If you’re looking for some healthy easy meals to cook for the family, I’ve got your back covered. I put together a list of 20 recipes that are simple to make and contain only ingredients your family is sure to love.
Cooking healthy meals for the family doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Here are some of my favourite no-fuss, fast and healthy meals to cook for the family.
healthy family meals to add into your weekly rotation to spice things up
Ah the new year, when all of us pledge to start anew by exercising regularly and eating better. Only it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when you’re the person in your family who is responsible for making meals that everyone will eat (and hopefully enjoy).Contents
Life is busy and no one needs the extra added stress of trying to come up with healthy meals that everyone in the family will enjoy. Thankfully there are so many different options for healthy family meals that, with a little bit of planning, can help keep everyone on track. If you’re trying to eat better, these healthy family meals are sure to please everyone.
What makes a meal healthy?
Pledging to eat more healthfully is one thing, but to succeed, we need to truly understand what makes a meal healthy. You can make meals healthier by simply limiting the number of sugars, fats, and salt you consume and replacing them with more vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and lean meats.
Harvard suggests that half your plate should be comprised of fruits and/or vegetables (excluding potatoes) and the more color the better. One-quarter of your plate should contain whole grains: foods like quinoa, brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta. The other quarter should be comprised of lean proteins like chicken or fish. Red meat should be consumed on a limited basis and you should drink lots of water daily.
It can take a while to get used to eating this way, especially if you have kids who tend to be picky eaters or you are busy and tend to grab a lot of meals on the go. It may be easier to start implementing one healthier meal a week than feeling overwhelmed and trying to change everything all at once. Baby steps help lead to long-term success. Here are some healthy family meals that everyone in the family can enjoy and you can begin to rotate through your weekly meal plans.
Healthy family meals
1. Chickpea curry
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland, and this chickpea curry recipe proves that! This easy-to-make recipe was a staff favorite at Eating Well and is super simple and quick to make. It uses canned beans and tomatoes and spices you probably already have in your pantry. You can serve this with basmati or whole grain rice or even some naan bread if you have some carb lovers in the house. The best part is you can adjust the recipe to add more or less spice if you prefer and if you’re trying to eat less meat this is also a great, satisfying meal option.
2. Barbecue chicken burger
You don’t have to give up your favorite burgers to eat more healthfully, you just have to get a bit more creative when it comes to making them. These barbecue chicken burgers from A Mind “Full” Mom give you all the flavor and heartiness you love in a beef burger in a more healthy, chicken option. You can choose a bun of your choice, including whole wheat, or opt for an even healthier approach and use a lettuce wrap instead. There are so many different ways to serve these delicious burgers that everyone in the family will be satisfied and at just 220 calories a serving, these will quickly become a go-to recipe.
3. Grain bowls
Grain bowls are a great way to serve a healthy dinner while also giving everyone at the table different options. Healthline suggests using whichever grain you prefer as your base, whether it’s whole grain rice, quinoa, or something else. You can then top the grains with your choice of vegetables and protein, like chicken, fried or hard-boiled eggs, grilled shrimp, or salmon. Bowls are a great dinner option because you can allow everyone in the house to choose their own toppings, allowing them to customize their own meal. You can also substitute the grains for lettuce and create salad bowls.
4. Cauliflower pizza
Have you heard about the latest trend with cauliflower? You can cook healthy meals using cauliflower instead of flour or other simple carbohydrates and enjoy a low-carb, gluten-free meal! This is good news for pizza lovers. Now pizza night looks a little different from your usual takeout if you’re making healthier choices, but you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Follow Good to Know’s recipe to make your own cauliflower crust, and then top your healthier pizza with lots of fresh veggies and your choice of a low-fat cheese.
5. Skinny alfredo
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up the foods you love, it just means you may need to make some changes. This recipe for skinny pasta alfredo by Delish calls for whole-wheat pasta and plain Greek yogurt as an alternative to heavy cream. It’s a great way to still enjoy pasta night while making healthier choices.
How To Make Healthy Meals For My Family
Making healthy meals can be daunting. I’ve always wrestled with how to make healthy meals for my family. With so much processed fast food readily available, it can be easy to prioritize convenience over your health. Maybe you work 9-5, or even 50 or 60-hour weeks.
You get home and you just don’t have the energy to cook healthy meals. So, instead, you head over to McDonald’s to keep your kids satisfied, but leave feeling guilty that you can’t provide them with healthy food.
Or perhaps you’re a single parent. You drop your kids off at daycare (and who knows what they’re being fed at daycare?) and then you pick them up and again: it’s been a long day, you’re feeling drained, and you forgot to make that trip to the grocery store that was so needed.
We’re here to give you peace of mind. With our recipes and tips, you won’t have to worry anymore about providing your kids, family, and yourself with healthy meals.
Even with so much unhealthy food available, grocery stores have everything you need to make healthy family meals. You just have to know what to buy and what to make.
This article will give you several healthy recipes for yourself, for two, for your kids, for large families, and more – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
How do I start cooking healthy for my family?
Block time out of your day for cooking.
When raising a family, cooking is a necessity. It’s not practical nor cost-effective to take the kids out to eat every day. All you need to do is realize this and set aside some time in your day to devote to crafting some nutritious meals.
Maybe you’re just learning cooking, so you need to spend a little more time creating your routine – or if you’re an avid cook already it might take a little less time.
Just do some reflection and thinking and figure out how much time you have to spend every day and go from there. Then, it becomes part of your day as opposed to a burden or an additional thing you have to do.
Cooking family dinner doesn’t have to take all day, either. Let’s talk about a few ways to massively reduce the amount of time it takes and streamline the whole process so your family can eat well and you don’t have to sacrifice hours each week to make it happen.
Buy a variety of food.
Too much of almost any one thing isn’t healthy – and it’s certainly boring. Be sure to buy all different types of food: starch, chicken, meat, salads, fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks like granola or yogurts, berries, nuts, and much more. This is especially important to keep the kids satisfied.
Sure it’s easy to eat the same thing every day, but will the kids like it? My guess is no. So, try for some variety! But keep this in mind too…
Strive for a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables.
Variety is good and with variety comes balance. Be sure you’re eating all the different types of foods in healthy quantities. But there are so many food pyramids out there.
Most pyramids suggest eating mainly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with some dairy and protein mixed in each day. They also suggest that you limit the amount of sweets and saturated fats you eat.
One of my favorite, and one of the most thorough food “pyramids” that I’ve come across, comes from Australia. In this article written by a design professional, he critiques today’s food pyramid and suggests we follow Australia’s healthy eating plan.
Lead by example.
If you’re eating unhealthy, you’ll provide them with unhealthy food. Kids follow their parents’ lead, so they’ll begin to develop unhealthy habits. But no need to worry: you can form a healthy habit too!
If you struggle with healthy eating, just start small. Maybe you want to limit yourself to just eating out once or twice a week. Maybe you start by adding just one serving of fruits and vegetables a day to your existing eating habits. Whatever will successfully start is what you should do.
Then over time, you’ll develop a habit and make more changes and continue to eat more healthily! You’ll see this have an impact on your kid’s eating habits too. After all, they only eat what you make!