We all have our favorite family recipes. These foods often bring back fond childhood memories, and they remind us of time spent with our loved ones. Some recipes may have even been passed down for generations.
Oftentimes, family favorites are the recipes loaded with butter, cheese, fatty meats, and refined carbohydrates. They can be very high in calories, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates. If you and your family are trying to eat healthier, these foods can also present a challenge. But that doesn’t mean you have to give them up.
It's okay to treat yourself to these favorites on occasion. Just serve up smaller portions and try adding some healthy side dishes. There are also some simple substitutions that you can use to make your favorites a bit more nutritious. Try some of the ingredient swaps and tips below.
- Add cooked broccoli to macaroni and cheese or your favorite casserole
- Add extra carrots, celery, and onions to your beef stew
- Add cooked zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots to your pasta sauce
When you include grains in your meal plan, try to choose whole grains at least half the time. Here are a few healthy swaps to try when it comes to grains.
Dairy products vary a lot in the amount of calories and unhealthy fat. Here are some easy swaps you can make when cooking with dairy and eggs.
Perhaps you’d rather leave your family favorites alone, which can also work. Just be sure that you fit it into your meal plan, which may mean serving up smaller portions. For meal planning, you might be interested in our online tracking tool MyFoodAdvisor. Use MyFoodAdvisor to track your food intake and for analyzing recipes. Our Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook is another helpful resource, making classic comfort foods more diabetes-friendly and easy to prepare.
by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN
With a few adjustments, these recipes can be served with or without poultry, fish, or meat. Use promo code NEWGENT25 at checkout to receive 25% off The With or Without Meat Cookbook during the month of May.
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