6 Ways to Boost Nutrition for the Whole Family
By Ali Struhs
March is National Nutrition Month. While you’re already on your way to a new, healthier you as a member of Jenny Craig, you may want to get your family to eat better, too. This month, make it a goal to get your family on track to eating the right foods that pack a nutritional punch. Here are six ideas for sneaking in more veggies and paying attention to your family’s portion sizes.
Add vegetables to breakfast
Start the morning off right for your family by serving a healthy serving of vegetables with eggs. Whether you top scrambled eggs or make omelets, adding vegetables will boost the nutritional value and, of course, the flavor of the most important meal of the day. Try adding sliced avocado, which may help lower bad cholesterol, chopped spicy red peppers, mushrooms and fresh spinach.
Use a spiralizer or simply julienne your vegetables and turn them into noodles. Zucchini, which is packed with dietary fiber and vitamins A and C, is the perfect vegetable to transform into a plate of healthy, low-calorie noodles. Top your veggie noodles with fresh, homemade marinara or basil pesto. You can also spiralize other firm vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash.
Puree fruits and vegetables
Pureeing fruits and vegetables is probably the easiest way to sneak in more nutrition for your family. A rich tomato sauce is the perfect place to add more nutrients from vegetables. Puree carrots, zucchini, spinach, or even pumpkin and add it to spaghetti sauce. For a quick, on-the-go breakfast for everyone in the family, blend a healthy smoothie that contains protein-packed nonfat Greek yogurt and pureed fruit, like antioxidant-rich berries and bananas.
Bulk up soups and chili
Adding extra veggies to soups and chili is an easy way to bulk up a warm, comforting meal with extra nutrients. Cube butternut squash, sweet potato, or carrots and stir into your favorite chicken noodle soup or spicy chili. Sweet potatoes are brimming with calcium and beta-carotene and perfectly accompany tomatoes, beans, and lean ground beef in a hot chili.
Portion it out
Be mindful of just how much you and your family is eating. You don’t need to pick up your measuring cups to figure out serving sizes. Instead, rely on visual cues to help keep portions in check. For example, a serving size of meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards, or a half cup of fruit is the size of a computer mouse.
We know the kitchen is usually where the family gathers. Make the busiest area of the home a healthy, fun place for your family! Check out the Jenny Craig recipe database for new recipes that the whole family can enjoy. Make it a Sunday night tradition to cook up a different recipe, getting your kids involved in preparing the meal. Try recipes for garden-fresh vegetable pizza and low-calorie chocolate chip cookies for a kid-friendly meal!