Eating healthier seems to be at the top of everyone’s to-do list, but here’s the ugly truth: It’s not going to happen unless it’s easy.
We all lead busy lives and most of us don’t have time to spend an hour prepping and cooking dinner – Never mind how much time it’ll take to plan and shop for that meal.
But fortunately, there are some tips you can use to craft a healthy dinner for your family every night. Or, at least, more often than you currently are.
Here are a few easy ways to craft a healthy dinner for your family.
Make a list of the healthiest foods your family eats
When you’re making the transition to healthy eating, you don’t want to shock anyone’s system too much. Start by making a list of the healthiest foods your family currently eats. Maybe broccoli is your go-to vegetable, or brown rice is a staple side.
Next, think about the foods that fit into the category of “almost healthy.” Let’s use a hamburger as an example. Hamburgers typically aren’t health foods – but there are small tweaks you can make to transform this dinner food into something that’s a lot better for your family.
Maybe you sub the beef for veggie patties or wild game. Or maybe you just use a leaner cut of beef with healthier condiments like avocado and lettuce on a whole grain bun.
Decide on your go-to healthy recipes
If you want healthy eating to be easy, you have to remove the thought. The best way to do this is to create a list of about 5 go-to healthy recipes that you can whip up quickly. This way, you’ll be less likely to order takeout when you’re feeling rushed.
You can use your list of healthy foods that your family is already eating to craft these go-to recipes. This way, not only will it be easy, but you won’t have to deal with moaning and groaning about your dinner choices.
Keep your pantry well-stocked
It’s difficult to expect anyone to eat healthy when the fridge and pantry are stocked with junk foods. So when you go to the grocery store, stock up on healthy options instead.
This also includes empty-drinks too. For the kids, this could be sugary juices. And for the adults, it’s alcohol. Not only does alcohol lead to excess calories, but it can also lead to alcoholism. If you fear you’re already there, reach out. There are a ton of resources to help you with alcoholism. Changes like these will make a major impact on your family – as will your choices at the grocery store. If you’re wanting even more of a reason to get the parents to stop drinking, and the elderly grandparents to stop alongside at the same time, then maybe you ought to read something like this article on the prevalence of alcohol dementia, or otherwise known as alcohol-induced dementia. Start thinking of the many different ways you can improve the health of old and young in your family!
Stop buying the snacks your family is used to (even if they’re on sale), and instead choose things like protein bars and trail mixes. Everyone should be able to grab a quick bite when they’re hungry, but it doesn’t have to be something decadent.
Buy pre-prepped foods
If you have the budget, buy more foods that are pre-prepped. This will take the work out and make it much easier to get dinner on the table. You may use things like a bag of chopped broccoli, a jar of minced garlic, or a tube of ginger paste. Little steps like these can cut down on the overall time spent cooking. But more importantly, they can shorten your nightly to-do list and make cooking feel less overwhelming.
Transitioning to a healthy lifestyle is about making small changes to your daily habits. Follow the tips on this list, and before long, healthy meals will become the norm instead of the exception.