Keeping the family healthy

2016-12-21 06:02

ACROSS South Africa thousands of households are feeling the pressure of a tight household food budget. It's often easier to grab fast food or ready-made meals, which may be a huge time-saver, but may not be the healthiest option for our body.

Just simply knowing and understanding which foods are good for you and how to organise them, could change the well-being of the whole family.

Breakfasts for Better Days dietician, Cheryl Meyer, shares her top tips on keeping the family and your bank account healthy.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead of time means you are less likely to overspend on snacks and on-to-go options or overeat as a family. It also means that you can plan healthy options for everyone, using ingredients that are accounted for across the week. A big plus about planning ahead is cost-effectiveness - thorough planning of meals and snacks means you can stick to a shopping list and because all items will be used during the course of the week, it reduces wastage.

Breakfast for a better day

Making time for breakfast should be a priority. Having a balanced breakfast like a bowl of cereal and milk can ensure you are getting many of the vital vitamins your family needs including iron, vitamin A and protein.

Eat your five a day

Aim to include plenty of vegetables and fruit during the day. These can accompany your morning cereal, provide a snack throughout the day and give the perfect added extra to evening meals. Incorporate fruit and vegetables in your diet that cover a spectrum of different colours. This will add visual-appeal to your plate while increasing the number and variety of vitamins, minerals and protective compounds that you consume.

Limit sugar and salt

Try to limit your intake of artificial sugars or added sugar to meals. If you are looking for a little extra flavour, use natural herbs and spices during food preparation rather than added salt and sugar. This also means trying to avoid sugar in tea and coffee. Gradually reduce the amount you add until you can leave it out altogether - this means you have time to adjust and soon won't miss it at all.

Help growth

Proteins are vital for muscle repair and growth. If your budget is a little tight, serve meat less often opting instead for beans and other legumes, fish or chicken. Legumes like split peas, lentils and dry beans are also a great way to make a meat dish go meal a further by bulking up your meal and increasing your fibre intake. - GGi Communications.

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