Parents have been cooking with their children for generations. Making lasting memories, teaching them how to cook, and sharing family recipes. The thing is, a lot of the approaches our great-grandparents used in the kitchen are not in line with the healthy eating we strive for today. Here are some tips on how you can develop healthier cooking habits and still enjoy Grandma’s recipes.
Healthy Cooking Habits
- First off, non-stick cookware. Invest in some great quality non-stick cookware and you won’t need to use as much oils and grease your pans. Pancakes made on a non-stick griddle taste so much better then those loaded with grease. Your heart will thank you! When making a stir fry, instead of using oil use some vegetable broth. You can easily replace oil when frying foods by using broth instead!
- Try to avoid frying your foods and stick with baking, steaming, poaching and grilling. When you are craving french fries, try cutting up some potatoes and cooking them in the oven. Instead of frying your chicken, coat them and bake them, or throw them in a crock pot with some vegetables. You could also invest in an air fryer and give that a try!
- When it comes to meats, try choosing leaner cuts and you can even trim the fat before cooking. Look for skinless chicken in store, or remove the skins yourself after your chicken is cooked if you want to avoid drying it out. Better yet, find meatless alternatives. Pound for pound, beans have the same amount or protein without all the fat, plus that have tons of fiber!
- Try to start a ‘Meatless Monday’ tradition. Try beans, tofu or even pastas to get the protein you need. One day without meat isn’t going to hurt you. As I mentioned before, beans are an excellent and healthy way to get your protein.
- Carrying on with the theme, try adding ‘Fish Friday’. Fish is low in fat, but high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish provides an excellent source of minerals, making them a heart healthy choice.
- Choose whole wheat over white, whether it’s pastas or breads. White breads offer almost no nutritional value and are basically empty carbs.
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies for snacks instead of pre-packaged junk like cookies and granola bars. Keep in mind that frozen and canned fruits and veggies are just as good as their fresh counterparts. Just make sure to buy canned fruits in water, and rinse your canned fruits and veggies before eating.
- Try experimenting with herbs and spices instead of salt and butter when you are looking to add flavors. Herbs and spices also contain minerals, vitamins, and they are fat-free. They are a great way to spice up your meal with bonus nutritional value.
Every time you make a choice to switch out your old habits for new, healthier habits is a step in the right direction. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you need to change everything overnight, instead focus on cutting out one ingredient at a time, or re-creating just one recipe a week.
It’s all about being adventurous and being open to trial and error. You may need to tweak recipes multiple times before you love it again.