Q: It's challenging to make sure my family has healthy choices – what should I look for in an evening meal?

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Q: It’s challenging to make sure my family has healthy choices – what should I look for in an evening meal?

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When planning an evening meal, start with a carbohydrate base. This could start with some breadsticks or croutons in soups for evening snack. For dinner, cereals like chapatti (preferably from multi-grain flour), rice (brown rice is a healthier option) should be included, Include a source of protein such as pulses, lean meat, , fish, eggs, tofu or a glass of milk (low fat like Nestlé Slim milk) Add a colourful mix of vegetables and/or fruit to provide fibre, vitamins and minerals. The evening meal can be an opportunity to make up for a poor intake of particular nutrients. For example, if family members struggle with getting adequate calcium, make a pasta sauce or curry based vegetable with milk or cheese.. If iron absorption is a problem, combine lean red meat or green leafy vegetables with vegetables rich in vitamin C. If your family members are reluctant vegetable eaters, hide grated carrot and zucchini in spaghetti sauce or slice some raw vegetable sticks as appetisers. Serve a wide variety of foods and your family will receive all the nutrients they require.

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Salad

A gigantic Farmer’s Market-style salad with a variety of fresh seasonal produce and fresh herbs, such as fresh baby arugula and radicchio, and red wine vinegar sassed up with a little horseradish. Enjoy visiting your local Farmer’s Market every week and asking the vendors, “What’s new and tasty this week? What would make great ingredients for my salad?”

 

When dining out and ordering fish, request that your fish not be salted or basted in calorie-dense ingredients like olive oil and butter. Healthier cooking options include steaming, broiling, or grilling.
Baked Potato with 2 Tablespoons Fat-Free Sour Cream and a Sprinkling of Chives or Scallions

Contrary to popular belief, potatoes are a great food for helping you lose weight. It’s what we put on top of our potatoes – butter, cheese, and bacon bits – that turn them into waistline-busting foods.

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Veggie Burger on a Whole-Wheat Bun with Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Keep stocked in your refrigerator or freezer a box of veggie burgers (look for low-sodium varieties). Veggie burgers are a much better choice for your waistline and heart than ground meat. Veggie patties have only about half the calories of regular red meat patties, and zero heart-hurting saturated fat. Plus, they’re so easy to cook – just one or two minutes in the microwave. While toasting your whole-wheat bun, take from your pantry a jar of roasted red bell peppers and top your veggie patty with a couple of luscious slices. Smear your bun with a little low-sodium Dijon mustard.
Steamed Fresh Vegetables

1 or more cups (it’s hard to go overboard on fresh veggies!) of steamed fresh vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, and/or cauliflower, with lemon juice and sautéed garlic.

Dessert (only if hungry)

Fresh Berries

1 cup fresh strawberries, plain or drizzled with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or Marsala wine

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