The holidays are here, and it’s time to start making preparations for our family meal. During these times, sweets and cookies are abundant for all the kids. With all those treats, it may be hard to keep track of their health, but you can always make up for it by creating a healthy Christmas dinner.
When it comes to eating healthy, kids are hard to convince, but a few minor adjustments can easily make them change your mind. If you want to make dinner both healthy and delicious for the kids, try out these options.
Server roasted vegetables instead of salads
When people think of healthy food, they usually think of salads. But let’s be honest, salads are kind of boring when you’re not that good at choosing the right greens and dressing. The problem with salads is that many kids don’t like plain greens, and the dressings aren’t always something that kids like. Another alternative is roasting things. You can add a variety of seasonings to give them a flavor that kids would love.
Another great thing about roasting is that it can also retain nutrients. Studies found that certain vegetables can keep their nutrient content when baked in the oven. This includes artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, celery, eggplant, green beans, onions, and spinach. Some nutrients are even enhanced when high heat is applied to them.
Kids love crunchy food, and roasted vegetables can do just that. The outside is crisp, while the inside is soft and flavorful. It’s a great way to convince them to eat veggies this holiday season.
Roast, grill, or bake instead of fry
If you plan to serve fried chicken or fries this year, you can try baking them instead of frying them. Food can actually absorb a lot of oil when you fry them. The amount of oil absorbed is around eight to 25 percent of the weight of the food. Although fat is good to a certain amount, too much of it is extremely unhealthy and increases their overall cholesterol level.
Unlike frying, cooking over a grill or in the oven doesn’t require any additional fats. In fact, these methods of cooking rely solely on the fats in the meat. You will notice that in most cases, the excess fat from the meat actually drips off. This is a great way to make sure that you don’t have too much fat when serving meat. Another option is using an air fryer.
Use zucchini for noodles
For those who plan to make some pasta this year, you can try sneaking in some more vegetables using zucchini noodles instead of pasta noodles. They hardly taste anything, so the kids will barely notice the difference once you add the sauce. It’s high in potassium and vitamin, great for keeping their bones and muscles strong.
Zucchini noodles are also good for weight management because it has significantly fewer carbs than regular pasta noodles. That means all you pasta-lovers can eat a bit more than your usual this Christmas. Alternatively, you can consider spaghetti squash as another vegetable noodle substitute.
Serve lean meat
Going healthy doesn’t mean just serving vegetables. When you’re making meat dishes, you should choose lean meats. What does lean meat mean exactly? Those are meat with low fat. The USDA categorizes lean meat as 100 grams of meat with fewer than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
Both white and red meat can be considered lean meat as long as it has low fat. Some examples of beef cuts that are considered lean meat are sirloin and flap steak. Chicken is also a budget-friendly option, but it has to be skinless to be considered lean. Fish is one of the healthier options because it contains omega-3 acids, which lowers heart disease.