It’s time to celebrate Moms. Though we designate only one day to honor them, they really deserve it every day. In exchange for their dedication to caring for their family, we offer them gifts of gratitude. Whether it is a bountiful bouquet of flowers, a gift certificate to the spa they’ve wanted to go to or even some shiny jewelry, we offer these gifts to show how much they are appreciated. But gifts do not have to be something tangible or costly or even extravagant. It can simply be a home-cooked meal for mom for a change. With the many supermoms in existence, why not make them a deliciously healthy meal? During those couple hours on Mother’s Day she can relax, and hopefully try not to think about the damage that’s being done to her kitchen. Most importantly, it really does give time to regenerate. However, once Mother’s Day comes to an end and there are no more presents to open, nor healthy meals to be eaten, some may forget about eating healthy altogether. Though, making healthy meals is not impossible.
- Start with baby steps. If eating healthy meals is not the norm, start off by finding foods you enjoy and easy recipes to go along with them.
- Size matters and moderation is key. “In moderation” is a commonly used phrase when discussing food consumption. “Eat these or that foods in moderation”, but what does it mean? Think of it as portion control and consume foods in smaller portions. A good tool to help with portion size is MyPlate, which offers a visual to what a plate should look like and what it should contain: vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy.
- Consider your eating habits. Do you eat in front of the TV or inhale a meal because of time? Eating while watching TV or using a computer can result in mindless eating, sometimes overeating can occur too. Enjoy a healthy meal at the table and take it slow. By slowing down, overeating is minimized.
- Listen to your body. Be mindful of how your body feels. It allows some time for your brain to register that your stomach has had an adequate amount of food (approximately 20 minutes).
Taking the time to eat healthy will fall into place once it becomes second nature. One of the simplest ways to get the most nutrition out of a meal is to eat a rainbow. Not literally of course, but to eat foods that contain a variety of colors. Try a few of these examples: bright orange carrots have vitamin A that help with eyesight. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries and crisp greens like kale or spinach are super foods that contain phytochemicals that can lower cholesterol levels or decrease risks for various diseases. So when making a healthy meal, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. The more colors the better, since a variety of fruits and vegetables offer beneficial vitamins and minerals your body needs. All the components of eating healthy and adding more nutrients into your diet include all the elements needed to building a healthy meal.
Here are 10 easy tips for making healthy meals:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Remember to choose a rainbow to get the different vitamins and minerals various foods offer.
- Choose lean proteins, such as lean beef or pork, chicken, turkey, beans or tofu, and at least twice a week choose seafood as a protein of choice.
- Eat whole grains. Look for 100% whole grains or 100% whole wheat, which is high in fiber, and good for your digestive system.
- Try some dairy. Include a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, or low-fat cheese. Dairy products provide the necessary calcium for bone health.
- Avoid extra fat. Don’t eliminate fat altogether because our bodies need it, but limit the amount of added saturated and trans-fat to meals like butter or margarine.
- Take time. Just a reminder that eating is not a race. Take time to enjoy the healthy meal you just created and taste the flavors.
- Minimize the plate. Using a smaller plate helps with portion control and prevents overeating.
- Staying home. When you cook your own meal at home in comparison to eating out, you are in control, and who doesn’t like to be in control? You know exactly how everything is prepared, and what is put into the meal when you make it yourself.
- Be adventurous. Try new foods. Take one new food a week, and find a simple recipe, and make it your own.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit. It’s naturally sweet without the extra sugar or fat. Add some to low-fat yogurt to make a parfait or cut up some of your favorites to make a refreshing fruit salad.
In addition,one of the most important tips I would say in making a healthy meal is to make it a family effort. By including the entire family, everyone is learning healthy habits, and everyone motivates each other to continue to not only eat but create some pretty awesome healthy meals. Everyone benefits, and once the family gets the technique down to making healthy meals, they may even take over and start cooking for you — let’s hope!
As previously mentioned, eating healthy is not impossible, but it does take time and thought. Remember the reward of health outweighs the negatives, if there are even any. You are a Supermom, you can do anything!