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How to Get New, Exciting and Nutritious Food onto the Family Plate.

Do you find yourself buying, preparing and rotating through the same six or seven meals? It’s easy to do especially if you have a full time job, a business, a family etc. We humans easily find ourselves in ruts and routines and family dinners can certainly fall into that. And yet, we know there is a significant benefit to adding back some life into our otherwise drab diets.

Additionally, with a little planning and forethought, meal planning and prep can actually be fun, especially when done with a partner, spouse, kiddo, or with a friend.

Here’s a few ideas to mix it up so you can add some new adventures to mealtime and enjoy the additional nutrients that varying our diet provides.

Start with shifting your mindset around your diet. Think two things- nutrition and great tasting delicious food. Begin to shift your thinking away from a “meat and potatoes” mindset, into more of a “rainbow on your plate mindset.” That is the best way to enjoy life giving vibrant delicious foods. Create a lot of color on your plate. Think in terms of a protein, colorful veggies, fruits and greens for most of your meals.

To add more Protein: You might try any or all of the following:

Grilled salmon or steelhead with lemon and dill

Grilled chicken with garlic and herbs like thyme, rosemary or basil

Cold Lentil salad with onion, feta cheese and bruschetta or just diced tomatoes

Lamb stew in a crockpot with sweet potatoes or yams, onions, carrots, garlic & rosemary

Grilled tuna, halibut or black cod.

Quiche or frittatas – add veggies such as spinach, onion, asparagus and meat if you like- turkey bacon, sausage or ham.

Protein Pasta with marinara sauce, mushroom sauce, or a light lemon white wine sauce. Add turkey meatballs for added protein.

Think Greens: Strawberry spring mix salad with celery, goat cheese, and slivered almonds

Sauteed or steamed broccoli or broccolini

Sauteed asparagus

Spinach salad with carrots, cukes, celery and tomatoes.

Sauteed spinach or kale

Sauteed brussel sprouts ( cut in half) in olive oil. Drizzle balsamic glaze in the last few minutes of cooking

Sauteed chopped leeks

Add some colorful Fruits and Veggies*

Create a vibrant fruit salad with mango slices, blueberries and raspberries or blackberries

Cut up a fruit or veggie tray to snack on - raw broccoli, cauliflower, orange and red bell peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, black olives… and graze on it all day.

Sautee carrots with ginger and honey

Get a muffin tray and fill the holes with blueberries, carrot sticks, apple and orange slices

(great for the littles)

Boil and mash cauliflower in place of white potatoes

Bake spaghetti squash in the oven- add butter and herbs

Create a roasted veggie tray: cut up into chunks- onions, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, beets, and shredded kale on top. Drizzle with olive oil and add rock salt. Bake for 20 mins at 325 degrees.

Sautee green and yellow zucchini with sliced onions in olive or grapeseed oil.

The above * is to indicate to buy organic wherever possible. Our bodies benefit from less toxic exposure.

A word about carbs… our bodies and brains need some carbs, however complex carbohydrates are better for us then simple white ones. See if you can replace things like white potatoes, rice or pasta with things like brown rice or quinoa.

There is no limit to the fun you can have with food. Go on pinterest or look up new recipes in an old cookbook.

By getting the whole family involved you can jumpstart trying out some new foods, new ways of cooking familiar foods, and new recipes. It doesn’t take long to reignite interest in healthy eating and refresh your culinary creativity. Your body and brain will love the increase in energy and vitality, and when you get others in the family involved they are more likely to try the new creations. Bon appetit.

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