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Boost Nutrition in Your Recipes & Meals

Boost Nutrition in Your Recipes & Meals

There are many ways to boost the nutritional power in your recipes and meals by simple changes and additions to your family favorites.

ACTIVITY BYTES

Wondering how you and your kids can fit in more physical activity? Start by getting outside and playing with them!

Revived Recipes!

To improve the nutrients in your recipes, consider using higher-fiber foods, foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as ingredients with less sugar, sodium and saturated/trans fat.

Cooking method: Steaming, baking, broiling, barbequing, grilling, and stir frying are excellent ways to cook your food since they require minimal fat to be added. Non-stick pans and non-stick oil spray are ideal for your healthy kitchen!

 

Reduce an Ingredient: Recipes often call for more sugar, salt, or fat to be added than what is needed. Try reducing 1/3 or ½ of the amount called for in a recipe. For example if a recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt in muffins – use ½ tsp or if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar try 2/3 cup of sugar instead. If your kids love sugary cereal try to wean them off by mixing it half and half with a lower sugar cereal. To reduce saturated fat use stronger cheese, so you can use less without sacrificing flavour. In casseroles and lasagnas skip the grated cheese in the middle where its flavor may get lost and add a single layer on the top.

Substitute an Ingredient: If a recipe calls for white flour try substituting 1/2 the amount or more for whole wheat or barley flour to boost the fibre and vitamins of your recipe. If a muffin/loaf recipe calls for ½ cup of oil try using ¼ cup applesauce and ¼ cup of oil instead. If a recipe calls for white rice or white pasta try brown/wild rice or whole wheat pasta. If a recipe calls for regular ground beef, marbled meat or poultry with skin choose leaner varieties of meat and remove the skin on poultry. In soups that call for cream try using milk or canned evaporated milk.

Increase an Ingredient: Since many people fall short on their vegetable intake, try doubling up on the veggies in your stir-fry, soup or stew. And since beans/lentils/chick peas and other legumes are excellent fibre-rich and vitamin -loaded foods, take a traditional family chili or soup recipe and add an extra can of them. Add more fresh fish, non-battered frozen seafood, or canned seafood into your meals to boost heart healthy omega-3 fats.

Maximized Meals!

When thinking about breakfast, lunch, and supper, to help simplify meal planning think about choosing three things for balance. This will help ensure you get a good variety of the nutrients you need to keep you healthy as well as provide sustained energy and fullness throughout the day.

3-Part Meal Checklist:

Grains/Starches: such as pasta, rice, potatoes, cold/hot cereals, bread, wraps, pitas and other grains. These foods provide carbohydrates which are like “gasoline” for your brain and muscles to give you energy. These foods also provide fibre and many vitamins & minerals.

Vegetables and/or Fruit: such as fresh/frozen fruit, canned/dried fruit, raw/cooked veggies, salads, unsweetened juices and more! In addition to carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits are nutritional powerhouses rich in health promoting antioxidants, vitamins and fibre.

Protein: such as seafood, canned fish, poultry, meat, legumes, tofu, cheese, milk, yogurt, nuts and others. Protein is an essential part of a meal to help promote fullness and sustained energy. Protein rich foods are also important for muscle repair and supply good sources of many vitamins and minerals such as iron.