Easy Swaps for Family Meals

These 7 healthy swaps have made an impact on my family. As a mom and wife sometimes it’s hard to please everyone in making healthy choices when it comes to meals and snacks. However, it’s important as a mom and wife to teach our family to make healthy habits. This is our purpose in the home. As a Proverbs woman, we are to bring good to our husbands, and food for our family (Proverbs 31: 12;15) That’s why it’s important to understand the effects food has on our bodies and how to better serve our family better quality food.

I suggest you start to slowly eliminate items that have no real nutritional value. Prepare your family by telling them your plans and create a fun challenge to get your children excitedly involved. My daughter and husband love snacking especially on packed process things. And not only is it not good for them, it takes money away from cheaper healthier items. As you read this, keep in mind this may be doable for your family but it may not be and that’s ok. Make it work for your family. Little progress is better than no progress.
Here are a few swaps that can help you get started.

Cookies for Fruit

Sweets are one of my weaknesses. Anything chocolate has me salivating as I write this! When we crave sweets like cookies, it usually means we are missing important nutrients. Perhaps we didn’t eat enough or the right thing our body needed. It could also be out of comfort or hormone imbalances.

The one thing that keeps me in control is to not buy them. We don’t keep any cookies in the house or anything that will tempt us to overindulged. We keep cookie snacks for our daughter but we know it’s hers and they need to last so we won’t touch them….mostly because everything in moderation right? Fruit swaps will get the sweetness from sweets your craving with added nutritional benefits. Some of my favorite include all the berries and watermelon.

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Chips for Veggies

When it comes to chips, most people just need that crunch. But the salt may also be another reason. So you need to start cutting out more salt as well as chips. Cravings for chips could be a sign that stress is taking a toll on your body. It could also be a sign of exhaustion. Grab a crunchy veggie instead. Some examples of crunchy veggies include carrots, sweet peppers, celery, and cucumbers. Another option may be only buying one bag of chips with veggies versus 2 or 3 bags of chips. Remember chips have low nutritional value but veggies have high nutritional value. 

Whole Grain for Enriched Ingredients

This swap can be a challenge because of texture for some people. I was blessed to not have that extreme of picky eaters. My people pretty much eat anything I make. So this transition was easy for me. We still have a few enriched pastas but it’s slowly going away. Finding an affordable whole grain pasta may take some intentionality on your part since there are more enriched pastas than whole grain. Plus they are so much better for you than enriched flour products. Dietary fiber is what you get from whole grains which is good for your heart and gut health. If texture is an issue, just cook longer than required and that may help. 

Cereal for Oatmeal

There are so many great quality cereals out there. But the healthy bunch are so expensive and you will save money by buying old fashioned or steel cut oats. Steel cut of course is the better option because they are less processed. With oatmeal you will be fuller longer than with cereal. Here’s a bit of information about that. Plus you can add protein or healthy fats and you actually know where it comes from. 

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Turkey for Beef

Turkey for beef. Another struggle here for me mostly is using turkey in place of beef. The fat from the beef add flavor to the meat that I find missing with turkey. Fat just makes food good and fills you up quicker but you have to make sure you’re having good fats. And animal fat from mammals are not the good omegas and mono/polys you should be getting. Beef isn’t unhealthy, but you have to make sure you are preparing it to be healthy. You can also buy premium meet that contains less fat.

Swaping turkey with beef is beneficial if you have beef meals several times throughout the week. Turkey is an healthy alternative to reduce your fat intake. Remember high fat foods can lead to health issues that include high blood pressure and cholesterol. We usually only have one beef meal a week, but if I wanted to change it up, I’d add turkey to the other meals. For example, if you have three ground beef meal nights, you replace it with two ground turkey meals. Click here for more information

Cheese for Carb Snacks

In our fast pasted society today, it’s so easy to grab that carb filled snack. If you grew up in my generation (80s baby 90s kid), then this was what you’re accustomed to. It’s easy, quick, and cheap. But the packages deliciousness is not healthy for us or our kids. Our family is slowly replacing these snack. We are working on limiting the packaged snacks.

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Apples are my child’s favorite fruit. When she’s asks for packaged snacks or candy I always give her that option. So I say you can have an apple or nothing. Especially if she’s just snacking out of boredom. My child isn’t a cheese fan yet, but I am. Cheese has protein and will keep you more satisfied longer than packaged carb snacks. And you can find cheese crisps in the health food section of your grocery store now. This cheese crisp recipe is one of many delicious swaps. https://pin.it/lo67do4xrsvcyi

Flavored Water for Sodas or Juice

We consume so many calories from sodas and juice. And many of those have absolutely no nutritional value. It’s just empty calories that doesn’t serve the body well. I know it can be hard to get off sodas cold turkey especially if they are caffeinated. So slowly start to eliminate one at a time from your diet a day. And replace it with flavored water. It can carbonated if that’s what you need. Say you stop drinking one soda a day for a week, then the next week you stop two sodas a day. It will slowly get your body used to not having them. And the health benefits along with your energy will be amazing. Try these swaps and let me know how it goes. 

Do you have any swap suggestions? Share them below. I want to hear from you! 

Need more help on making better eating choices? Click here to read this free ebook. 

Stay Healthspired 

XOXO

Nicki