The problem with eating healthier is an expensive one. Things like potato chips and foods loaded with high fructose corn syrups are way less expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables. With the economy in a slump, we need to cut back on our grocery bills. It is easy to fall into buying unhealthy foods to pinch a penny. I found myself doing this and gaining weight at the same time. I knew something had to be done about it quickly.
I started checking the high sugars in everything I consumed. The biggest culprit on the list was soda pop. Along with it being bad for you, it is also very expensive. I needed an alternative. So I started making home made fruit juices instead. My favorite is lemonade, with a few fresh raspberries thrown in. Although I do use a bit of sugar, you can also opt to use some kind of sugarless sweetener. On occasions I also drink green tea with a splash of fruit in it.
We all love our hamburger. It is cheap and so easy to prepare. Whether it be tacos, sloppy joes or chili, ground beef is used everyday in all our house holds. But the truth is, it is not so healthy. It contains a lot of fat and is very greasy. My alternative is ground turkey. It has 35 to 40% less fat then ground hamburger. Although it appears to be more expensive then hamburger, it really is not. Hamburger has a tendency to shrink up while cooking in the pan. So much in fact, that when a recipe calls for one pound of ground round, that is all you will get out of it. From one pound of ground turkey, I can actually get two dinners. I have no problem using a half pound of turkey in any recipe that calls for a pound of hamburger. There is no noticeable taste difference in things like tacos or chili.
Kids are picky eaters. We all know they would rather munch on microwave-able pizza snacks then on fruits or vegetables. The difficult thing here is not purchasing the fruit. By the time you purchase the snacks, it pretty much equals out to be the same price. The problem is getting your child, ( and yourself) to eat the, “good for us” foods. The answer here is absolutely delicious. I take apples or pears and cook them. You can simply make an apple or pear sauce on the stove, by boiling them until soft. Drain the water, then add a bit of sugar and cinnamon and stir. Or better yet why not bake your favorite fruit?. Here is one of my favorite baked fruit recipes.
Oatmeal apple bake
8 apples cored and skinned
1 tablespoon flour
2 packets apples and cinnamon oatmeal mix
brown sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons butter (optional)
Cut apples in slices and arrange in a small baking pan. Make sure the bottom of the pan has about half of a cup of water in it, along with the 2 teaspoons of butter. Sprinkle a full tablespoon of flour over the apples. Add only enough sugar to eliminate any sour taste to the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and mix thoroughly. Then sprinkle the 2 packets of apples and cinnamon oatmeal over all the apples. For added goodness, (and calories) you can also sprinkle brown sugar over the oatmeal. Bake at 350 degrees for around 15 minutes or until the sauce from the apples appear bubbly.
If you are anything like me, you enjoy vanilla ice cream over any baked fruit dish. I use low fat vanilla frozen yogurt instead. It tastes the same, and has less fat.
By paying close attention to the things your family likes to eat, you can begin to incorporate healthier, less expensive versions of the foods that you love. It is not only beneficial for good health but promotes life long, good eating habits.