you're making homemade fruit smoothies. You won't be able to taste the veggies, but you'll get tons of added nutrition.
For more tips on healthy nutrition, check this out:
Easy ways to make kids eat vegetables