Spring is such a busy time of year and it’s easy to think we don’t have time to prepare healthy meals at home. But there’s good news — the road to healthy eating is paved with shortcuts. Try these timesaving tactics to help you feed your family well–and with great taste, too:
Make simple switches at the supermarket. It doesn’t take extra time to buy products such as whole grain cereal, fat-free milk, lean ground beef, baked chips, whole wheat bread or frozen fruit. The same goes for high-nutrition snacks such as yogurt, raisins, frozen fruit juice bars, hummus (chickpea dip) and whole-wheat pita bread.
Poke the produce. There’s a washed, cut and ready-to-eat fruit and veggie ready for every taste bud. Think about bagged lettuce and spinach, baby carrots, cut-up broccoli and cauliflower, cubed cantaloupe and pineapple. Of course, favorites such as apples, pears, oranges, bananas and grapes are fast fruit, too. For a switch, try new varieties — you often can try a sample right in the produce department.
Pad your pantry. Don’t get caught short. Stock up on often-used quick meal fixings such as canned beans and tuna, various pasta shapes, jars of spaghetti sauce and quick-cooking brown rice. Stash away some canned or frozen fruits and veggies, too. They’re always there when you need them and just as nutritious as fresh ones because they’re packed at the peak of freshness.
Slip good nutrition into fast favorites. Toss sliced apples, berries, bananas, or whole-grain cereal on top of yogurt. Load sandwiches up with spinach, cucumber slices or sliced bell peppers. Toss frozen mixed vegetables into canned soup. Top your favorite frozen cheese pizza with a rainbow of veggies like broccoli florets, chopped red peppers or sliced zucchini. (Tip: Toss veggies in a little vegetable oil first so they don’t dry out.)
Banana in a Blanket
- 1 (6-inch) whole wheat tortilla
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cereal, crunchy nugget type or other variety
Lay tortilla on a plate. Spread peanut butter evenly on tortilla. Sprinkle cereal over peanut butter. Peel banana and place on tortilla.
Drizzle honey or maple syrup on banana. Roll the tortilla up.
Makes 1 serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 330 calories 330, 9 g total fat, 300 mg sodium, 64 g carbohydrate, 7 g dietary fiber.
Recipe from: Nebraska Extension’s Nutrition Education Program