It's easy to rely on grab-and-go meals during the week. To help us make them healthier, our nutritionist Theresa Albert shares her tips and recipes for week night meal success!
Everyone feels the time crunch during the week, so to save time cook big batches of food and prep your veggies on the weekend. Also remember that cooking together make for quality family time. Healthy eating is more important than anything else you can do with your family!
Three tips for weeknight meal success
1. Prep before you store. Prep your groceries after shopping to save you time during the week. The 30 minutes extra you spend here will save you hours during the week.
2. Use your freezer. Make your own homemade healthy frozen dinners. Save money and time. If you make one lasagna, why not make two more and freeze them!
3. Ace go-to recipes. Master a handful of recipes and have those ingredients on hand at all times. Master oven recipes as well so you don't spend time hovering over the stove
Make these common weeknight family meals healthier with this advice from Theresa.
The bad: Traditional pizza is loaded with oil, cheese and not enough healthy protein. Takeout never has enough vegetables so as a meal, it doesn't do much in the nutrition department.
The good: Rebalance and bump up the health ingredients! Add a salad and fill up on that first. Also, choose a thin crust and add extra tomato paste, herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, and arugula.
If you have to rely on take-out pizza, don't get any meat on it. The meats that land on pizza are high fat and high salt. Always order whole grain thin crust, and if you want dipping sauce, make sure it's a tomato based.
Fish Sticks and Fries
The bad: Breading or deep fried fat negates the benefits of fish. Deep fried fats are not only caloric, they're inflammatory and bad for the liver.
The good: We do want kids eating more fish. It has omega 3 to help build brain cells! Make homemade fish sticks and baked sweet potato fries to lower the calories and increase the nutrients.
There is no benefit to ordering fish sticks and fries, so try to stay away. If you have to, skip the tartar sauce and remove the batter, just eat the fish!
Click here for Theresa's healthy fish sticks recipe
The bad: Rotisserie chicken is usually based with a lot of salt and oil. The sides that accompany it are usually filled with fat, cream and salt.
The good: Chicken is excellent protein and if you remove the skin, it can be a lean choice. A roasted chicken is great for any weeknight meal because it's fresh and easy to pick up on the way home from work.
If you have to rely on takeout rotisserie chicken, keep your side dishes green and high in potassium. Baked potatoes with skin, dark greens, beans and salad.
Click here for Theresa's Baked mashed potato recipe