Those ready-made spaghetti Bolognese and creamy pasta dishes are comfort foods at their finest, but they’re not the best for your body. Skip the frozen dishes, which tend to be loaded with sodium and fat, and throw your own healthy pasta recipe together, suggests paediatric dietitian Jodi Greebel. Not only is boiling pasta quick and easy, but you also have more control over what goes into the sauce and sides. Load yours up with nutritious veggies and throw in a tin of lentils for a healthier twist on your guilty-pleasure pasta.
Another thing ready-made foods don’t provide is fibre. Check out these 26 painless ways to add more fibre to your diet.
Parenting is a 24/7 job, and if you cook separate meals for your little ones, sometimes you lack the energy and time. It’s tempting to pop a frozen kids’ meal in the oven and serve dinner 20 minutes later, but that meal probably isn’t something you really want in your child’s belly. “Some meals have more than half the amount of fat a child needs for the whole day,” says Greebel. With just a teensy bit more effort, you can dish up something you can feel confident feeding your child. For standby freezer aisle meals, Greebel recommends baked chicken nuggets with frozen veggies, but fresh food can be just as easy. Pick up a rotisserie chicken to serve with two vegetables – food that will feed not just your children but the adults in the house too. Any leftovers use in tacos for tomorrow night’s meal.
Low-protein veggie burgers
Skipping the traditional cheeseburger for a meatless option can be better for your belly and the planet, but there’s a catch. A lot of people look at all plant-based burgers as healthy protein substitutes, but some are much higher in carbohydrates and fat than protein, says nutrition program creator Ilana Muhlstein. “Protein is important for keeping us full and preventing overeating.” Leave it on the shelf if the nutrition facts say just five grams of protein, and hunt down another veggie patty with ten grams or more, she suggests.
Protein builds lean muscle, so make sure you tuck into these 16 high-protein foods.