More vegetable and fruits are filling our fridges and school lunches are being packed once again! After a few weeks of parties, rich desserts, fried appys and eating on the road, it's nice to get back to planning healthy meals for the whole family and also get any weight loss plans back on track!
Here are some of momstown mom's favourite ways to "lighten up" this new year!
1. Make it soup for dinner! Lighten up your meal with hearty chicken soup so filling and it will warm you up on a cool winter night!
2. Try going meatless once a week for "Meatless Mondays"! One vegetarian dish the whole family can enjoy is this quick veggie quesadilla. Whole wheat wraps, heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese- delicious dipped in salsa!
3. A favourite any time of year, a Crunchy Asian Salad with edamame and crunchy Chinese noodles. Top with chicken, salmon or shrimp to add extra protein.
4. Pizza lover? You can cut down on carbs by using whole wheat thin crust, but how about making mini english muffin pizzas? Great lunch or afterschool snack for kids!
5. Try Pop Crisps (only 80 calories each) as a snack instead of chips or bread! Great to dip in Greek yogurt, or to top with some fruit or hummus!
6. Have you ever made a spaghetti squash dish? Not only is it easy and actually fun to scrape back the strands- you can trick kids into thinking it's pasta! We love this baked squash with parmesan cheese and parsley as a side dish or even main course!
7. Eat lower fat protein with fish! We love this low fat tilapia fish recipe. A great light tasting fish for kids.
8. Have you ever had roasted chickpeas or kale chips? Might not taste quite as delicious as the alternative, but they are so good for you!
9. Snacking on these mini banana chocolate chip muffins can be dangerous! By replacing the butter with apple sauce, you make these whole wheat and wheat germ muffins even healthier! The banana keeps these so fresh and they are perfect to freeze too!
10. You don't want to give up a nice weekend breakfast with the family, when you are trying to cut down on calories, so how about replacing your regular pancake recipe for this one that has Quinoa! The kids will love these quinoa pancakes too!
11. Gluten-free and low carb, this Asian Lettuce Wrap is not only pretty to look at, but so delious filled with spicy meat and veggies!
12. You can enjoy football on Sunday with your hubby eating slow cooker chili and he won't even know that it's good for him! Try using Turkey in your chili and keeping high fat beans to a minimum. Add in more veggies too!
13. Be heart smart by adding more fibre in your diet! We love these kid-friendly Applesauce Muffins for a great breakfast, lunch or afterschool snack!
14. Smoothies are an awesome way to get the veggies you don't like to eat! Kids and moms will love this Banana (spinach) Smoothie that we like to call the "Green Monster Smoothie".
15. Love mashed potatoes but not the calories and carbs? Check out this amazing roasted garlic cauliflower mash, from Dara at Belly Bootcamp, that will satisfy those potato cravings for good!
16. Fish tacos are a huge hit in restaurants, but often come with batter or high fat toppings. Try this lower fat version from Kara's Favourites- we know you'll love these Basa Fish Tacos.
17. Our friends at Chicken.ca have a twist on a traditional whole roast chicken. Get rid of the stuffing or mash potatoes and add fibre with lentils. Try this Indian Roast Chicken with Lentil Brown Rice pilaf for the family.
18. Love tuna casserole but not the calories? We think this one from Yummy Mummy Club will be a huge hit at dinner this week!
19. We love avocado, especially in a yummy salad for dinner like this one from Today's Parent! Mixing avocado, vegetables and salmon seems like the perfect combination!
20. Make better choices with pasta dishes your family loves! By adding more veggies and keeping portions smaller, you can enjoy this Farfalle with Zucchini, Fennel and Peppers. Add whole wheat or high fibre pasta like Barilla PLUS and you can add more nutrition to your pasta meal.