Providing everyone in the family with food that tastes good and is good for them while respecting the constraints of time and money is quite a challenge.
Step 1: Choose a meat or substitute
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and tofu are a source of protein, iron and many minerals necessary for optimal growth in child and overall he alth for the family. Meat alternatives are often overlooked, yet they are nutritious and inexpensive.
To make legumes and tofu appreciated, they must be gradually integrated into the menu by incorporating them into dishes based on known foods. The most frequently encountered combination dish is pasta sauce made with tomato sauce, vegetables, lentils and meats. Other meal ideas that could include legumes: veal and white bean stew, chicken and chickpea tagine, lasagna with beef and tofu sauce, chicken and edamame meal soup, etc..
To ensure some variety, distribute 5 different types of meals over 5 days of the week:
- A meat dish
- Onepoultry dishes
- A fish dish
- A dish made from legumes
- A dish made with eggs or tofu
Step 2: Choose a grain product
We must encourage the consumption of different cereal products in order to meet different nutrient needs and for the pleasure of opening up to a world of flavors. Rice, pasta and wheat bread are the most popular.
Other grain products are interesting: quinoa, pot barley, millet, buckwheat, etc. These cereals can be cooked in advance and can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They are eaten hot like rice, with vegetables in small pieces, pepper, spices, herbs, etc. They can also be eaten cold in a salad with nice pieces of vegetables, cheese, herbs, spices, etc. as in fruity barley salad.
Step 3: Choose vegetables
A he althy plate for a child is made up of 1/3 foods from Meat and Alternatives, 1/3 foods from the Grain Products group and 1/3 vegetables. For an adult, vegetables could represent up to half of the plate.
Another trick, to make the family wait while preparing the meal, put a plate of raw vegetables in plain view… Here are some recipe ideas: Maple turnips and carrots,Tomato, cucumber and snow pea salad, Chinese cabbage symphony salad, Spinach, strawberry and cantaloupe salad.
Step 4: Add fruit
Fruit can be served in a thousand and one ways to end meals. Of course, there are whole fresh fruits, stewed or lightly baked, sprinkled with a little spice.
Lack of inspiration? Here are some more ideas.
- In a bowl, layer vanilla yogurt, frozen berries and a little granola.
- In a glass, put applesauce first, then lightly sweetened milk with a little maple syrup (or not) and serve with a straw.
- In a bowl put plums in pieces, strawberries in pieces, add a little cinnamon and honey (or not), mix.
- In a bowl, put pieces of honeydew melon and cantaloupe, a little maple syrup (or not) and a little finely chopped fresh mint, mix everything.
Step 5: Finish with milk or fortified plant-based drink
Milk and fortified plant-based beverages are an easily accessible and inexpensive source of nutrients. A great way to end the meal!
Basic or minimally processed foods should be part of the daily diet. It is possible to prepare them in a tasty and attractive way by harmonizing the flavors as well as by arranging the colors, textures and shapes. WhetherInspiration does not come easily, it will surely come by consulting flyers, magazines, recipe books or asking for help from those around you or your dietitian. There are a multitude of ways everyone can eat he althy food for the whole family.