Eating a well-balanced diet is an important part of your overall health and well-being. When combined with physical activity, healthy eating can provide a wide variety of benefits – including helping with weight loss and reducing the risk of a number of different diseases.
For working adults or for parents who have school-aged children, planning meals isn’t always easy. Certain meals can have long preparation times, while kids may be picky and not always want to eat what’s put on their plate – but meal planning isn’t as hard as you might think. There are many simple, but nevertheless healthy recipes out there to try – and meal planning can actually be a fun family activity that adults and children can participate in together – from choosing what to eat for the week, to cooking together. By planning out your meals, you not only give yourself more time to relax, but will ultimately find that you’re making healthier food choices as a result.
Below, Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician from Vancouver, British Columbia, shares some easy-to-make, delicious and healthy recipes.
Breakfast is the most important meal you can eat. Not eating breakfast would be like trying to drive a car that has no fuel. The mornings, however, can also be a busy time for households across Canada – parents are getting ready to go to work, kids are possibly finishing their homework and/or getting ready to go to school – time available to sit down to a meal is limited. The good news is that there are plenty of breakfast options available, requiring little to no preparation at all – and without the use of your stove or oven. Fruit salad, for example, is easy to prepare. Fruits also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals to help keep you feeling energized, and can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer. The types of fruit you choose to use are entirely up to you. You can also add Greek yogurt for additional texture and flavour. Compared to regular yogurts, Greek yogurt is higher in protein and low in lactose.
Lunch can be challenging. For children and teenagers, many schools offer lunch programs, though sometimes that lunch is also bought from a vending machine. This is neither ideal nor healthy. Instead, try to encourage your child to bring homemade meals with them to school and prepare them the night before. Examples of healthy lunches include: Tuna sandwiches with lettuce on whole-wheat bread, raw baby carrots (or other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and celery) with low-fat ranch dressing used for dipping, hard boiled eggs, sliced ham or turkey.
Lastly, dinner. If you have a slow cooker, you can often begin dinner preparation first thing in the morning and it will be ready when you arrive home. Things like chicken, beef, soups and stews can all be made in a slow cooker. You can find a variety of slow cooker recipes on Pinterest by clicking here. Other healthy dinner options include hamburgers on whole-wheat buns with oven-cooked yam fries (an alternative to the regular French fry), steak and baked potato with steamed vegetables, and pasta made with egg noodles.