Make healthy eating habits a family affair

Thinking food has to be high in fat and sugar to be satisfying and tasty may be more of a habit than a fact.

Food doesn’t have to be high in fat and sugar to be good. 

Today we are going to dive into some ways to easily form new thoughts and habits around healthy eating.  And the best part, these new habits will get the whole family involved. 

Let’s get started.  

Healthy Family Snacks

Try these tips for quick and easy snacks:

  • Toss sliced apples, berries, bananas together for a healthy fruit salad.
  • Eat a whole raw banana, orange or apple.
  • Put some hummus, a little cumin and cilantro on whole-grain crackers.
  • Make a whole-wheat pita pocket with hummus, lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
  • Slice some celery and have it along with a whole date.
  • Drink a wild blueberry smoothie (blend blueberries with frozen banana, juice of an orange, coconut water, cilantro, spirulina, barley green grass powder and Atlantic pulse).
  • Dip apple slices in a little almond butter.

Healthy Cooking Tips

Make a few changes in the kitchen and you’ll be eating healthily in no time.

Tips for reducing fat:

  • Instead of frying, try baking or steaming.
  • Choose a plant-based milk when a recipe calls for cow’s milk. 
  • Add salsa on a baked potato instead of butter or sour cream; or eat it with just a little sea salt and pepper.
  • Choose plant-based protein for most meals. 
  • Replace all or some of the oil in baked goods with unsweetened organic applesauce.

Tips for reducing sugar:

  • Serve fresh organic fruit instead of cookies or ice cream for dessert.
  • Reduce sugar in recipes by 1/4 to 1/3. If a recipe says 1 cup, use 2/3 cup or even less as you get used to eating less sugar.
  • To enhance flavor when sugar is reduced, add vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg.

Healthy Baking and Cooking Substitutes

Cut the fat and sugar in your meals by using these substitutes.

Instead of:Substitute:
1 cup cream1 cup sugar-free canned coconut milk
1 cup butter, margarine or oil1/2 cup apple butter or applesauce
1 eggChia seed as an egg substitute
Butter, margarine, or vegetable oil for sautéingUse water, vegetable broth, or a small amount of olive or coconut oil
BaconBaked shiitake mushrooms
Ground beefLentils, tofu, mushrooms, jackfruit
1 cup chocolate chips1/4 – 1/2 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips
1 cup sugar3/4 cup organic date sugar
1 cup mayonnaise1 cup Vegenaise
1 cup whole milk1 cup sugar-free almond milk (or any sugar-free plant-based milk)
Oil and vinegar dressing with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar1 part olive oil + 1 part vinegar (preferably a flavored vinegar, such as balsamic) + 1 part orange juice
Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce)3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil

Note: Substitute the ingredients in your own favorite recipes to lower the amounts of fat, added sugar and calories. 

My advice is to experiment and have fun with these changes. Get your kids to help slice, dice and chop, while helping them form healthy habits around food. You’re going to be surprised how easy healthy cooking and snacking can be and how willing the kids are to help. 

A bonus – you get to spend time making new memories with the whole family. 

Source: NIH

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Improve Your Health With Personalized Nutrition Counseling - I'll Show You How!
Picture of Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta is a certified functional nutrition practitioner, holistic cancer coach and speaker. She studied whole-food, plant-based nutrition with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. She is a food driven analyst and works with clients to help them use nutrition principles to solve the root causes of their health symptoms. She knows that functional nutrition is the answer to our current healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large, and wants to inform as many people as she can of the power of food to heal. Her promise to clients - if you eat better, you will feel better.