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Eating nutritious meals is necessary for everyone regardless of their age. Apart from serving a healthy meal, you also want to get the serving size right. While children require meals to boost their growth and development, adults need energy-giving and protective foods to deflect conditions like diabetes. Therefore, every individual has different nutritional requirements. Below are foods that will benefit your family’s health.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are beneficial to everyone’s health. If you have kids less than three years, serve them two portions of fruits and vegetables each day. It would help if you increased the servings as the children continue growing. Active boys aged nine to thirteen years require up to four portions daily, while girls of the same age need 3.5 amounts.
Five servings of veggies and fruits for adults will do because their bodies are more active than children. Fruit and veggies servings do not have to be monotonous. If you eat fruit salads in the morning, you can choose to blend the second serving. For veggies, you can slice cucumbers and mix them with lettuce and serve them with a sandwich.
Whole grains are healthier as compared to refined grains because they have a starchy endosperm. When you go shopping, do not skip oatmeal, buckwheat, and brown rice. Whole grains not only provide fiber but also contain antioxidants at high levels. To ensure you make excellent and nutritious family meals, always read the packaging to understand whether the content is purely whole grains.
Whole grain varieties are many in the market. Some contain gluten, but others are gluten-free. Amaranth, quinoa, and teff are gluten-free whole grains you will not regret incorporating into your list. Most whole grains are rich in proteins and amino acids, making them ideal for all age brackets.
There are healthy and unhealthy fats. To cultivate a healthy eating pattern in your family, consider replacing saturated fats, as they could increase harmful cholesterol levels, thus raising your risk of heart conditions. Trans fats are equally detrimental as they could trigger an inflammatory response in the body.
The top healthy fats to include in your kitchen include cold-pressed flax oil, virgin and extra virgin olive oil, ghee, avocado oil, and raw nuts. Avoid refined oils, as most contain harmful agents. Have you ever asked yourself, “what is refined olive oil?” This is usually fatty and acidic oil obtained through refining with acids and alkalis. The refiners then add extra virgin olive oil to add flavor to the tasteless oil.
Snacking is a common habit among adults and children. While it is a good idea, it would be best to make healthy snack choices that will make you feel and look better. If you consider rethinking your snacks, include popcorn, rice cakes, apples, carrots, and nuts. Cultivate a healthy habit, and your loved ones will also toe the line.
For the drinks, you can add fruits or herbs to plain water for taste. If not, then blend fruits, but take it moderately. Fat-free milk and vegetable juice will also be a healthy choice for adults and children alike. Whatever you snack, remember to check the nutrition label to ensure the well-being of your loved ones.
Healthy Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are ideal in flavoring meals. Ensure that every meal you prepare has healthy spices. It will not only encourage your loved ones to eat more but will also impact their well-being. It is advisable to use several herbs in a meal, depending on the taste you intend to achieve. Since most herbs are palatable, they can help you minimize ingredients like salt and sugar.
Some herbs like cinnamon are bark and root extracts, while others like coriander, fenugreek, and basil are leaves. Herbs are known to act as anti-inflammatory, thus reducing the chances of damaged cells in your body. Some herbs are available in the form of capsules and pills. Although they may be helpful, it would be best to consume herbs in their original form.
It is essential to consider your family’s needs when preparing meals. When pregnant, for instance, you should take bigger portions of veggies and fruits. It would also be best to consume foods rich in iron. But, ideally, you should eat a balanced diet containing proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and unsaturated oil.