It is easy to get caught up in the monotony of eating or serving the same thing over and over to your family. This can occur for a multitude of reasons: lack of planning, lack of finances or even lack of kitchen knowledge. Today I am going to share with you some nutrient-rich meal time hacks that will help you spruce up your meals or snacks, so that you can add variety.
Tip #1 Opt for whole grain pasta when making spaghetti to increase your fiber intake. If you family is not a fan of wheat pasta, try baby steps and do half whole grain pasta and half of your normal pasta. You could even opt for using spaghetti squash in place of regular pasta.
Tip #2 Add in pureed carrots, spinach, and bell pepper to sauces, casseroles or soup mixes to add a different flair and an extra nutrient-packed punch to your dish.
Tip #3 Add in canned/frozen vegetables into soups to add additional servings of vegetables that are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Tip #4 Add in beans or quinoa to soups or casseroles to increase the protein and fiber content of your dish. Who says all protein has to come from meat or poultry?
Tip #5 Throw in some brown rice to bump up the fiber content of your meal, which could help aid in digestion. Did you know that most people do not get an adequate amount of fiber each day? Women should aim for ~25 g/day, while men should aim to get ~38 g/day, depending on age.
Tip #6 Try adding in quinoa to vegetable soups to increase the protein content of the dish, as protein is vital for muscle repair.
Tip #7 Add ground flaxseed or chia seeds to pancake or waffle batter. The added flavor will for sure be a crowd pleaser!
Tip #8 Opt for canned fruit if you are looking for a more shelf stable and nutrient-rich item for dessert and sprinkle on a little cinnamon for added taste. Top with light cool whip. If you are looking to add a serving of dairy, opt for using a low-fat plain yogurt.
Tip #9 Mix in ground flaxseed, chia seeds or peanut butter into your plain oatmeal. Add sliced fruit (fresh, frozen, canned) and a dash of spice (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg) for an extra kick.
Tip #10 Smear almond butter or avocado on your whole wheat bread in the morning as part of your breakfast or as a snack.
Tip #11 Get creative with cooking methods. For example, try grilling peaches and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Top with a serving of vanilla Greek yogurt to add protein/dairy.