It’s a tough thing to do sometimes, isn’t it? I for one have faced the choice between buying foods that are low in fat and healthy, versus buying something for all of the family that is cheaper, but maybe not as healthy. When I was trying to lose weight, I found the easiest thing to do was not to tell anyone I was on a diet; rather I just cooked the same meals for the family in a different way to what I had done previously.
We all know that you can buy a huge bag of frozen chips and some cheap burgers for probably around two quid and that would be enough to feed the family, but what I had to discover was how to make them the things they love, in a healthy way, without spending too much money. Obesity as we all know is getting to be a massive problem in this country, and along with obesity, you then run the risks of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and much, much more. Childhood obesity is developing at an alarming rate and at the end of the day, many parents will have to take a look at what they are feeding the family in order to try and prevent this killer problem from developing.
Think about it, not many children do their own food shopping, do they? As parents it is up to us to take action now and ensure that our kids have the best possible start in life. One way of getting the kids to be interested in food is to involve them in the preparation. Get them to help you with mixing, chopping, (under supervision,) and stirring things. When they have helped to prepare a meal, they are far more likely to want to eat it. So enlist the help of your kids with finding delicious, low fat recipes that the whole family can enjoy.
Chips… Everyone’s favourite food! But you don’t have to fry them to make them taste good. Baking potatoes work equally as well. I find that one 8 ounce baking potato will easily feed one person and can often be shared between two kids. Wash them and cut into wedges, leaving the skins on for maximum nutrition. Par-boil for around 8 minutes and then drain, leaving in the colander for ten minutes, so that they steam dry. Pre-heat the oven to 180 and line a baking tray with parchment paper and then give a few sprays of Fry-light. Toss the part-cooked potatoes into a large bowl and add some paprika, or chilli or curry powder or dried herbs, (whatever flavouring you like works just as well.) Place the potatoes in a single layer on the baking tray and cook for around 20-30 minutes until golden, turning carefully half-way through.
Mince is a staple in most households and the extra lean variety does cost more, although I have discovered that it actually better value when you dry-fry it. If you usually use normal mince, just place that in a pan with no fat and cook gently. You will be amazed at the amount of fat that comes out and how little mince you actually have left to cook with. now do the same with lean mince; you get far more meat at the end of it and can therefore use less, saving money and being healthier into the bargain!
Read my next post for some more ideas on how to cook healthy food for your family on a budget.