Do you want to make dinners that are yummy and healthy during the fall? If you are not sure where to start, do not worry. This task is easier than it sounds!
If you want to plan nutritious and delicious meals that everyone will love, there are a few ways to go about it. These include using seasonal produce, creating a well-balanced plate, and enjoying treats in moderation. Let’s take a look at how these tips will help you meet your family’s wellness goals and enjoy all the fall flavors.
Use Seasonal Produce
Did you know that fall produce makes for memorable pies, stews, and soups? Choose recipes that use fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, pumpkins, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and mushrooms. Eating produce is healthier than processed or frozen options because they are full of nutrients, and offer a variety of vitamins and minerals.
To find these items, visit farmer’s markets, local farms, specialty grocery stores, and natural food stores. An alternative to these is to use online retailers. Many of these companies allow you to select which items you want and have them delivered to your door. This is great for working parents or families with busy after-school activities.
This secret may just be what you need for your kids to like eating green things – the whole process is much easier when they are tasty!
Aim for a Balanced Plate
Well-balanced meals have a variety of nutrients and food groups. This means they have lean protein, vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and dairy or dairy alternatives all on the same plate.
Lean protein sources include chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, beans, and lentils. Make sure to fill half of your plate with a variety of colorful veggies. Choose grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat or whole grain pasta and bread. However, keep dairy products to a minimum.
With lots of treats available, it is easy to go overboard! Paying attention to portion sizes helps avoid overeating. Using bread plates and snack-sized bowls are a great trick to do this. These smaller serving options encourage you to put less on your plate and to be mindful about second helpings – can you believe indulging can actually be good for you?!
Make Treats a Special Event
This time is full of pecan pies, apple cider donuts, and pumpkin-spiced lattes. However, it is important to moderate how much and how often you indulge in these treats. Foods like these are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and calories that do not add nutritional value.
The good news is that you can still enjoy treats in a healthy manner. This is done by watching your portion sizes and choosing high-quality ingredients. It’s even better when you do this and make them at home. This way, you know exactly what is going into the recipe – and it is a fun activity, too!
Choose snacks that are smaller in size, like a mini cupcake. Look at ingredient labels and choose those that have a smaller number of ingredients listed. This means they are “healthier” and less processed – which is ideal. Avoid daily consumption and reserve these for special occasions like birthdays, holidays, or other celebrations.
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Choose Healthy Options for Your Family
There is a lot of opportunity to create delicious, nutritious, and healthy meals that all of your family members will enjoy. To do this, use seasonal fruits and veggies, include a variety of food groups, and save treats for special occasions. These tips are sure to make dinners – and breakfasts and brunches and lunches and snacks – a hit for all ages during this fall season.