6 Easy Ways to Make Your Family Dinners Healthier for Everyone

April 28, 2024 | Leaner Meats, Portion Control
6 Easy Ways to Make Your Family Dinners Healthier for Everyone

The great majority of us have the best of intentions. We’d all like to be a little bit healthier, but it can be difficult in today’s world. It seems like almost daily everything becomes a little more complicated and expensive.

Making changes, big or small, to your family meals can positively impact the health of you and your family. Here are six ideas to whip your family dinners into shape!

1- Lighten Things Up

Many ingredients and condiments, like mayo and ketchup, have “light” versions containing fewer grams of fats or added sugars. Using these lighter variations makes your dinners much healthier without making sacrifices on flavor.

2- Have a Meatless Meal

This doesn’t have to be as drastic as cutting out meat entirely. Even just replacing one or two meat dishes a week with a plant-based substitute can yield benefits. According to a study published by the NLM, people consuming a plant-based diet consume significantly fewer grams of saturated fats than meat eaters. They also tend to have lower BMI, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

3- Choose Leaner Meats

And when you do eat meat, there is still room for positive choices. Chicken and turkey are great options both high in protein and low in fat especially relative to alternatives like pork and beef. And even with beef, there are usually lower-fat cuts or blends to make your dinners that much healthier.

4- Make the Right Oil Choice

When preparing a healthy family dinner, every ingredient matters. This includes the cooking oils you might use for frying or sautéing. Olive, especially extra virgin, and avocado oils are both stable with medium to high smoke points and contain a wide range of healthy fats and beneficial vitamins.

Oils with a lower smoke point, like nuts and flax, should mostly be kept away from heat and served cold. Palm oil should be avoided not only due to its low health value but also because of the many ethical controversies surrounding its production.

5- Practice Portion Control

It’s true that we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths. How you present a meal can be just as important as how it’s prepared. Controlling portion sizes is a good way to make family dinners healthier, but if a reasonable portion is placed on a too-large plate or bowl it’s easy for someone to feel like they haven’t eaten enough.

6- Stop Using Cell Phones at the Table

The modern world is full of distractions. With so much vying for a person’s attention, it can be easy to mindlessly eat while you’re focused on something else. This can easily lead to overeating. Have your family put down their cell phones, tablets, and other devices and instead focus on relationships with one another.

Technology is an important aspect of our lives, and convenient ways to keep your service up to date have our days running smoothly. Having family dinner be a phone- free zone encourages everyone to have their minds on what they’re eating and gives them a better idea of when they’re actually full.