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I have a little secret to share with you:
There are ways to cook healthier meals for the family, without them even knowing.
It can all be done without using a top-secret kitchen hidden below the house, flicking a magic wand, or selling your soul to a mythological being.
And it can even be accomplished without causing a meal-time rebellion!
Cooking healthier encompasses many elements – it can mean cooking foods with less calories, cholesterol, salt, sugar, or fat.
Cooking healthier meals from scratch can also mean incorporating foods with less processed ingredients and focusing on fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables.
Think stealthily – be an undercover agent in your own kitchen without raising any suspicion.
Think of all the foods your family enjoys eating already. Now, think of some healthier food choices that the family could be eating. If you make the change correctly with the right strategies, they’ll never even know.
With our help, employ any of the following 11 ways to cook healthier meals for the whole family, without getting caught!
11 Stealthy Ways to Cook Healthier Meals
- Cook with Healthier Oils
- Discover Real Cheese
- Offer Good-for-You Appetizers and Snacks
- Reach for Herbs and Spices Instead of More Salt
- Replace Foods in Moderation
- Plan DIY Parties
- Shop Around for Better Shortcuts
- Sneak in More Fruits and Vegetables
- Substitute Some Whole Eggs with Egg Whites
- Swap Processed Meats with More Natural Options
- Use Ground Turkey or Chicken Instead of Beef
1. Cook with Healthier Oils
Rather than throwing in a few pats of butter or a dollop of shortening or lard to melt in your frying pan, switch to heart-healthy alternatives.
Depending on your cooking preparation, you’ll want to buy and use different styles of oils – that way, you can optimize the nutritional profiles and preferred cooking applications of each of them.
Consider purchasing a variety of both natural and refined oils like coconut, avocado, walnut, sesame, and rapeseed oil.
For more thorough details on this particular subject, be sure to review our article on The Wonderful World of Vegetable Oils, in which we explain different varieties, flavors, and uses.
And don’t forget the olive oil! Read all about the different olive oil grades and particular uses in the kitchen.
2. Discover Real Cheese
Look, I understand – nothing is better or easier than a perfectly grilled cheese made with ooey-gooey, pre-sliced, processed American cheese.
But nothing is more disappointing than the mistaken belief of a child – or adult – who thinks cheese only comes in a can or tub, or in its own little plastic wrapper!
Forget the individually wrapped slices that are labeled “cheese food” or “processed cheese food.” Check the packaging – if this or some version of those words is listed on the label, you’ll know that what you are eating or feeding your family is not actually 100% cheese!
According to the FDA’s Title 21 rules in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, processed cheese is food that can be prepared by mixing and heating a variety of cheeses together along with an approved list of emulsifying agents and other ingredients like preservatives and artificial colorings, to create a “homogeneous plastic mass.”
If you are trying to minimize the amount of excessively processed food in your diet, head to a local cheese shop or a respected cheese department at a local grocery store to talk directly with a cheesemonger.
Under their guidance, you’ll be able to buy more natural, and thoughtfully produced, cheese options.
You’ll be delighted to discover that many cheeses – like younger goudas and cheddars, fontina, fontal, raclette, and more – are ideal for melting in your favorite sandwiches.
3. Offer Good-for-You Appetizers and Snacks
When you fill up your family with healthier pre-entree apps and snacks, there will be less room for sugary desserts or salty bags of chips after the meal is over.
Make and serve small portions of hearty soups and stews in the colder months as a hearty first course before dinner.
You can prepare these in bulk, and freeze them in individual portions that you can thaw as necessary throughout the year – you’ll be well-stocked with a reliable source of food!
During the warmer months, have everyone’s favorite 5-ingredient peach popsicles or frozen yogurt blueberry popsicles already prepped and ready to consume in the freezer, and make tasty and vibrant salads for Mom and Dad – as well as the kids! – to enjoy.
You can also set the dinner table with small bowls of baby carrots, apple wedges, berries, celery sticks, or any other crunchy munchies the family likes to nibble on.
And if the kids come home starving after a long day of school or sports, you can assemble make-ahead snack packs loaded with filling goodies like granola bars and fruit leather.
4. Reach for Herbs and Spices Instead of More Salt
Instead of reaching for multiple pinches of salt every time you cook, strategize your seasonings by creatively using fresh or dried herbs and spices.
For the ultimate flavor boosters, try a few dashes of salt-free seasonings the next time you’re cooking. No one will ask you to pass the salt!
Spiceology Ultimate Salt-Free Seasonings Variety Pack, available on Amazon
We love experimenting with Spiceology’s Ultimate Salt-Free Seasonings Variety Pack, available now on Amazon.
Among the 12 one-ounce jars, play with big and bold blends like Everything Bagel, Really Ranch, Chile Margarita, and Pink Peppercorn Lemon Thyme.
You can also review our entire lineup of herbs and spices every home kitchen should have in stock. Be prepared to fill in any gaps on your spice rack and in your summer herb garden!
5. Replace Foods in Moderation
One of the biggest tricks to healthy and stealthy cooking is to slowly – not suddenly – replace portions of food with better choices.
By swapping ingredients in moderation, those dining in your household won’t notice the subtle changes as much, if at all.
If you approached this switch with an overly zealous attitude and changed every single part of a meal all at once with healthier choices instead, the entire family might mutiny right there at the dinner table!
Can you imagine the thunderous roars and screams of disgust?!
Avoid this tragic outcome by substituting only a portion at a time, and gradually incorporate more and more of the healthier foods as replacements.
And this technique isn’t reserved just for the kids!
For example, if you and your partner are trying to minimize the amount of meat you consume, start by cooking one vegetarian meal per week, and gradually begin to increase that to two, three, or maybe even four meals a week until you reach your goal.
6. Plan DIY Parties
Hosting events with a food-focused theme is a fun way to teach friends and family members in an educational and entertaining setting to eat more naturally and healthily.
As an example, you could host a pizza party!
But rather than buying greasy pizza from the pizzeria down the street, you can plan a party where the kids make their own individual pizzas using homemade pizza dough.
Choose an assortment of fresh fruit and vegetable toppings to place in bowls on the table. And you can also make your own marinara sauce completely from scratch.
The kids will love a messy, hands-on experience, and all the parents will be reassured that the ingredients featured at the party are very wholesome.
7. Shop Around for Better Shortcuts
Your grocery store is packed with multiple packaged options for various types of food like pre-made snacks and pantry staples – make sure you are choosing wisely!
Wise choices and simple switches will make a big difference in your diet – without raising any suspicion from your family members!
Rather than buying a sodium-laden broth, switch to vegetable or chicken stock that contains less salt, or no salt at all. This makes it easy to control the amount of salt or other flavorings you add when cooking.
When shopping for fruits and vegetables, skip the canned and jarred options and hunt down the freshly cut varieties or fresh-frozen products in the freezer section.
Consider switching to baked potato chips, pretzels, or minimally seasoned bags of popcorn.
And all those chewy, sugary candies for family members who constantly crave sweet treats? There are so many options made with 100% fruit purees you could try instead.
8. Sneak in More Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables can be stealthily added to many recipes – and it’ll be your little secret!
You can mix pureed or finely grated fruits or veggies into appropriate foods where it wouldn’t be completely obvious, like in batters for pancakes, brownies, muffins, and quick breads.
This puree method will work well with fresh produce like greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, squash, and bananas.
We talk more about this technique and others in our article on getting a picky child to eat healthy – a definite must-read if you live in a food-fussy household.
9. Substitute Some Whole Eggs with Egg Whites
Substituting whole eggs for egg whites when you are preparing breakfast, at least in part, can help to reduce the overall amount of cholesterol, fat, and calories consumed.
This is an easy technique to adopt, particularly when you are making omelets and scrambles.
A portion of the whole eggs can be replaced with egg whites, while still maintaining the yellow color your family is expecting to see.
And you can still use the family’s favorite fillings like ham and cheese – remember, we’re slowly replacing a few ingredients, not everything all at once.
10. Swap Processed Meats with More Natural Options
If you and your family are meat eaters, there are some nifty changes you can make with some of the items you often purchase.
If you know with absolute certainty that you can’t get rid of hot dogs entirely, and the kiddos won’t give them up, try to replace the hot dogs with more natural options that don’t contain a long list of additives.
Thoroughly read the labels, including the ingredients and nutrition facts – you’ll soon find out that some popular brands of hot dogs contain a long list of surprising ingredients like corn syrup, emulsifying agents, chemical nitrites or nitrates, and other preservatives.
Fork in the Road Foods Honest Dogs, available on Amazon
But Fork in the Road Foods sells Honest Dogs, which are Animal Welfare Certified, pasture-raised, and uncured beef hot dogs with a short ingredient list of assorted seasonings – and no corn syrup in sight! Buy a pack now on Amazon.
And at the deli, choose the most natural sandwich meats available. Hand-cut roast beef or roasted turkey breast options are preferable to brine-laden, pre-packaged cold cuts that are potentially filled with preservatives, sodium, and nitrates.
Other than hot dogs and deli meats, if you tend to buy bagful after bagful of frozen chicken nuggets, experiment one night by making your own homemade version – if you think you can get away with it!
We have an amazing recipe for breaded chicken fingers, coated with flaxseeds and gluten-free breadcrumbs. When dipped in everyone’s favorite condiments, your family might fall in love with this healthier spin on a kid-friendly classic.
11. Use Ground Turkey or Chicken Instead of Beef
Some of the easiest recipes to start changing with more healthful ingredients are those made with ground meat.
Why is that?
The answer is simple: it’s easy to manipulate the ingredients in fun, flavor-packed dishes that mix a bunch of stuff into the ground meat.
Balsamic Turkey Meatloaf – Get the Recipe Now
Any dish that is usually made with ground beef can be made healthier with ground turkey or chicken, with less saturated fat.
Both turkey and chicken have a mild flavor that can be seasoned quite successfully.
When replacing ground beef with ground turkey for the first time, only replace about 1/3 of the beef with poultry. By replacing just a portion, you won’t draw immediate attention to the change.
Ground turkey and chicken can replace ground beef in so many home-cooked meals. As examples, consider updating the following recipes with a little turkey or chicken:
- Baked Ziti
- Chili con carne
- Lettuce wraps
- Shepherd’s pie
There are plenty of opportunities to do this, and you’ll be surprised by how often you’ll be able to make the switch!
Set a Good Example
With any of these 11 methods, and particularly if you opt to use them in combination as time goes by, you can easily replace unhealthy food choices with more wholesome options. And your family may never even know!
But don’t think they have to stay in the dark the whole time… When it comes to making healthy food choices at home, it is always best to lead by example.
While you can quietly make some healthful switches, it’s also an encouraging strategy to openly eat healthy foods, and to be honest about why you are making certain buying and cooking decisions.
You want what is best for your family, and they should know that!
Teach them why you made the switch from butter to olive oil, or why you have homemade popsicles in the freezer, or why you chose to purchase a wedge of gouda instead of a tub of cheese spread.
But keep a few secrets to yourself… no one ever has to know that you have been sneaking some spinach puree into their favorite brownie recipe for months now!
What are your own special ways for cooking healthier meals, without causing a full-blown rebellion at home? We’d love to know! Leave a comment below as soon as you’ve finished making dinner.
Searching for more expert home kitchen advice? We have so many articles to share with you! Grab a healthy snack, sit back, and take a look at the following suggestions next:
- 9 Ways to Be Less Wasteful in the Kitchen
- 15 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Baking Routine
- How to Approach Unfamiliar Recipes for Stress-Free Results
Photo by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos via Shutterstock. Product photos via Amazon. Originally published on September 28, 2014. Last updated on May 22, 2023.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
42 thoughts on “11 Ways to Cook Healthier Meals for the Family without Getting Caught”
My favorite tip is similar to one here – but it’s: eliminate cheese altogether! You wouldn’t believe how much you don’t realize cheese is missing when you take it away. Especially on sandwiches and burgers – if you have enough flavor in other ways, you won’t even notice.
Great tips! I use a couple of them regularly. I try to use ground turkey when I can, lots of times you can’t tell the difference if it’s in a sauce or casserole. I also try not to buy processed meat or cheese. The real thing tastes better to me anyway. I try to only keep healthy snacks around too…I’m a big snacker and if I buy unhealthy ones I will eat them so I skip the temptation all together.
Ah! light bulb effect…for every gallon tub of ice cream i buy, i buy some colorful yoghurt, i’ll forfeit the ice cream for the yoghurt…after all we are preaching about the healthy eating/meals sermon right here 🙂
Diane, that sounds like a plan.
I’ve been bulking up meat dishes with vegetables and beans for years now with some success, though some veg I have to chop quite small to get them past the food police. Replacing salt with herb and spice based seasoning is more mixed; my husband still sometimes goes and adds salt to his portion. It works for the kids, though; they’ve never had it cooked another way so there’s nothing for them to “miss”. I think that would be my biggest tip for kids – if you can, start them on healthy eating habits as early as possible, and then it’s just normal to them.
Replacing foods in moderation is a great tip. Recently I tried to get my family to start eating healthier and only purchased healthy food at the grocery store. Oh my gosh they were so upset and noticed very quickly that their favoite jink food was not stocked. Now slowly I have been purchasing turkey instead of beef and we are having chicken and fish more than steak and pork. Slow changes are the way to prevent an angry family.
Love the tips.
Cooking healthy for my family is one of my biggest challenge. I do agree that sometimes to be successful is to do things stealthily. If my husband knows what ingredients I put into the dish, he starts complaining. But when he is unaware that there are added vegetables in his spaghetti sauce or I use less oil when I cooked something, he simply enjoy the food without any problems.
One tip that you just shared that I would incorporate during meal times is offer more appetizers. Although we eat some fresh cut vegetables as snacks, I just realized that putting it out before a meal is a great idea.
Appetizers is a good way to get those healthier options in there too. There is a whole company dedicated to making bite sized portions of healthy foods because studies show that kids are more likely to eat it when it is the bite sized, grab one and go like thing versus on the plate as a side. That said, get some celery sticks and broccoli and other veggies, a little dip, and you are good to go.
I use some of these already and they really make a difference. I think if you start off slow it works easier, because no one suspects all the big changes.
My family was appalled when I suggested going to whole wheat pasta. I started to to small increments in the dishes I made. A 1/4 of the full amount the first time, a 1/2 the next, and then added more and more until it was all whole wheat. No one ever noticed a difference. I finally told them one day when they were eating and it wasn’t a big deal. They had already gotten used to it.
I might have to use that cheese tip. My niece is five and loves the cheese slices that are wrapped in plastic. I might need to try this when she comes to stay with me.
Instead of pretzels, I would rather go with popcorn because they are less salty. I like the tip about offering more appetisers than desserts. Never thought of that!
Great ideas! I’ve already started adding more fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, I puree them so my family won’t know they are in there. I’ve also limit the amount of beef and pork we eat. I cook more turkey and chicken dishes. So, I’m on my way there…
I love your idea of filling the kids up with snacks and entrees before dessert so that they won’t have much an appetite left for sweets. That’s such a sneaky, but good idea!!! 😉
Appetizers are a great idea. I usually focus so much on the main dish that I don’t think of making a nice soup or salad before it — and I should, it curbs the appetite!
I also like to be sneaky. But for the egg whites — isn’t it a waste if even in baking you don’t use the yolks? Or do you buy this packaged “egg whites” bottles?
Some great ideas, definitely tough to make healthy changes with the family. It might be worth involving them in the process rather than hiding it from them! Having appetizers is a great idea to take the focus away from the main foods.
I like to sneak extra veg into my meals wherever possible. I will cut back on the amount of ground beef I use and add some extra beans or diced carrot instead. Doing this also helps reduce my grocery bill.
Cheese food slices are something I refuse to buy. There is a reason for the name, they are prohibited from calling it just “cheese” as it is not cheese at all. There may be a percentage of real cheese in the product but the rest of it is just artificial rubbish.
I love these tips, they are really helpful. I find it hard making changes because my daughter is now vegetarian, so most of our food we cook at different times. I’m starting to find recipes however that are vegetarian but also healthy and tasty for the whole family. I also started cook meals that aren’t vegetarian. I have just started to replace processed meat with real meat products recently and find that has helped my diet.
Getting my husband onto the paleo/whole foods bandwagon wasn’t easy. I couldn’t agree more with your comment about how it’s important to switch foods SLOWLY. While my husband would have freaked to switch his pasta meals for rutabaga and chicken overnight, when I started slowly by adding tasty paleo sidedishes, he eventually began to actually crave whole foods. He still eats some “naughty” foods but he’s getting so much better. I just keep at it, encouraging him to eat small amounts of paleo food every day and it’s really working.
It may seem like a daunting task to switch your family from regular American diet to paleo but if you give it the time it deserves to make the switch, you’ll find it’s so much easier to adjust everyones taste buds.
These are great tips but I have to admit, I laughed while reading this. Only because I’ve tried some of these with my husband and it didn’t work. I made turkey tacos once and he just knew that it wasn’t ground beef. He literally took one bite, looked me funny and said ‘This is turkey isn’t it.’ I used egg whites in pancakes once and again he knew! He said that it wasn’t fluffy enough and that’s how he knew.
One of the best tips I can give is to pick your battles and try new things. We hate whole wheat pasta. We hate the flavor and texture and we can tell right away. However, we’ve found healthier pasta sauces to use with lots of fresh vegetables that we love, so we don’t feel back not using something we hate. The other is to have one day a week or month to try a bunch of new recipes. Expand your tastebuds and find a few new healthy meals to add to the rotation at the same time.
These tips sound fine, introducing the healthier alternatives gradually.
Though in the case of replacing whole eggs with egg whites, the yolk is where the bulk of the nutrition is, so I wouldn’t recommend doing that. Perhaps for older folks but for children, eggs are very very nutritious.
As for replacing butter with canola oil, I’m also not sure that’s the healthiest alternative. The saturated fats in butter isn’t bad for you exactly. Instead opt for grass-fed butter instead of regular butter. And olive oil to replace the canola oil would be ideal.
Here’s one study shown that eating more fat doesn’t increase the risk of obesity:
This are very good ideas. And I hate to say it but when I am alone some evenings I often turn to processed meals because its easier for one person but a terrible habit! Unless there is leftovers. Nights the boyfriend is home though I like having a nice home cooked meal.
I actually have no problem substituting my beef and pork with turkey. It’s pretty tasty if you look at it by it’s own merit. The problem is that people always compare the turkey substitute to the original, which is unfair. How can you compare bacon to turkey bacon? The two have different tastes. It’s not that regular bacon tastes better. It’s just that people don’t get that these two are different.
That’s so true, Tommy. I started replacing bacon with turkey bacon a long time ago. Of course, they aren’t going to taste the same, but turkey bacon really does taste good. It’s obviously better for you. I really like turkey bacon now, and i can get my crew to eat it most of the time. Occasionally, they push for regular bacon, but it’s rare to find it in my fridge now days.
I haven’t had quite as much luck with ground turkey instead of ground beef. It works in some recipes, but in others, they turn up their noses.
Great title (and article), Lynn. “Without getting caught,” is the key!
As a kid, the only change I would notice would be a change in my snacks. I used to love snacking whenever I could, which was clearly bad. Other than that, I would have never noticed a change in spices, beef, or anything else of that nature. I suggest you make this change while your children are young, or else they will start to catch on.
That is actually a really good tip, Orgrichboi. Starting kids off early with good eating habits makes a huge difference. Better yet, starting them young on all healthy stuff and only allowing those “bad snacks” to be a very rare treat, helps them acquire a taste for good foods instead of bad ones.
I wish I had done a better job doing so earlier. I mean, I did try, but I was just winging it at the time. There are so many great ideas to work with now.
Bless you for these tips! My husband is terrified that eating healthy will cause him excrutiating pain. Until I met him the healthiest food in his diet was cream style corn with lots a butter and sugar cooked in. he has an insanely high metabolism so he doesnt have the consequences smacking him in the face. Out of sight, out of mind i guess. I have made some progress but not nearly enough. I am goin to start incorporating some of these tips into our dinner, starting tonight!
Love the tips. I have been using the turkey instead of beef one for about a year now and get rave reviews from everyone. My wife loves fish, so switching from red meat to fish is a great one that has helped me out a lot. One of the biggest changes we have had in our diet in the past few years was no processed meats. Not only is it healthier but the taste can’t even be compared.
These are great tips. I already substitute ground turkey for ground beef for most meals, and it is cheaper than ground beef too. One of my new favorites was making a creamy cauliflower sauce as a substitute for alfredo sauce. I love alfredo, but this sauce was delicious, and I would be content to eat it instead of real alfredo sauce most of the time. My kids liked it just as well as alfredo, and my husband said it tasted pretty good too.
My understanding was that the egg yolk:egg white myth had now been debunked and that there was no issues with eating egg yolks because they actually contain cholesterol that has little influence on the serum cholesterol levels (research from 1999 with the original warnings of staying away from egg yolks dating back to 1973 from the American Heart Association) and you also miss out on eating most the vitamins and minerals which are found in egg yolks such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Calcium, Potassium, Selenium and Omega 3.
One other tip I can give is to switch the evening snack away from things such as pringles and crisps over to microwave popcorn because the microwave popcorn can be purchased in sizes where 3 generous servings have only 80 calories per serving and because popcorn is actually made from maize (sweetcorn) it is actually considered to be 1 of your 5 a day in fruit and veg!
The title of this article made me giggle because it is such an uphill battle. These are very good tips, we all prefer all beef hot dogs in this house anyway, though I actually don’t buy hot dogs often at all. The ground turkey has always been more of a diet thing for us unless I’m making them a meatloaf, then it’s half and half, but I think I will start making it more of a regular thing. If seasoned right, it’s not that big of a deal. Very good tips, and my baby is 7 so these are all easy transitions since we don’t necessarily eat unhealthy on a regular basis anyway. Well, I do but she doesn’t. lol
Great suggestions. I wasn’t aware of the Lite Salt, so will check into that when I go to the store. Another suggestion is substituting some of the potato in mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. If you start when they’re young, or have children who like vegetables, you can also mash in carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. One of my favorite side dishes is half mashed carrots and half mashed turnip.
Does ground turkey taste the same as ground beef? It’s hard for me because my kids are so picky and they know if something is different from the norm.
I’ve got another tip for the “Add more vegetables” part. If your meal consists of meat, like a barbecue or a baked chicken, etc, use more salad than anything in your servings, that way you’ll get full by eating less meat and more vegetables.
Thanks for your tips. I totally agree with using less salt, you can start doing it progressively.
There are some solid tips here. Adding more vegetables, replacing ice-cream with, non-sugary, yogurt, and replacing processed meats with unprocessed, home cooked, meat are all good swaps. I would’t advise trading whole eggs with egg whites, although. Egg yolks are quite nutritious and filling, while egg whites don’t have much nutritional value and won’t keep you full for very long. Trying to replace egg yolks in baking would just be a disaster, in my opinion. Pretzels, although marginally better than fried chips, aren’t a healthy choice. They have pretty much no nutritional value and possibly quite a bit of salt. A better option may be a whole grain nut & seed bread or cracker with a nice nut butter or cheese on top. Even better, fresh fruits and veggies.
I like some of these tips. The cook would surely not “get caught” 😀 However, I’m not sure about following some tips though (e.g. replacing beef with turkey -turkey’s expensive in my country :P).
I absolutely love this article, and the timing couldn’t have been better. With the new year here I decided its time to make a change and really start making healthier meals for my family. My husband and four year old daughter are extremely picky and not a big fan of “change” so switching up the meals has been hard however, after I read this article I made pasta for dinner and used ground turkey instead of beef and my daughter didn’t even notice. I think this article nailed it, small changes slowly once at a time and no one will notice so that’s what I’m going to do.
These are some really good tips. Substituting your ingredients for even healthier ones that tastes just as good. It’s worth the try.
Excellent ideas here! I already do some of them and others I need to try. 😀 I made a 16-Bean Soup last night. It was actually a 16- Bean, Ham, and Kale soup… but I knew how that would go over here!
Bottom line, hubby is not picky at all and is very good about eating whatever I make, but he *does* have a problem with many greens, and kale is at the top of the list.
Anyhow, I put the kale into the food processor and made it very tiny… not the size pieces that were supposed to be in the recipe. It worked perfectly and after we ate, I asked if he even tasted the kale. “Nope, not at all… that was a great idea!” 😀
When deciding on my home cooked meals, I always think of ways of incorporating healthy choices. My girls are much easier to convince than my husband. However, some of the tips listed above can be easily incorporated without him noticing. I love making “ice cream” with yogurt and definitely try scrambled up egg whites as oppose to whole eggs, but I do love a delicious sunny side egg too.
I have read many things about processed meats and avoid them at all costs, besides their flavor is really awful.
Great article, especially the stealthy methods that you included to entice a healthier lifestyle upon our families. I have a couple of tips that I would like to add. The first is to model your appetizers to your children. Most kids learn to eat what their parents eat, and many times that’s also where they get their bad habits from. If you can remember, set your plate of pretzels with some carrots and celery, allowing your taste buds to gradually get used to the salt and teaching your children moderation.
The other tip is to add in mushrooms when using ground beef or turkey in recipes. Mushrooms do not have the same fat content or Cholesterol found in meats today, yet they do have the protein necessary to maintain our healthy diets, and not only can you save your diet with this addition you can also save your wallet a bit.
Instead of ground meat a lot of the times I will make bean tacos or get tvp(which is dehydrated meat replacement) and we will eat that instead, it taste just like taco meat once you add the seasoning and it’s so much more healthy. We also make vegan pizza, instead of cheese we pile on vegetables that the kids love like spinach, olives, tomatoes of different colors as well fresh oregano and garlic.
I love this article. Because of my diabetes I try to find ways to come up with healthy alternative meals that I can get teenagers to eat that is delicious. I recently figured out how to get them to eat more fresh vegetables by creating eggplant pizzas with broccoli and cauliflower for toppings. Surprising enough, they love it and even ask for it. If you can pass the “kid” test with a recipe… then you know you got it made. I do the same with stuff like Spaghetti by adding fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and squash or zucchini. Sometimes I will even substitute certain ingredients in recipes to make them healthier without anyone knowing… like using a half and half mixture of flour and either chia seeds or flax seed flour when making gravies.
These are great ideas and can be implemented slowly so that no-one really notices. I think the family will be happy as long as their food is tasty. I don’t know about the egg yolk though. I am not sure my family will fall for that and I don’t think I want to either. We love our eggs and eat quite a few of them.