Family-friendly Nutrition for Summer

What children need to eat for good health and a healthy weight isn’t all that different from adults. Creating healthy meals for the entire family, using a nutritious diet, should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, fish, beans, and low-fat or fat-free dairy.

Make it a family affair. Work on improving the diet of everyone in the family. Keeping calories under control during the summer can be fun. As the weather gets warmer, and everyone is spending more time outside, think of ways to use the grill, microwave, or even a slow-cooker.

Traditional barbeque includes foods like hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken. When grilling, think about ways to make the meal healthier:
Cut the fat. Grill turkey burgers.  Ground turkey can be as lean as 99% fat-free.  Ground beef that is 93% lean is also a good choice.  The same for hot dogs. There are now many options for lower fat or fat-free hot dogs using lean meats or turkey.
Add nutrition to the meal. Cook veggies on the grill. Baste vegetables like zucchini, corn, peppers or tomatoes and add herbs for a great new taste.
Change up what’s for dessert. Grill fruit like pineapple or peaches. Serve them on top of low-fat ice cream, yogurt, or angel food cake.

Turning on the stove is not necessary to make a good, nutritious meal. Try using household gadgets. A sandwich press can make nutritious hot sandwiches. A rice cooker can be used to make rice, quinoa or millet that can be eaten as a side dish, or added to a salad for added texture. The microwave can prepare veggies like potatoes, broccoli and carrots.  A crock pot (slow cooker) can be used to keep the heat down in the kitchen and less time cooking.

Other information can be found on www.eatright.org