Eat right this summer, families!
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Guest blog by Gabriel Patel of HealthWellWise.com
Keep It Healthy: Eat Right in the Summertime!
Americans lead busy lives and are always on the go, which places a premium on convenient, grab-and-go food items that could never be described as healthy. When the family’s all together at home this summer, try to make it everyone’s responsibility to make an effort to incorporate vegetables, fruit, protein and fiber into your diet for a healthy gut microbiome and avoid high-sodium and high-fat items. But remember! That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the menu or have some fun planning meals.
Here are some tips for keeping things fun, interesting and healthful at mealtime.
Eat your vegetables!
The key with veggies is to get creative and try the ones you like best in new and tasty ways this summer. How about throwing some veggies on the grill the next time you have chicken, fish or meat? Slice up some onions, peppers and tomatoes and top your main dish with them. It’s a good way to get filled up with healthy foods and keep the carbohydrate count under control. Grilling is the epitome of good summer eating and with the warm temperatures, why not pull out the gas grill to prepare a few dishes for your family?
Jazz up those salads
Try different kinds of lettuce, or change it up and go with spinach instead. Slice up a little purple onion, throw on some banana peppers, add some grated mozzarella and top it off with grilled fish or chicken. During the summer, try including some fruit such as blueberries, peaches or orange slices. Just bear in mind that heavy, creamy salad dressings high in fat content will work against the benefits of eating vegetables in this way.
Eat in more
While fast and convenient, it’ll catch up to you eventually. Cooking at home will save you a ton of money and put you in control of what goes into the foods you eat. Emphasize heart-healthy recipes that are low in sodium and carbohydrates. Experiment and try new things the kids will enjoy. Give the pizza, chicken tenders and cheeseburgers a rest for a while.
Snacking on fruit
When you snack at home, forego the cookies and barbecue potato chips and give fruit a try, especially during the summer. It’s chock full of vitamins, provides fiber, and it even tastes great. Try shopping at a local fruit and vegetable store or at a farmers market for the freshest, most wholesome fruit. It’s also an excellent dessert alternative to cakes, pies and puddings.
You can work plenty of healthy, delicious meals into your diet this summer by getting a little creative and trying some new approaches to grilling outdoors. Emphasize the basic food groups and concentrate on food items in each category that taste good to the whole family. No need to force the issue with something that no one will eat!