Healthy Food Swaps for the Whole Family
These clever, healthy substitutions give your favorite foods a big nutritional boost.
Keeping your family healthy starts at home – and we think it starts with food. But nourishing, nutritious meals can be hard to come by. And they’re even harder to serve to kids who would rather eat fast food French fries than homemade anything. Our advice? Start small by swapping sugary, fatty or less nutritious foods for healthier options that don’t skimp on taste.
- Swap Potato Chips for Homemade Veggie Chips
Finely slice sweet veggies like carrots, beetroot and parsnip, and toss with a little olive oil. Bake in a low-heat oven until crisp, and then add a little grated Parmesan cheese to taste. Everyone in the family – from a picky spouse to a fussy toddler – will love these lower-salt, healthy chip alternatives. If you’re willing to share them, that is.
- Swap Sugary Drinks for Fizzy Water
Instead of drinking sugar-laden carbonated beverages at meal times, add fresh mint and cucumber slices to still or sparkling water to liven it up. Frozen grapes make great “ice cubes,” too!
- Swap Spaghetti for “Squashetti”
Is spaghetti a regular meal in your house? Replace the pasta with butternut squash for a healthy boost of vitamin A and C. Just cut a squash in half, place it in a baking dish and bake at 350 F for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven and shred the squash into noodles (a fork helps here) that are perfect for twirling.
- Swap Small-Diced Veggies for Big Chunks
Cook vegetables in larger pieces to retain more of their health benefits – preparing bigger chunks (or cooking them whole) causes less breakdown of nutrients during the cooking process. And don’t forget to cook potatoes with their skin on to retain more fiber. The added bonus? Less peeling and chopping required!
- Swap Sweets for Homemade Chocolate Trail Mix Fill small plastic bags with nuts and seeds (we like Brazil nuts, almonds and sunflower seeds), as well as your favorite dried fruit and a few dark chocolate chips. And just like that, you’ve made a healthy snack that’s perfect for watching TV or taking on the go.
- Swap Buttery Toast for Smashed Fruit or Vegetables
Instead of spreading butter or mayo on toast or sandwiches, spread on creamy avocado. Mashed banana makes a great jam replacement on morning toast, and its higher fiber content will keep you fuller longer.
- Swap “White” Foods for Wholegrain Varieties
You already know wholegrain pasta, bread and rice contain double the fiber of white varieties, but did you know there are other whole grains that are great, too? Step forward, oats, rice cakes and popcorn (yes, really).
- Swap Bubbling Pans for Steamy Ones
Vitamins from vegetables leach into water, which is why steaming is the healthiest cooking method. You don’t need complicated electric steamers – simply pop a metal colander into your pan with a little water, drop in the vegetables, pop on the lid – and voila, steamed veggies with all their goodness still intact.
Tip: Eating healthier comes with bigger kitchen messes – but Cascade Platinum ActionPacs stand up to the challenge. Use them in your dishwasher to remove stuck-on or baked-on food without needing to pre-rinse first.
Tip: Keep your kitchen countertops and sink ready for healthy food prep with the help of Mr. Clean!
Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist muscles through grime and grease with three times the cleaning power,* and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sheets can help remove grime from the hard-to-reach places in your kitchen.
*vs. the leading APC bleach spray on kitchen grease