Healthy meals are said to be essential in every home. In some cases, you can buy these dishes from your trusted restaurants.
But if you want to try out new experiences, you can prepare them yourself as well. You may need to know the basics of food preparation for that purpose.
If you already know the fundamentals of cooking, you could try different healthy recipes for your family.
You may choose from recipes for instant meals or complete dishes. Suppose you’re planning to prepare meals any time soon.
In that case, here’s a guide to help you out. Read on to learn valuable tips for preparing healthy meals at home.
1. Add High Protein Food
Protein is vital in your body as it fuels your energy. It also carries oxygen through your body by way of your blood.
Protein is also generally regarded as important in the body’s muscle-building process.
If you want to prepare a protein-rich meal, you may consider adding the following food items to your meals:
Lean meats refer to meat products from pork, beef, veal, and lamb. Generally, these are meats with very low-fat content.
If you want products with the leanest meat quality, you may go to your local butcher shop and buy venison and pheasant meat.
Chicken and turkey meats are believed to have high-quality protein. If you want a widely available protein-rich option, you could try chicken breasts and turkey thighs.
Eggs are also good sources of protein.
Fish and Seafood
Sardines, tuna, and halibut are known to be protein-rich fish products. For other options, you may consider prawns, crabs, and lobsters.
Some vegetables with high protein are lentils, pinto beans, and chickpeas. Other choices include coriander and spinach.
If you want high-protein veggies with a twist, you may try the dishes from 28 at Home's recipe and other similar websites.
Fun dishes may aid picky eaters in consuming vegetables.
2. Avoid Fats
Medical experts agree that fats can help boost energy. However, too much fat intake may cause cholesterol build-up that could increase the risks of heart diseases.
For this reason, you need to refrain from preparing high-fat meals. You may try the following food products to avoid fats:
- Oats and high-fiber pasta and bread;
- Skinless chicken;
- Low-fat yogurt and cheese;
- Fish with white meat;
- Vegetable-based burritos; and
- Veggie smoothie.
3. Cut Calorie Consumption
You need calories to sustain your everyday physical activities. Nonetheless, unconsumed calories may convert into fats.
To avoid this, you may need to be physically active or reduce the calorie content of your meals.
You may try apples, beans, berries, potatoes, quinoa, Greek yogurt, and other food with little to no calories for the latter’s purpose.
You could consume the above mentioned food offerings as they are or incorporate them into your meals.
On the other hand, if you or your loved ones are lean and need more calorie content, you may have high-calorie meals.
As a golden rule though, it’s recommended to reach out to a licensed nutritionist to help you and your family out with proper meal planning and calorie measurement.
4. Consider Natural Sweets
Sugar is essential to enhance your food’s flavor. In many cases, people prefer sweet recipes and they tend to be super-energetic.
If they’re taking too much sugar consistently, they may increase their risks of having diabetes and other similar diseases.
To avoid this, you may consider using natural sugar substitutes including:
- Stevia leaf extracts;
- Sugar alcohols;
- Maple syrup; and
- Fruit purees.
If you or your kids have a sweet tooth, you may try sweet dishes using sugar substitutes with low or zero-calorie content.
For instance, you may decorate cakes using natural sweeteners. You may also try low-sugar or sugar-free dishes like fruit-laden pizzas, fruit yogurt parfaits, and chocolate peanut butter dirt cakes.
5. Include Lots of Fruits And Veggies to Your Meals
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they’re solid sources of fiber that aid in digestion.
Because of these benefits, you need to make fruits and vegetable-based dishes staple in your home.
If your meals are meat-based, you could add fruit sides to keep them balanced. Utilizing storage-friendly vegetable preserves is also advised.
You may also prepare vegetable-heavy dishes such as vegetable salads, green bean fries, and baked parmesan broccoli.
You could prepare fruit and vegetable side dishes too that many kids usually love. Such are bacon-wrapped asparagus, veggie patties, and fruit salad with yogurt.
6. Incorporate Dairy Products
Generally, dairy products support brain development and body growth. They also contribute to keeping your bones, muscles, teeth, and eyes healthy.
For this reason, you may need to include the following ingredients in the meals you plan to prepare:
- Cream; and
You may consider its fat and sugar content when choosing a dairy product.
For this purpose, you may select lower-fat milk products over their counterparts. Check the labels and nutritional content to ensure that you’re going to purchase products that are a perfect fit for you and your loved ones.
You may also consider the ingredients that may trigger indigestion, food allergies, and others.
Furthermore, you may prefer using raw dairy products more than processed ones.
Additionally, think of buying fortified milk products as they’re likely to have more minerals and vitamins that’d benefit you compared to other non-fortified offerings in the market.
7. Choose Whole Grains
Whole grains are good sources of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
You may consider including these in your breakfast each morning to ensure that your family has the necessary energy to use as fuel for the day ahead.
For better ideas, you may explore the following grains:
- Rice is widely available and comes in different variants. You may consider choosing brown rice types as they have better nutritional content.
- Oats are a high-fiber grain you may prepare for breakfast or snacks. You may choose from old-fashioned and steel-cut products that could lower your cholesterol level.
- While corn is generally known for its high sugar content, it could be a solid source of antioxidants. You could use it as a whole or mix them with cereals or other dishes too.
- Buckwheat is a gluten-free and carbohydrate-rich grain that’s said to be ideal for pancakes and waffles.
- Quinoa is another non-gluten food option that’s also filled with protein and amino acids. You may include this grain in your patties and salad.
If you’re preparing hassle-free and nutrition-packed meals for your kids, family, friends, you could refer to the tips featured above to cook healthy dishes and institute reform to your eating habits.
Apart from this, you could read cookbooks and watch cooking shows for more ideas. In addition, you may join cooking communities to learn techniques and dishes that could make your meals even healthier.
Apart from preparing healthy meals, you may try to improve the appearance of your meal for aesthetic purposes to encourage appetite.
Case in point, you can add fruits and veggies to add more color and shapes to bland-looking recipes.
This could make them more appealing and more inviting, making them more delectable and mouth-watering.