Enjoy these delicious diet recipes for a healthy way to manage your weight.
To be considered in our Healthy Diet collection, main dishes have 350 calories or less, 20 grams or less total fat and 5 grams or less saturated fat per serving. All of these recipes and menus are great choices for healthy weight control and weight loss over the long term. Best of all, you won't have to sacrifice flavor for lowered calories! See our complete nutrition guidelines.
Make Health a Habit – For All :
Taking simple steps to improve our health and the health of our families can lead to long, productive lives. Explore the pathways below to make sure your family is living their best.
What's standing between your family and healthy foods? Learn how to meet the nutritional needs of your family.
Eating more nutritious foods that lead to a healthier life is a common goal for many families. But the question is, how? How do we turn that goal into action and start taking the necessary steps to eat better?
Learn what the nutritional needs are for your family, and take on healthy changes to eat better.
Increase Fruits and Vegetables
Only 20% of high school students in our country report eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. You might be like many families who don't have easy access to stores that carry the produce your family needs. And even if you do have access to fresh produce, it's another challenge to get your family to eat enough fruits and vegetables to feel as full as they would from eating a meal from a fast food restaurant. It takes planning and trial and error to increase the fresh fruits and veggies your family eats, but you will see many benefits over time.
Eat Real Food
Over the past 30 years, the rates of childhood obesity have been increasing steadily. During these same 30 years, our country has seen a rise in the amount of calories our kids are consuming in the form of fast food, food from convenience stores, and the many other snacks our children eat outside the home. It's more commonly called junk food. And we have the opportunity to lower the amount of junk food our families are eating by increasing the amount of healthful, homemade meals and healthy snacks they consume.
Drop Liquid Calories
Today, we are drinking more sugary beverages than ever before. And this trend has hit hardest with our kids. Sugar-sweetened beverages are now the largest source of added sugar in the diets of our nation's youth. But the good news is that most of these sugary beverages are consumed at home, so we as parents, as caregivers, as big brothers and sisters, can have a direct impact on decreasing the amount of empty calories our families are consuming from these sweet drinks.
Real Food, Not Junk Food
We consume a lot of calories at home. Unfortunately, home has become the place for fast food and snack food convenience. While not ideal, home is where we grab the candy bar or bag of chips and sit in front of the television. Home is where we sit down to eat after stopping at the drive-thru. But it doesn't have to be. The steps below will give you specific actions that you can take to turn your home into a healthy environment for your entire family.
Make Real Food Easy
Healthy foods should be the easy snacking options around the house. We grab for chips or cookies because chips and cookies are there. If fruit is sitting in a bowl on the counter, we would grab for that instead. Real foods should also be the easy meal options around the house. This takes planning. We often stop at the drive-thru for a quick dinner instead of going to the grocery store to pick up food to prepare. Make your trips to the grocery store last for the week. Plan out the meals you will eat every night so that the quick fast food stop is not even a temptation.
Set Food Rules
Decide which junk foods you simply do not want in the house and make a rule to keep them out.
- No non-nutrient snacks in the house
- Our house is a "no fry zone"
- No sugar-sweetened drinks in the house
- Only whole foods in the refrigerator
- Half of our grain servings will be whole-grains
- Whole-grains will be the first ingredient on the nutrition label
Show respect to any traditional meals prepared for your family, and show respect to your family by making those meals good for their health. Infuse your traditional dishes with fresh produce and spices and consider growing all the veggies and herbs you need in a family garden.
Some of our favorite meals often include meat. By replacing fatty meats with lean meat and grilling instead of frying you can quickly cut down the calories of your family's favorites
In Your Own Backyard
Introduce your family to the idea of farm-to-table foods, or better yet, family-garden-to-family-table foods. Your family will have a stronger connection to the healthy foods they eat when they feel a sense of ownership over the fruits and vegetables they've helped plant, watched grow, and prepared for their meals.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables will keep your family attuned to what's fresh and what's out of season. The vibrant colors and flavors of your seasonal produce can encourage you to try new recipes and healthy recreations of old recipes.