Are you cooking dinner for your family every night? Do you worry what you’re making is healthy for your children? Or do you not even have time to cook dinner and are overwhelmed by all the recipes you see for a healthy meal? Well, let’s fix some of those issues for you…
Note: If you’re looking for healthy dinner recipes, just head to the bottom of the page.
North American Dinners In 2018
In the average North American household, dinner is usually a gamble to throw a meal together as fast as possible. After a long day at work, people are looking how to get food on the table quickly to feed their cranky and hungry families. Frozen dinners, take out, pasta and jarred sauces and one-pan-meals like lasagna or a casserole are some typical options. But we can’t forget about the common vegetable-less ‘meat and potato’ dishes that tons of people are eating daily as well.
Top Foods For Family Dinners
Probably not. People love the convenience of quick meals – especially after a busy day at work or school. If you skip breakfast, have fast food for lunch and then a frozen meal for dinner, you probably aren’t reaching any of your health goals because of your lack of nutrient-dense food. Or maybe you are eating a healthy breakfast and lunch so you think a burger and fries for dinner every night will balance it out?
Meals like we mentioned above lack all the nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals you and your family need for optimal health. But don’t worry if you can’t find any dinner ideas that are both healthy and delicious. That’s what we are here for…
Which Cooking Oils Should You Use?
Common oils that people cook with are vegetable, olive and canola. However, these types of oils can become carcinogenic when they are heated to a high temperature.
Some better options to cook with are coconut, avocado or grapeseed oils. Coconut oil does have a bit of a strong coconut flavor – but it’s delicious! Avocado and grapeseed both have mellow tastes that you and your family probably won’t even notice!
You don’t need to throw out your olive oil though – it has tons of benefits for you before it is heated! Use it in a homemade salad dressing to make sure none goes to waste.
Healthy Dinners That Kids Will Actually Eat
Getting your kids to eat your healthy dinners can be tricky. But here are some tips we came up with to help you!
- Create healthy versions of their favorite foods. Here’s an example of a Mac and Cheese made with cauliflower.
- Get them involved in the cooking process! There are tons of recipes out there that kids can help with and they are more likely to enjoy a meal they helped create.
- Slowly introduce new foods and vegetables to them. Try not to be drastic and go from eating fast food for dinner to a kale salad and salmon the next day. A slow process is easier on kids!
- Don’t buy junk as often or at all. If it’s not in the house, your kids have no choice but to eat the healthy meal you have cooked for them.
- Get creative with your cooking. Kids don’t usually respond well to boring, bland food!
How To Get You & Your Kids To Eat More Veggies
Easy ways to add more vegetables to your diet can be to sneak them into meals as much as possible without noticing them! Try adding a handful of extra veggies like spinach or mushrooms to your pasta sauces or chop up some kale to throw in your usual chicken stir-fry. Soups and stews are a great way to increase your intake because you can barely taste them.
Make sure your kitchen is stocked with vegetables because you will be more likely to eat them. You could even have some cut up ready to grab for a quick snack. Including vegetables like spinach or cucumber in your smoothies is also a great way to increase your intake of them. I promise you can’t taste the spinach in your favorite berry smoothie!
Experiment with different types of vegetables, even some that you haven’t tried before because you would be surprised what you end up loving! You don’t need to make any drastic changes and start consuming only vegetables all day, every day. Start slowly and work your way up to a healthy diet all day.
Can I Speed-up The Preparation Process?
Yes of course! Actually, we recommend that if you find yourself short on time (or patience) on weeknights. Healthy dinner recipes shouldn’t have to be time-consuming.
On a Sunday, sit down for an hour and plan out your dinners for the week. You could use our LFLC meal planner to make it easier on you! Choose your recipes, check to see what ingredients you already have on hand and go out and buy the rest! Prepare everything you can beforehand. Pre-cut your vegetables, prepare your spice mixtures or pre-make any sauces that you can. Now you really have no excuses not to cook a healthy dinner!
Can I Speed-Up The Cooking Process?
You bet you can! There are some kitchen gadgets like slow cookers and instant pots that make cooking a healthy dinner for your family quick and easy! We like the sound of that. Check out everything you need to know about an Instant Pot here.
Sticking To Your Healthy Dinner Routine
Getting into a routine of having healthy dinners at home will save you tons of money because you won’t be buying fast food or take out nearly as much – or ever!
It is a great example for your kids because you are showing them that healthy eating should be a priority. Best of all, healthy dinners ensure that you are making all the right choices to reach all your health goals.
Finding Healthy Ingredients Near You
Your local grocery store is a great place to start! Shop mostly on the outside aisles of the store instead of the middle aisles that contain all of the processed and packaged foods. Always read the labels of foods you buy to ensure you are consuming ingredients you can actually pronounce. For example, some dairy products contain “modified milk ingredients.” We’re not exactly sure what ‘modified’ means but it probably can’t be good for you…
Shop at your farmers market whenever possible, as fresh and local produce is always the best option for you and your family. Plus a trip with the kids to a farmers market makes a great weekend activity!
If you have the space, time and weather permits, try growing some of your own vegetables or herbs. Some don’t need a lot of maintenance and it’s always fun eating something that you grew yourself!
Healthy Dinner Recipes For 2018
If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll enjoy this shrimp and cauliflower rice dish. It’s low in carbs but high in flavor!
These pork skewers are bursting with flavours that you and your whole family will love.
This isn’t your typical boring salad recipe. With chicken, sesame seeds and a delicious homemade dressing you’ll be loving this for a healthy dinner option!
A 5-layer Vegetarian lasagne that is on the table in 40 minutes? We’ll take it!