When it comes to increasing the nutritional quality of your family’s diet, think in terms of the three S’s:
Subtract – One of the best ways of giving your family’s diet a makeover is to reduce those foods that are unhealthy. However, with any radical change it’s best to do things gradually – eliminating one small thing at a time. Before you know it, your kids won’t even have noticed that there hasn’t been bologna in the house for more than a week or that their Kool-Aid has magically disappeared.
Substitute – Think of things they normall eat that you can replace with healthier alternatives. Can you substitute whole wheat pasta for the enriched stuff? How about replacing that sugary jelly with some 100% fruit spread?
Supplement – This is my favorite sneaky method. I add a bit of stuff here and there and they hardly ever notice. The best dishes to add power-packed nutrition to are soups, stews, sauces, pastas, baked dishes and desserts.
Here are some ideas to get your creativity in high gear…
- Replace some of the oil in a cake, cookie, or bread recipe with prune puree.
- Add powedered sea kelp (yes, sea kelp), chopped cremini mushrooms, or Grape Nuts to spaghetti sauce.
- Sprinkle flax meal and toasted wheat germ on oatmeal.
- Add millet or quinoa grain to stews and soups.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or energy to feed your family. The important things are to plan, prepare, and pause. Plan your meals out so that you don’t need to break a sweat when dinnertime approaches. Prepare for your meals by keeping your pantry well stocked. And take the time to pause. When the sunlight finally fades and calls us inside, it’s nice to know that a healthy meal around the family dinner table awaits us. And as generations have done before us, we will gather together with those we love best to nourish every aspect of our being.