How To Prepare Meals With the Nutrients Your Family Needs

Not only is food a critical element to survival but to many people, it is a great source of joy and happiness. The problem is that there are so many rich, unhealthy choices out there that are both tasty and easily accessible. When you're driving home after everybody's been running late, picking up burgers or a pizza becomes the easy choice. Getting into the habit of preparing your own meals, though, will necessarily produce healthier results. 

Preparing meals doesn't have to be a gourmet experience. If you can read a recipe book, you can cook healthy. There are a few tenets to cooking healthy meals to pay attention to when the goal is to provide your family with the nutrients they need to function at maximum capacity.

Choose Fresh Ingredients

Any diet will benefit from the application of fresh ingredients. When you start with a base of fresh vegetables, you're automatically racking up vitamins and nutrients. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables has been proven to protect against cancer and other maladies. When discussing Thrive side effects, for instance, you eliminate any associated with chemicals common to the food industry because only all-natural ingredients are used. 

Aim for Balance

Balance is important in a diet. You shouldn't be eating huge portions of meats or starches to tiny portions of vegetables. On the contrary, the more vegetables make their way onto your plate, in any form - except for breaded and fried - the better. Meats are a major source of B-complex vitamins but these can be found in loads of other foods, like milk, cheese and eggs. Meat is also a rich source of protein, iron, iodine, zinc and fatty acids. 

Go Unprocessed

Often, the foods that people eat are processed. Folks generally bake, boil, fry, toast or otherwise apply some kind of cooking technique to their food. Eating raw vegetables means you don't lose a single positive element to processing. 

Try boiling up some rice and adding some chopped, raw cauliflower or broccoli. You could add cloves, ginger and cilantro for kick and some lime juice or soy sauce for extra flavor. 

Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and green beans can all find their way onto plates as sides without being cooked the same way that lettuce and baby spinach can be added to tacos. They offer a fabulous textural juxtaposition against the cooked portion of the meal. 

Try These Meals ...

For warm weather, Caesar salads with your choice of meat or fish are fresh, delicious and easy. Blackened salmon, haddock or chicken or even grilled steak or pork are all popular over a salad. Preparing a blackening mix from simple ingredients is as easy as mixing together cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper.

For chilly weather, soups are filled with flavor and healthy ingredients. You have great control when you prepare your own soups. You can use low or sodium-free bouillon, for instance, to control the amount of sodium that you're serving to the family. As soups are mostly liquid, they are a great way to stay hydrated. Because they are often filled with nutrient-rich vegetables, they are renowned for giving your immune system a boost. 

Feeding your family healthy meals that provide them with the vitamins and nutrients they need does not need to come at the expense of flavor.  On the contrary, homemade meals aren't just necessarily healthier than pre-made meals or fast food but because they use fresh, well-proportioned ingredients, they tend to taste better. Beyond taste, though, cultivating a healthy diet has a significant effect on diminishing the chances of health-related issues like high blood pressure and diabetes.