Lots of Super Ideas to Help You Make Good Food Moves.
Healthy eating begins with a bit of thinking, a meal plan and some strategic shopping. Read on for lots of appetizing tips. We’ll help you fill your cart, your cupboard and your body with tasty nutritious foods that energize your life!
Choose foods for what they have over what they don’t. Just because a food is ‘free’ of one thing or ‘low’ in another doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. Instead, shop for nutrient-rich choices that give you more bang for your nutrition buck. Sometimes all it takes is swapping one for another to get major health advantages.
- Swap iceberg lettuce for Romaine lettuce. You get more vitamin A, folic acid and a little more fibre.
- Swap sliced deli meats for fresh cuts for home cooking like chicken or lean beef. You get less salt, no added nitrates.
- Swap pretzels for plain nuts. You get heart-healthy fats, more protein, no salt, more fibre.
- Swap instant white rice for quinoa. You get more protein and more fibre.
- Swap processed cheese slices for blocks of cheese like Swiss, Cheddar, Mozzarella. You get a little more protein, more calcium, less salt, more taste.
Hungry and forgot to plan for a snack? Make a quick stop at a convenience store and pick up a nutritious bite.
- Yogurt – a delicious cool snack full of nutrients and staying power.
- Trail mix – choose the ones with plain seeds, nuts and dried fruit.
- Whole grain cereal cup with milk – a quick nutritious mini-meal.
- Bananas or apples – yes, many places now stock fresh fruit!
- Low sodium 100% vegetable juice – drink your veggies – yum!
High Powered Pantry Staples
Make your cupboards a storehouse of healthy eating opportunities. Here are some versatile staples that form the base of countless delicious meals.
- Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, kasha, whole grain pasta. For fibre-filled sides and simple satisfying main dishes. Try this delicious one-pot pasta.
- Tomatoes and tomato–based sauces: Add fresh or frozen veggies to bump up nutrient content and taste.
- Light flake or chunk tuna and salmon packed in water: Great to add to salads and pasta sauces for tasty protein.
- Canned or dried legumes and lentils: For nutritious additions to soups and salads. Try this delicious satisfying salad.
- Whole grain cereals, pancake and muffin mixes: Bypass the sugar-coated cereals. Add fruit like berries for more disease-fighting antioxidants.
The Coolest Fridge
What is more appetizing than a well-stocked fridge? Here are some nutritious staples to keep on hand that make up easily into super nutritious foods.
- Eggs for omelets, frittatas, quick scrambling and all-important vitamin B12
- Milk products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Most Canadian children and adults don’t get enough milk products. Here are some ways to top up on nutrients, that among other things, contribute to bone health:
- Enjoy a smoothie as a snack or a yogurt with fruit for dessert
- Sprinkle cheese over salads and slip a slice into sandwiches
- Whip up an easy yogurt sauce for dipping veggies
- Leafy greens – For vitamin A, folic acid, and lots more. Branch out! Try some different green like watercress, rapini, beet greens and Swiss chard. They keep well and cook up quickly. Just sauté with a little olive oil, garlic and onions.
- Fresh vegetables and a variety of fruit – Like apples? They’re full of nutrients. Whether enjoyed whole, sliced, pureed or in a fruit salad, ripe seasonal fruits are simply divine.
- Natural nut butters like almond or peanut butter. Yes – they should be kept in the fridge after opening!
Prepared Foods: Short Cut Strategies
Buying convenience foods may save cooking time but doesn’t always make for nutritious choices. Shop for foods that are easy to make better (and tastier) by adding more nutritious ingredients and choose the lower sodium options. It’s a strategy that works anytime.
Breakfast: Whole Grain Pancake Mix
- Use milk.
- Add an extra egg and a mashed banana.
- Add some wheat germ and toss in sunflower seeds.
Lunch: Reduced Sodium Prepared Soups
- Add canned legumes (drained and rinsed), fresh or frozen veggies.
- Add shredded Cheddar cheese and fresh herbs for that just-made taste.
- Cut up and add leftover pieces of grilled meat.
- Try this recipe to see how easy making good nutritious soups from scratch can be.
Snack: Store-Bought Fruit Smoothies
- Power up with calcium by stirring a generous scoop of plain yogurt into the smoothie for vitamin B12 and lots of other essential nutrients.
Dinner: Jarred Spaghetti Sauces
- Add fresh spinach and frozen veggies for antioxidants, and leftover chicken for protein.
- Serve over whole grain pasta (try spelt) for more fibre and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.
Flavour that Zings
Flavour adding-ingredients can transform ho-hum into wow! Here are some tasty ones to stock.
- Maple syrup for flavourful sweetening
- A fresh herb or two like cilantro, mint or dill
- Dried herbs, spices and chili pastes
- Flavoured vinegars and infused oils – for fabulous salad dressings and gourmet flavour kicks on vegetables
- Lemons and limes for their citrusy zing
Go Easy: Use condiments like mustard, ketchup and salsa sparingly – they can be very high in sodium.
A Fabulous Freezer
Knowing you have a freezer stocked with nutritious foods is the ultimate de-stressor after a long day. Here are some hard-working foods to keep around.
- A good selection of frozen vegetables and fruit
Flash frozen at their peak, they’re great when fresh is out of season.
Pre-cut and pre-washed, they save on prep time. That means you and your family will eat more vegetables and fruit, so they’re well worth it. Try this great dessert you can make with fresh or frozen fruit.
- Whole grain breads and buns
Frozen flatbreads or tortillas are great to keep on hand to make quick pizzas, quesadillas or wraps.
- Fish and seafood
Plain un-breaded fillets for meals, and little scallops and shrimp to add protein to soups, salads and pasta.
- Small cuts of fresh meat and poultry
Tenderloins, chops, breasts and thighs defrost quickly for grilling, or for easy one-pot dishes. Try this amazing risotto.
- Plain, unsalted nuts
Nuts deliver high protein snacks and heart-healthy fats. Sprinkle over cereal and salads, or bag up a small handful for a satisfying snack. They keep better frozen and defrost in minutes.