While it might feel like it's impossible to change your family's bad eating habits, Consumer Reports says making small changes can often kick-start healthier eating. In its new special issue, Food and Fitness, Consumer Reports has lots of easy ways to help you pack more nutrition into your meals.
Start by giving vegetables a starring role. Many of us were brought up on meat and potatoes, but shift your focus. Instead of saying, "I've got pork chops, what can I do with them?" Say, "I've got great green beans, what can I do with them?"
Vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and fiber, and they're pretty cost effective. As a general rule, they should fill half your plate. Divide the other half between whole grains and a lean protein, such as fish.
Consumer Reports says that fish is a nutritional powerhouse, but you might want to avoid certain species that are very high in mercury, such as swordfish and some types of tuna.
And eat like the Greeks. The Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to heart-healthy benefits, is rich in fish, olive oil, and fresh vegetables. Consumer Reports says it's one of the smartest approaches to eating.
Consumer Reports says another healthy move is to look to lower or eliminate added salt. More pungent spices, like mustard, onion, or garlic, can help. That way, you'll satisfy your flavor receptors, so you don't miss the salt!
Also try switching to low-fat dairy, which still delivers a healthy dose of calcium and vitamin D. Consumer Reports' advice: If your family is used to drinking whole-fat milk, start by mixing it with 1 percent. And if you wish your family drank more milk? Try adding powdered milk to recipes.
Gradual changes can help pack more nutrition into family meals without sparking a dinner table revolt.
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