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The sun is out, the kids are out of school and some of the year’s best food is on offer. From grilled meats to delicious light salads, cool frozen treats and juicy fresh fruit, there’s not a better time in the year to eat healthy and light. Here are four ways to get your family eating nutritious food that is still exciting, fresh and bursting with flavor.
Make Healthy Substitutions
One of the easiest ways to make your family meals healthier is to make smart, strategic substitutions that boost a dish’s nutritional value without compromising on flavor. In particular, several vegetables make great substitutes for heavy carbs, which results in a lighter, fresher dish.
We’ve all heard about zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice, but there are plenty of other options. Take for example this recipe for enchiladas that replaces the tortilla with a cabbage leaf: you reduce the calories and carbs, while still getting all the deliciousness from the chicken and the spices.
Ditch The Sugary Treats
It’s difficult to imagine summer without ice cream, fresh lemonade and pies bursting with fresh berries. However, what all those things have in common – apart from being delicious – is that they are loaded with sugar. According to Parents magazine, children tend to eat on average more sugar than adults, often well beyond the daily recommended intake of 40 grams. During the summer, with kids on break and delicious treats on offer, this is likely to spike.
There is no reason why you can’t treat your kids this summer while still limiting their sugar intake. Learn to make the most of the season’s delicious fresh fruits, which will satisfy a sweet tooth while still providing plenty of vitamins and fiber. For example, why not try one of these delicious fresh fruit popsicles, some banana-based ice cream or some fruit-infused water?
Get The Grill Out
Summer means barbecues, so take advantage of it. Instead of the usual greasy burgers and hot dogs, you can get more creative with your grilling for bold, fresh flavors. Putting together a great marinade is a great way to make your meats and vegetables taste exceptional: check out these ideas by Delish.
Speaking of vegetables, don’t neglect them during your barbecues. Veggie skewers are a great idea, allowing the kids to assemble their own skewers with their favorite combinations. Try summer vegetables with Mediterranean vegetables including courgettes, eggplants, sweet peppers and tomatoes. You can also make some delicious desserts, as fresh fruit will caramelize and turn super sweet when grilled: try peaches, pineapple or foil banana boats.
Create Super Salads
We tend to think of salads as boring, unimaginative side dishes that we have to sit through to get to the good stuff, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Salads can be exciting and bursting with flavor, as long as you give them the care and respect they deserve.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up and think beyond lettuce and tomatoes. Think leafy greens, fresh or cooked vegetables, dairy, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit – as long as you stick to tried and tested flavor pairings, you will get a salad that even the kids will love. Check out these 10 lessons to build the perfect salad to get you started with your salad education.
Summer is the best to truly enjoy healthy food. Take advantage of long days and pleasant weather to make healthy outdoor cooking a breeze, while the best and most varied produce of the year makes it easy to hit your five a day. With the kids away from school, this is also a great opportunity to get them involved in the cooking process and teach them about food and nutrition, which will make them significantly more excited about healthy fare.