Three Simple Tips to Make Meals Healthier, Without Cooking Anything New

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Schoolgirl enjoying her lunch in a school cafeteriaAs a mum, you already know you need to eat well, and to feed your family healthy food.

You know junk food is bad for you, you know sugar is not good for you or your family, you know you need to eat vegetables and fresh foods – you knew all that as a kid when your own mother told you so!

What many mums can struggle with though is trying to make improvements to their diet when they’re time poor. If you’re already flat out trying to sort out what to put in the kids’ lunchboxes, finding time to consider how to look after yourself or make radical changes to the family diet will seem too difficult.

Serving up healthier food though doesn’t have to be a hassle – you can make small changes, one meal at a time.

Here are three simple tips you can use to make your meals healthier, without having to cook or make anything new.

  1. Increase the amount of vegetables on your plate. This one change can have a profound effect on your health, your mood and your appearance as veggies are loaded with the nutrients your body needs yet most of us don’t eat anywhere enough of them. A lot of people also eat more meat than they need too. If you look at the meat dish as the main part of a meal, and complement with vegetables and salad, try reversing that – make veggies your starting point and the main event, and meat the side serve.
  2. Play swaps. Trading less nutritious ingredients for something better is like climbing a ladder, one rung at a time. You can continue to make recipes you are comfortable with, but start swapping some of the ingredients. So instead of white wheat flour, try wholemeal spelt, then you can move ahead to gluten-free varieties like buckwheat flour and almond meal. Use rice instead of pasta, or better yet, try quinoa. Use butter instead of margarine. Use coconut sugar instead of white sugar, and eventually move on to rice malt syrup.
  3.  Upgrade the quality of your ingredients. Buy the best quality you can afford to. Cheap food is often full of chemicals and additives, so looking to upgrade quality where you can not only reduces your exposure to toxic chemicals which interfere with hormones, liver and your nervous system, but it can provide a nutrient boost too.

by Rachael Jansen

Rachael Jansen is a journalist and health coach who supports busy mums to feel good about themselves again through programs that help them balance kids, career and self care.

You can find her at www.rachaeljansen.com.au

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Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.

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