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#1 greentiger

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:26 AM

I decided its time to feed my family healthier foods and am looking for helpful suggestions as to what changes i can make which don't require too much time or money.

So far i do the obvious and try to keep chemical foods out of the house. No msg, no parve whip and i also never use margarine. We drink only water during the week and even for shabbos i try to make sure the sweet drinks don't include coke. Thats about as far as the healthy eating goes... I use white pasta and rice mainly because of the cost difference. Bread varies -sometimes we eat dark and sometimes white. We don't eat enough veggies and i rarely prepare a fresh salad -partly because of the hassle and time involved and partly because of the hassle of always having the right fresh veggies on hand. I realized that soups work best for me because i cook the vegetables so don't have to worry about them rotting in the fridge. My kids eat corn flakes for breakfast -not a sugar cereal, but not the best breakfast option either.

So far i hope to incorporate more whole grains and vegetables into our diet. What other changes can i make? What are some good foods to cook that aren't too complicated?
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#2 agent220

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:02 PM

Depending on what your regular menu fare is, you can many times make what you always make and just add things to it. Add wheat germ and flaxseed to breading. Veggies to lasagnas and casseroles (frozen work fine). Fruit into pancakes. Experiment -- it really doesn't take much extra time if you have your "go to" recipes already and just spruce them up....you can always work on new recipes later on after you get a feel of what works for you in terms of perishables, etc.
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#3 greentiger

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:02 PM

Frozen is a great idea. I don't know why but besides for spinach i never buy frozen veggies. Its a good way to keep vegetables on hand. Whats the nutritional difference with frozen vegetables though? I've heard from people that frozen vegetables lose all their nutrients?
I've been thinking of getting flaxseed for a while. I'm just very scared of trying new foods and not entirely sure what to look for. Whats wheat germ good for?
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#4 Jennifer

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:14 PM

Eating frozen vegetables is still better than eating prepackaged snacks. :)

#5 Xi

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:48 PM

I second the frozen veggies. It's been a great help in my family. It's also a 'gateway drug' -- once you get used to serving vegetables, somehow it gets easier to make them fresh (maybe because you know how often / that they'll get eaten, how to serve them, etc).
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#6 greentiger

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:43 AM

Eating frozen vegetables is still better than eating prepackaged snacks. :)

right but its not one or the other. It just means we fill up on more carbs and proteins when we eat.


does flaxseed and wheat germ need a hechsher?

I second the frozen veggies. It's been a great help in my family. It's also a 'gateway drug' -- once you get used to serving vegetables, somehow it gets easier to make them fresh (maybe because you know how often / that they'll get eaten, how to serve them, etc).

Makes sense. Which are best to keep around?
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#7 Xi

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:07 AM

Makes sense. Which are best to keep around?

Broccoli / cauliflower is a favorite. Also various mixed veggies go well.
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#8 agent220

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:55 AM

I constantly keep frozen peppers in the freezer for pizza toppings and stir fries.
Zucchini is also good to layer in lasagnas or omelets. I switch off with that and spinach. I also top pizza with that.
Broccoli is a mainstay. Cauliflower is not such a hit here, but I sneak it into tomato-sauce based dinners.
We love frozen green beans and snow peas as they're delicious steamed.
I also have corn on the cob in the freezer as a quick pull out side.
I keep a bag of frozen mixed veggies (carrots, lima beans, green beans, corn, etc) to add into casseroles and quick veggie soups.

I don't know the answer about wheat germ/flaxseed needing a hechsher. Wheat germ is a great source of fiber, has vitamins, and adds a pinch of protein.

Oh, I also add nuts to a lot of things for added good fat and protein -- e.g. stirfries, baking....

You can also experiment with subbing honey vs white sugar or even applesauce in baking.
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#9 Xi

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:14 PM

Zucchini is also good to layer in lasagnas.

Yes! And colored peppers in the meat.
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#10 greentiger

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:28 PM

Lasagnas are actually one of the areas where i go heavy on the vegetables. I use loads of zucchini and spinach but fresh zucchini-i never knew it freezes. I also never heard of frozen peppers. Still even when i layer my lasagnes and casseroles with vegetables, its still not nearly the amount i should be serving per meal right?. I mean one zucchini layered into a pan of say 5 servings is a 1/5 of a zucchini per meal. Thats not really all that much unless you are serving with a soup or a salad.
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#11 Xi

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:16 PM

Lasagnas are actually one of the areas where i go heavy on the vegetables. I use loads of zucchini and spinach but fresh zucchini-i never knew it freezes. I also never heard of frozen peppers. Still even when i layer my lasagnes and casseroles with vegetables, its still not nearly the amount i should be serving per meal right?. I mean one zucchini layered into a pan of say 5 servings is a 1/5 of a zucchini per meal. Thats not really all that much unless you are serving with a soup or a salad.

I meant fresh. :)
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#12 Belle

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:22 PM

Try healthier cereal in the morning. Add some cinnamon and honey/sugar to it, it's still way better than a junky cereal.

I also add veggies to pasta and chicken, so she eats all of it together.

Keep yogurt around if possible as a snack. Plain, and add your own honey and/or fruit to it.
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#13 agent220

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:47 PM

Zucchini freezes :) As do peppers. I either buy frozen or when I'm using a bunch and have extra (e.g. 3 peppers for a stir fry for color, but don't need that much in a pan, I'll freeze the extra strips).
Frozen actually doesn't result in many lost nutrients -- canned does, but frozen does not. It's in the cooking, but cooking fresh veggies does the same thing.

ANY amount of veggie is better than none. If you don't want to do salads and don't feel like cooking veggies, raw veggie platters put out with a dip or dressing go quickly with kids around. Pepper strips, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumber strips, sometimes baby corn...it gets gobbled up.

For breakfast, you can also alternate oatmeal with cereal or make things in advance to warm up like a frittatta. I sometimes whip up 8 eggs with 2 C of flour and 2 C of milk, bake at 450 for 20 minutes or so in a pan with oil (or butter) till it puffs up and browns and serve the warm squares with honey on the side for dipping. You can also add fruit like blueberries to it, but my kids don't care for it.
Homemade granola is also a delicious staple for breakfast or snacks. I make homemade yogurt and add the granola to it.
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#14 LoveToLaugh

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:43 PM

you guys are so inspiring.

sigh.

signed,
if_you'd_only_know_what_my_kids_eat_for_breakfast.

(I do try to offer fruit when I can but right now its getting whats on sale and is easier which gets onto the dinner table.....)
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

#15 Xi

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:12 AM

you guys are so inspiring.

sigh.

signed,
if_you'd_only_know_what_my_kids_eat_for_breakfast.

(I do try to offer fruit when I can but right now its getting whats on sale and is easier which gets onto the dinner table.....)

As a kid I'd eat fruit if it was frozen. Frozen strawberries or grapes are a perfect nosh (though not breakfast), and they last longer than the day of their unfrozen counterparts.

ETA -- We also try to buy cut up fruit once in a while. It's more expensive, but actually gets eaten, which makes it cheaper per unit of enjoyment. (This is to the original concern of healthy needing too much prep.)

Same with salads. If we buy little tomatoes that don't need to be cut we end up making more salad -- all it involves is chopping up some lettuce and throwing in tomatoes.
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#16 greentiger

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:30 AM

As a kid I'd eat fruit if it was frozen. Frozen strawberries or grapes are a perfect nosh (though not breakfast), and they last longer than the day of their unfrozen counterparts.

ETA -- We also try to buy cut up fruit once in a while. It's more expensive, but actually gets eaten, which makes it cheaper per unit of enjoyment. (This is to the original concern of healthy needing too much prep.)

Same with salads. If we buy little tomatoes that don't need to be cut we end up making more salad -- all it involves is chopping up some lettuce and throwing in tomatoes.

Yeah i was thinking of that. If i just accept the fact i'm not gonna bother with a salad (i LOVEto eat salads btw just hate preparing them) then i should just get a bag of precut and washed lettuce, toss cherry tomatoes in and be over with it.

We also used to eat frozen strawberries and grapes as kids. My siblings loved it but i never cared too much for frozen fruit.

Zucchini freezes :) As do peppers. I either buy frozen or when I'm using a bunch and have extra (e.g. 3 peppers for a stir fry for color, but don't need that much in a pan, I'll freeze the extra strips).
Frozen actually doesn't result in many lost nutrients -- canned does, but frozen does not. It's in the cooking, but cooking fresh veggies does the same thing.

ANY amount of veggie is better than none. If you don't want to do salads and don't feel like cooking veggies, raw veggie platters put out with a dip or dressing go quickly with kids around. Pepper strips, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumber strips, sometimes baby corn...it gets gobbled up.

For breakfast, you can also alternate oatmeal with cereal or make things in advance to warm up like a frittatta. I sometimes whip up 8 eggs with 2 C of flour and 2 C of milk, bake at 450 for 20 minutes or so in a pan with oil (or butter) till it puffs up and browns and serve the warm squares with honey on the side for dipping. You can also add fruit like blueberries to it, but my kids don't care for it.
Homemade granola is also a delicious staple for breakfast or snacks. I make homemade yogurt and add the granola to it.

Sounds good but WAY too time consuming for me. You are far more busy than me i don't know how you do these things.

Try healthier cereal in the morning. Add some cinnamon and honey/sugar to it, it's still way better than a junky cereal.

Good point.
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#17 greentiger

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:39 AM

you guys are so inspiring.

sigh.

signed,
if_you'd_only_know_what_my_kids_eat_for_breakfast.

(I do try to offer fruit when I can but right now its getting whats on sale and is easier which gets onto the dinner table.....)

My advice is just block it out if it overwhelms you. While some people may have you beleive otherwise, you aren't killing your kids by feeding them processed foods. If you don't feel ready to make changes then don't. Do what works for you and don't feel guilty about it. During my pregnancy my kids ate frozen pizzas and soy hotdogs for supper every night. It was what i needed to do to get by at that stage. Now i'm on my feet, have more time and energy, so i figure now is a good time to introduce better habits.
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right

If a man stands in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

#18 Xi

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:55 AM

My advice is just block it out if it overwhelms you. While some people may have you beleive otherwise, you aren't killing your kids by feeding them processed foods. If you don't feel ready to make changes then don't. Do what works for you and don't feel guilty about it. During my pregnancy my kids ate frozen pizzas and soy hotdogs for supper every night. It was what i needed to do to get by at that stage. Now i'm on my feet, have more time and energy, so i figure now is a good time to introduce better habits.

double :thumbsup:
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#19 Jennifer

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:14 AM

right but its not one or the other. It just means we fill up on more carbs and proteins when we eat.

If you can stick to the 10-30-60 method of 10% carbs, 30% proteins, and 60% vegetables, your body will adjust and you'll crave the carbs much, much less. :)

#20 greentiger

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:41 AM

If you can stick to the 10-30-60 method of 10% carbs, 30% proteins, and 60% vegetables, your body will adjust and you'll crave the carbs much, much less. :)

i dont usually crave carbs. they are just so much easier to prepare than the vegetables.
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right

If a man stands in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?




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