We all can find it difficult to stay fit and healthy. When you lead a busy life and have a family to feed, sometimes convenience can take precedence over careful thought out meals. It’s just not always realistic to have the time, ingredients, or energy, to whip up a nutritious and well-rounded meal for your family. Far from making excuses, it’s about tweaking your go-to foods when you’re in a rush, to make they a healthier version. Take a look at some simple swaps below that you can try when you next reach for that take out menu…
Breakfast time can be a pretty rushed event, especially if you have children who need to get ready for school! It’s convenient for time-strapped moms to reach for breakfast cereal, pour it into a bowl, add milk, and be done. Just swap out those sugar-coated cereals for a healthier alternative. Check the labels and read up on sugar content. Getting too much of it is really harmful to your children. Instead, put some whole grain cereals like porridge or shredded wholegrain wheat cereals into a bowl, just be sure there’s no added sugar. If your children are used to eating sugary cereals the new swap may seem a bit bland to them at first, but persevere and give their tastebuds a little time to adjust.
In terms of what you drink at breakfast, try to avoid sugary fruit juices. As boring as it sounds, water is a really good thing to swap juice for. It’s hydrating and regular drinking can even improve the appearance of skin. Similarly try to limit the cups of coffee you drink, learn more about gourmet coffee and see if that’s a better option for you. Another great tip is to swap sugar for fruit. If you’re children find their porridge or natural yogurt bland, don’t be tempted to add sugar. Instead, use a natural sweetener. Bananas are a particularly great sweetener and can top lots of cereals.
It can be difficult to know what to eat for a healthy lunch. Most of us over or under eat at this time of day. If you normally have a tuna melt panini, try making a tuna sandwich using wholemeal bread, and cut down on the mayo. Alternatively, use your usual sandwich fillings to make a salad instead. BBQ chicken, egg, bacon, etc all work in a salad too.
If you have snacks at lunch try and swap them for healthier versions. A muffin can be replaced by an oat muffin. A growing trend is to replace sweet snacks with vegetable alternatives. Try vegetable crisps, sweet potato brownies, and even zucchini in a muffin! It sounds odd, but it adds the sweetness and moisture you need, without the sugar.
If pizza is your meal to eat when in a rush, try some simple tweaks to make it healthier. If you don’t have time to make your own, choose vegetable toppings instead of meat or cheese ones. Also, make sure you chose a thin crust option over a deep pan. If you do have the time, make your own with either a cauliflower crust or a light supermarket version.
For dessert swap ice cream for… ice cream! Just don’t get the store bought variety. Instead, blend frozen bananas yourself for a healthy alternative.
This post was written by a contributing writer.