Family Meals: Tips for Nutritious, Delicious Fare (cont.)
Good Breakfast Bets
Of course, what you eat for breakfast matters. "Complex carbohydrates are the cornerstone of the most beneficial breakfasts because they produce a long-lasting supply of glucose for the brain and body," Bissex says. "Breakfast should also contain protein, fiber, and some fat to help children and adults feel fuller longer."
Translation: Go for fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, such as Wheat Chex or oatmeal prepared with milk instead of water. When topped with fresh, dried, or frozen fruit, breakfast cereals make a complete meal. And they are ready in a snap.
Time is always tight in the morning, but by keeping breakfast simple so you're sure to include it even on busy days. Here are some more quick and easy morning meals for the family:
For Healthy Dinners, Plan to Succeed
For Chicago's Janet Helm, a working mother of 2-year old twins, planning is paramount for preparing healthy meals, particularly dinner. "You can't make nutritious foods without a well-stocked pantry, refrigerator, and freezer," says Helm, who is also a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant. "Knowing what you have on hand and where it is streamlines meal preparation."
Helm notes that a well-stocked kitchen doesn't mean every meal is made from scratch. Frozen seafood, store-bought roasted chicken, and pre-cut and frozen fruits and vegetables are high on her shopping list because they are good for you and easy to use.
She tosses sauteed or frozen vegetables into store-bought spaghetti sauce for a healthy pasta dish. In a rush, she'll defrost veggie burgers, marinated meats, and frozen fish fillets for quick entrees (Tip: place individual pieces in a sealed plastic bag and immerse in a bowl of hot water. The meat or fish will defrost quickly without par-cooking).