Fun Healthy Food (Plan Eating Your Meals with the Healthiest Foods and Recipes)
The biggest hurdle that most people come across when wanting to eat healthy food at meal times is just finding the time to do it.
What with having to deal with family, work and other daily commitments throughout our lives, trying to find the time to organize a healthy eating plan can seem more or less an impossible task.
After you come home after a long hard slog at work, the last thing you really want to do is get changed then spend hours slaving away in the kitchen, so with that in mind the idea of a quick TV dinner, nipping down to the local fast food chain or reaching for the phone for a delivery can look very appealing.
On the other hand however, by choosing the right recipes, eating healthy meals can be fairly quick and easy.
In virtually no time at all you can knock yourself up a delicious fun healthy food dish that you can sit down and enjoy before savoring the hours you have saved from not sweating over that hot stove.
So long as you have the right healthy recipes to hand that is.
Before we look at some examples of these foods, lets check out some stuff about why we should be eating healthy and how we can get into the healthy eating habit.
The Hassles of Eating Healthy Food in Today’s World
In most people’s lives, health is starting to become one of their most important issues.
And it then becomes a lot more important when it starts to be impaired by the likes of obesity or disease.
Once you sort your way through the abundance of websites and articles telling you about the right foods for a healthy body, it actually seems fairly straight forward to just eat the right foods that are good for us.
The so called experts are constantly telling us over and over, to go and eat raw fruits and vegetables.
They give us guidance on how to find meats that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
And they offer substitutes to processed wheat with delicious whole grain breads and pastas.
So why is it then that it is so difficult for us to maintain a healthy diet?
This is a big question that torments dieticians and physicians all over the world. Even though we understand the health benefits of nutritious foods, why is it that we still choose to eat those foods that are considered really unhealthy for us?
When asked why they don’t eat healthy foods, quite a lot of people will answer that they just do not have the time. In the majority of families you will find that both parents are holding down full-time jobs and the children attend school daily.
This means that arriving at home after a long work day and preparing a complete dinner is not always simple.
With just one parent available to shop for, prepare and serve each meal, the task can become quite daunting.
The whole process, including cleaning up, can take up to several hours. Ready-made dinners and prepackaged meals are an alternative to cooking an entire dinner, but the cost is pretty high.
Although many of these dinners offer a decent taste to them, they more than likely are filled with fat and sodium.
So the bad news there for adults and children alike, is that this can lead to high blood pressure and many other cardiac issues later in life.
Quickly grabbing a meal from a restaurant or fast-food establishment is so fast and convenient that it is no wonder that loads of people choose this option for feeding their families.
But again, these foods can be loaded with fat and salt, making them a very unhealthy alternative to homemade meals.
The time taken to shop at a farmer’s market or whole foods store can also be an inhibiting factor in dietary health.
Lots of families just do not have the time to just jump in the car and drive the extra miles or set aside the day to visit a fresh farmer’s market.
Or in other cases they do not have access to these markets because they are simply not available in their area.
Availability of whole and organic foods can be sometimes be difficult, especially when a family lives in an urban setting. Even though there is a health trend toward organic foods and foods purchased during local seasons, not every person has the time or ability to go out and purchase these foods.
Price is another reason often given when people are asked about making their dietary choices. Boxed and tinned dinners can be much less expensive than having to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and organic meats.
The organic vegetable and fruit trend is definitely a step in the right direction for healthy diets, but the cost can be quite a lot.
Having a supply of fresh items in the home comes down to knowing how to shop. Rather than doing just a weekly trip to the market, eating a healthy diet might need more than one trip each week.
It’s without a doubt difficult to stock up on fresh items because they do not last as long as canned or frozen alternatives.
When you don’t have fresh fruits or vegetables in the refrigerator, available snacking options often come down to potato chips or cookies.
But making the healthy foods available at all times can substantially change the eating habits of many families, especially families with children.
Quite often, people seem under the assumption that fresh foods do not taste as good as restaurant foods or prepackaged dinners.
There are even lots of children who avoid vegetables as though they are some sort of terrible punishment.
This benefit can be enormous when it comes to health later in life.
Children tend to eat what they know and the more they know, the better their choices will eventually be.
This means that different varieties of fruits and vegetables can be made available to children and they will eventually find foods that they enjoy.
Taking the time to find recipes that incorporate healthy choices can make all the difference when it comes to a healthy body as an adult.
Once someone finds recipes that he or she enjoys, they can even substitute fresh fruits or vegetables for foods within the recipe.
Little changes can make great big differences. Just getting used to the taste of fresh foods can take a bit of time if you don’t fully enjoy the taste to start with, but it can be well worth the effort.
Although it can be difficult for people to make healthy food choices in today’s world, it does not have to stay that way.
Families who make the time to go over their menus and choose healthy food alternatives are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle without too much difficulty.
Many of the reasons or excuses that are given as to why unhealthy foods are chosen can be overcome with a bit of preparation and a change in education.
Developing Your Healthy Eating Habits
If you start to develop healthy eating habits, you will begin to notice that some of the healthy foods that you once didn’t like all that much, become more of something that you begin to look forward to eating as your pallet becomes more adjusted to the tastes.
How to Develop Your Healthy Eating Habits
It is by eating high quality foods that you get to enjoy the multitude of health benefits which include mental sharpness, a strong and healthy heart, overall wellness and higher energy levels.
However, to successfully develop your new way of eating, you will need to gradually change your existing eating habits and not impose strict dietary limitations that will deprive you of the foods that you love.
Here are four simple steps that will show you how you can accomplish this.
Step 1 Evaluate Your Current Diet:
Look, in order for you to start on a healthy eating plan you don’t actually have to instantly dump all of the ways you are eating at the moment.
Instead of doing that, use the way you are currently eating as a springboard for making slow healthy changes. Just assess the way your eating habits are at present, identify what healthy eating habits you should keep and what unhealthy ones you need to drop.
Make yourself 2 lists, on one write down all the good eating habits you need to maintain and on the other all the poor or bad ones you need to get rid of.
Step 2 Get Rid of Temptations:
Are you one of the many people that reach into the junk or unhealthy food cupboard at home even though you are not really hungry?
If you are you are not on your own, tons of people do it all the time especially at night and the main reason they all do it is because it is just simply within close reach and easy to get at.
So, if you want to start developing and being able to stick to a healthy eating habit, a good place to begin with would be to start removing all that potentially tempting junk food that is lurking in your cupboards and refrigerator.
It makes sense doesn’t it, that if these junk foods are not around to temp you, it will make your life much easier to be able to stick to your new plan?
Step 3 Change Your Diet One Step at a Time:
Realistically you are not going to be able to develop all your new healthy eating habits overnight.
If you try this major leap, like so many people that have tried before you, you will be probably setting yourself up for failure and sooner or later you will find yourself slowly slipping back to your old eating habits.
You don’t need to burden yourself with a sudden turnaround or total lifestyle change, start by taking it slowly and simply make one or two dietary changes each week.
Here are a few examples of small changes you can make to your old diet plan to get you started. Start by swapping your soda or diet soda to water, change any chips or crackers you snack on for healthy nuts.
And swap any take away you may normally get each week, for a healthy home cooked meal.
By introducing the changes gradually, it will make the transition to healthy foods less stressful and more manageable.
Step 4 You Must Stay Positive
To successfully make the change from junk food to developing healthy eating habits you have to be not only determined, but 100% committed.
And probably the best way to fuel that determination and commitment is to stay positive.
Don’t allow yourself to sit and think about the stuff you have given up, instead re-focus your thoughts on the positive aspects of what your new healthy foods are going to do for you and what you have introduced and accomplished so far.
Then whenever you are tempted to stray, this will help to keep you on track and keep you from falling back into your old bad eating habits.
So, by incorporating these four simple but effective steps into your lifestyle, you will find it much easier to transition into the process of your healthy eating journey.
Setting up Your Healthy Eating Plan
Lately here has been a lot of attention in the media on healthy diet and exercise, and because of it meal planning is becoming a much widely publicized dietary tool.
Planning out your meals is a bit more than just throwing together a quick grocery list, it can include things such as mapping out a whole months food and snack choices to make sure that you and your family benefit from a diet that is not only nice tasting but has the correct nutrition as well.
All this might seem like a bit of a grind, but sorting out a healthy eating plan has now become much easier with simple apps that you can get on your phone, or planners that are free and downloadable online.
But before you go off for hours searching for them on your phone and computer, all you really need to produce a good healthy meal plan for yourself and your family is the good old reliable pencil and notebook.
A really good reason to plan your meals is to provide your family with healthy meal and snacking options.
This can be of immense help to anyone in the household who is trying to shed a few pounds or reduce their cholesterol.
Even though your family may not need help with any current health issues, meal planning is perfect for providing children and teens with nutritious eating options.
Rather than reaching for the bag of potato chips, many children will choose healthy snacks if those snacks are made available at all times.
A fridge filled with sodas and fatty foods creates an easy way for the family to choose only those foods, but a refrigerator filled with fresh fruits and vegetables makes it just that bit harder to seek out those “unhealthy snacking options”.
The first task in meal planning begins with a thorough list of your cabinets and refrigerator contents.
Getting rid of foods that are past their expiration date, wilted or just unappetizing will create space for some nice nutritious alternatives.
Once you have dumped all of the damaged or expired foods, turn to picking out those fatty snacks and other items that are not as healthy as they should be for your family.
Follow this by removing the cookies and potato chips and you have begun your journey on the road to a healthier life.
Taking away the bad food options makes it more difficult for you to slip back into a diet that is unhealthy. Look at it this way, if those foods are not available, you can’t not eat them.
Next, try browsing cookbooks and websites such as Fun Healthy Food.com that offer information and recipes about nutritious meals.
It’s quite surprising how many healthy versions of lots of well-loved recipes there are available for download or are in cookbooks.
Even old favorites like meatloaf and beef Stroganoff can become healthy with a couple of small changes in their recipes.
Write a note in your planner, or bookmark a recipe that appeals to you that you think might be enjoyed by the family.
List as many as you can so that you have plenty of options when you go to the grocery store.
Your new collection of recipes will then be the basis for your meal planning, so make sure that they are fairly easy to cook and use ingredients that you and the family are comfortable with eating.
We all know it is fun to make odd dishes every now and again, but for a basic meal planner, you will need tried and true recipes.
Go shopping for the ingredients that you all enjoy but make sure to double up on the fruit and vegetables.
Just about any type of fruit can make a wonderful snack, especially for those in the family who have a sweet-tooth.
Fresh oranges, melons and apples are really nice snacks that keep well in the refrigerator.
Vegetables such as carrots and celery are perfect for a crunchy snack and they also keep well for up to a week in the fridge.
One of the most important things to note about keeping fruit and vegetables for snacks is to make them simple to eat.
If you make the effort to cut vegetables into bite-sized servings, they are much more likely to be eaten especially by the kids.
Fruits like grapes are best when removed from their vines and washed thoroughly. Put them into containers or sealable bags and you have snacks that are perfect for days when you are on the go.
Choose meats that are lean and contain small amounts of fat and you have great options for meals.
Try to avoid the red meat section of your grocery store and focus on poultry like chicken and turkey.
Both chicken and turkey are much lower in fat depending on how the meat is cooked and if the skin is removed.
If you plan out your meals in advance, you will know just how many of each item you need to purchase, so your budgeting will also be simple.
Meal plans are perfect for the bargain shopper because they give you the time to select foods that are on sale and in season and there is also the possibility of clipping coupons to add even more to your savings.
Coupons for items like vegetables are the most difficult to find, so concentrate on the meat sales and you can save money on your weekly shopping budget there.
A busy mom or dad can really benefit from planning meals in advance.
Rushing home from work and jostling around trying to find the ingredients for a healthy dinner can cause some frustration and even stress for the whole family.
But by having the right ingredients on-hand for a nutritious meal you have the perfect way to change your diet and the diet of your entire family for the better.
A healthy eating plan is such a great tool for busy families and you can even include the children in the planning stage.
Many children enjoy being a part of the planning process and they might even offer try some of the new foods while they are helping with the meals.
Examples of Healthy Foods to Eat
On the other hand, true healthy eating goes far beyond calorie restriction and involves providing your body with all the essential nutrients it needs from the healthiest foods.
These essential nutrients help to boost your energy levels, protect you against chronic diseases, help your vital organs function and quite a lot more.
Here is how you can adapt your healthy meals so that they contain fewer calories but are also packed full of health boosting nutrients by providing you with some top healthy eating tips.
Fill Up On Your Veggies
As far as healthy foods to eat go, vegetables are a great choice for various reasons.
Firstly, they contain large amounts of water which can help you to stay hydrated. Second, they are chock full of fiber along with plenty of health enhancing vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Finally, most vegetables generally contain well below 100 calories per serving which makes them the top healthiest foods choice, especially if you’re trying to shed a few extra pounds.
So if you want to stay healthy, make sure you’re eating multiple servings of vegetables throughout the day.
Down a Few Healthy Hot Drinks
Healthy hot drinks (such as black tea, coffee and green tea) not only protect against dehydration but they also contain health boosting phytonutrients.
These phytonutrients in black tea, coffee and green tea has a number of health benefits some of which include guarding against chronic disease, increasing the health of your blood, boosting your immune system and quite a bit more.
By drinking healthy hot drinks regularly, you can take full advantage of these phytonutrients and benefit from all their health benefits.
Naturally Marinate Your Fish & Meat
Fresh fish and meat are a great source of protein and are excellent healthy foods to eat. But, if you’re eating them on a regular basis, they can start to become bland and boring.
A good way to get over this is by mixing up a range of healthy and natural marinades, then soaking your meat or fish in them for a couple of hours and cooking them as you normally would.
Doing this will give the fish and meat you eat a whole new level of flavor and ensure that you have loads of variety in your diet.
Munch on Some Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a really good healthy snack for a number of reasons.
They’re crammed full of healthy fats which helps to boost your brain function, strengthen your heart, hike up your immune system and much more.
Plus, they contain high levels of protein which can help to build, maintain and repair all your body’s cells. And they are very filling which is useful for keeping you satisfied in-between meals.
So if you’re currently snacking on candy, chocolate and chips between meals, which you now have to admit cannot be really classed as the healthiest foods, swap them for nuts and seeds today and give your body a good old health kick.
Cut Back on the Processed Carbs
When you are making changes to your diet regime and looking for healthy foods to eat, processed carbohydrates are probably the biggest obstacle you are going to have to handle.
These foods contain large amounts of calories and are very low in nutrients.
As a result, they do very little for your health but add lots of unnecessary calories to your diet which then get stored as excess body fat.
If you want to make sure that every meal you eat is healthy, before you prepare it think about the amounts of processed carbs it contains and where possible, choose meals that contain little or no processed carbs.
Not only will a properly planned eating strategy start to improve your overall health, it can even help you lose weight if that is what you are looking for.
Just About Anyone Can do This
You don’t need to be the chef of a big posh restaurant to put together tasty healthy meals.
By learning to use healthier ingredients and developing healthy recipes and cooking techniques, you can drastically improve your overall well-being and minimize the risks of many health complications.
If you choose healthy cooking methods, you will be able to capture the flavour of the ingredients that you use, while at the same time reducing the amounts of fat, salt and sugar that is present in similar unhealthy dishes.
Healthy cooking is vital to ensure a healthy balanced lifestyle to enable you and your family to live a long and disease free life.
We hope this article has helped you realize that making healthy meals isn’t boring and in fact can be quite fun and interesting.
Plus seeing why it is also important that we all try to incorporate them into our daily lives.
If you enjoyed it or found any of this useful we would appreciate it if you would like or share it so that others like yourself can learn a bit more about the benefits of fun healthy food.