Start small, with goals that work for you and your family. These are the habits you’ll keep in the long run.
1. Add More Color To Your Plate
More color on your plate means more variety, more nutrients, and more flavor. The next time you shop, try putting the rainbow in your cart: orange citrus, yellow pineapple, and dark leafy greens.
2. Eat Seasonally
Keep a produce calendar handy so you know what to look for. In season produce is fresher and typically less expensive. January is good for root vegetables, kale, and citrus.
3. Drink More Water
Stay hydrated by infusing your water with citrus slices, herbs, berries, or cucumber. Making water more interesting will encourage you to drink more.
4. Try A Whole Grain Swap For Pasta And Bread
Once in a while replace regular pasta and bread with a whole grain alternative. These complex carbs will help you feel full. Look for whole wheat, whole grain, and multigrain alternatives.
5. Pack Your Snacks
Opt for high fiber and protein snacks like hummus and pretzels or apples and peanut butter. Unlike sugar and empty carbs, fiber ad protein will keep you full.
6. Eat Breakfast More Often
Stock up on on-the-go options. Egg muffins in the freezer, instant oatmeal in the pantry, and a bowl of fruit on the counter. The morning rush won’t be an excuse for skipping this important meal.
7. Make A Shopping List
Check your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry before making a list. Organize your list based on the layout of your store. You’ll save time at the store and won’t accidently buy what you already have.
8. Try A Plant-Based Swap For Meat
Try a meatless version of a weeknight staple like burgers, pizza, or pasta. You’ll get more nutrients into your meals by swapping meat for plant-based options.
9. Stock Your Freezer
Keep staples like frozen meatballs or chicken tenders and steam-in-bag vegetables for last minute meals. A fully stocked freezer is better than takeout. You’ll save money and get dinner on the table even on busy weeknights.
10. Reduce Your Food Waste
Use overripe fruit in smoothies and muffins. Turn leftover vegetables into stir fries and soups. Turning leftover produce into nutrient-dense meals is a win-win for your wallet and your health.
11. Make A Meal Plan
Write meals on the calendar at the start of the week. Everyone knows the menu and you won’t be scrambling for dinner ideas at 5pm.
12. Bring Your Lunch 3 Days Per Week
Instead of swearing off midday takeout, start with 3 days a week. When you pack school lunches, pack office lunches too. You’ll save time waiting in line, save money, and eat better.
13. Try A New Recipe
Shake up your dinner routine with a recipe or ingredient you haven’t use before. You’ll avoid a recipe rut and learn new kitchen skills.
14. Eat Out One Less Time Each Week
Try a speedy dinner or slow cooker meal that’s ready when you get home. Home cooked meals allow you to control the ingredients and choose more healthful options.
15. Drink Less Soda
Swap for flavored seltzer, iced tea, or sparkling fruit juice. Instead of cutting out soda try drinking 1 less can a day. Quitting cold turkey makes habits hard to break. Start with a smaller goal and eventually it will make a big difference.
16. Eat Together One More Night Each Week
Make dinner device-free, with everyone eating together. Keep it fun with a top-your-own taco, baked potato, or burger night. Enjoying a meal together as a family has been shown to encourage healthy eating habits and better communication.
17. Cook With Your Children Once A Week
Children who help choose, shop for, and prepare a recipe will be more interested in eating it.
18. Get Ahead On Sunday
Prep components instead of entire meals. Roast vegetables, cook grains, and bake extra chicken, then mix and match for quick lunches and dinners during the week. Planning ahead helps you save time, eat better, and reduce the stress of busy weeks.
19. Embrace Healthy Fats
Look for sources of unsaturated fats, like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Good-for-you fats help regulate cholesterol, absorb vitamins, and prevent heart disease.
20. Give Plants More Plate Real Estate
Fill about half of your dinner plate with plants, then divide the rest between your starch and protein. Rebalancing your plate is an easy way to eat healthfully.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved
Looking to build healthier eating habits? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once. Start with small steps that you can feel good about.
The easiest way to cook healthy is to have the proper items on hand. Healthy pantry staples are key ingredients for making healthy meals. Fill your pantry with these shelf basics and then during the week shop for more perishable foods. Try and buy organic when possible.
Dried Beans & Dried Lentils
Canned Beans (No Salt Added)
Whole Grain Pasta
Rolled Or Steel-Cut Oats
Canned Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
Unsweetened Plain Soy Milk
Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk
Mellow White Miso
Peanut Or Almond Butter (No Salt Or Sugar Added)
Raw Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds)
Dried Apricots, Dates & Raisins (No Sugar Added)
Instead of thinking about what not to eat, think about healthy things that you can add to your diet. Strive to incorporate more greens and colorful vegetables into your meals.
Concentrate on whole foods in their natural forms such as fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains are key. Instead of reaching for regular pasta or white bread, look for varieties made with 100 % whole grain flour. Brown rice, quinoa and barley are good choices as well.
Try steaming your vegetables instead of frying in oil.
Think of beans, whole grains, and vegetables as the main event. Keep lean meat and fish at 3 ounces or less.
Remember, there are no quick fixes. Making healthy choices is a process that lasts a lifetime.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved