Ensuring you and your family eat healthy is important. And when superfoods are added to your daily diet, a healthy lifestyle is underway. When everyone at home has a tummy full of nutritious foods, their bodies will remain strong and healthy. With that sentiment in mind, here is a list of a few vital foods that must be incorporated into the family daily diet. These will help in stabilising blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, fighting off diseases, melting fat and in boosting metabolism. Overall wellness lies at the core of a healthy lifestyle and diet, incorporate these food groups in your diet and see the results yourself!
5 Food Groups You Need To Add To Your Daily Diet
The foods in this group are excellent sources of calcium, which is essential for strong and healthy bones. Not many other foods in our diet contain as much calcium as these foods. They’re an excellent source of bone-building calcium, vitamin D, and protein, but go for the low-fat or fat-free versions of milk, yoghurt, and cheese. If you don’t like dairy products, you can also find calcium in dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fish such as salmon, and almond milk. Also, look for calcium-fortified bread and cereals.
Fruit provides vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and many phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants), that help your body stay healthy. Here are some tasty ways to add these nutritious foods to your family’s daily diet:
- Add sliced bananas or blueberries to morning cereal
- Offer a fruit smoothie for breakfast, lunch, or even as dessert. It’s a sneaky way to give your children the vitamins and minerals they need and to help them stay hydrated. Include some sweet-tasting veggies like carrots in the smoothie for a nutritious boost
- Eat fruits in your favourite foods, such as topping your pancakes with strawberries
Always choose wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties of bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and noodles. Refined grain products (such as cakes or biscuits) can be high in added sugar, fat, and sodium. At least half the grains that you and your family consume should be whole grains. When buying wheat, rice, oats, or corn, look at the ingredients label to be sure it says ‘whole grain.’
4. Lean Proteins
Our bodies use the protein we eat to make specialised chemicals such as haemoglobin and adrenaline. Protein also builds, maintains, and repairs the tissues in our body. Muscles and organs (such as your heart) are primarily made of protein. You can add meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans to your diet.
5. Vegetables, Legumes & Beans
Vegetables should make up a large part of your daily diet plan and should be encouraged at every meal (including snack times). They provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, daily recommended carbs, and phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants) to help your body stay healthy. Ways to add vegetables to your diet:
- Add slices of tomato and cucumber as well as lettuce or sprouts to sandwiches. Or, swap mayo and mustard with pureed hummus or pesto
- Add peas or carrots to tomato sauce — and serve it over whole-grain pasta
- You can also try making a pizza with broccoli
The Transition Towards Better Nutrition For Your Family
It’s not easy to make sudden changes in your daily life but to maintain your health you need to learn how to do it. Here are some steps you can take to help your family eat healthily:
1. Eat Together
With everyone’s busy schedule, it can be hard to have dinner on the table at the same time every night. But try to have dinner as a family as often as possible. Scheduling it for the same time every night can make it easier for each family member to plan around it. When families eat together, mom, dad, and kids make healthier meal choices and develop healthier eating habits that they keep when eating away from home.
2. Cook More Often
When you do the cooking, you control how much fat, salt, and other ingredients go into your family’s meals. Prepare your kids’ favourite foods, but make healthier versions — for example, use low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crust to make your own pizza. Get everyone involved in meal planning. Take turns picking menus and preparing foods. Even young children can help. The more involved everyone is, the more they’ll want to eat what’s on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. Stock The Pantry With Healthy Snacks
Fill your shelves with healthy snack options. If you must have potato chips in the house for special occasions, keep them toward the back so they’re harder to see. Cut up fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them in the fridge so that they’re easily accessible when you and your kids reach for a snack. Taking small steps can ensure your requirement of daily nutrition is completed.
4. Make Changes Gradually
Take a gradual approach to improve your family’s nutritional profile. Don’t just decide to throw away all the junk food in your cupboards and refrigerator. It’s better to make changes in your daily diet by planning slowly so your family can adapt more easily to healthy lifestyle changes.
5. Watch Your Portions
It’s okay to eat your favourite food once in a while. If you eliminate your guilty pleasures, such as chocolate or french fries, entirely, you’ll only crave them more. Instead, restrict them to special occasions and control your portions. If you overeat at dinner, start over the next day. Don’t give up on healthy eating just because you fell off the wagon once or twice. Learn how to watch your portion and to eat healthier here.
To prevent your family and yourself from any regular medication or supplements at old age, it is imperative for you to start taking care of your daily nutrition needs now! Eating a well-balanced meal including proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates is the first step to living healthier. It helps keep diseases at bay and builds your immune system. Take your first step towards healthy living today!