HOME COOKING, HEALTHY EATING

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The following content is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Stressful days, activity-packed nights, and differing tastes can make cooking at home feel like another daunting task on the to-do list! Rest assured you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 80 percent of families don’t know what they’re having for dinner at 4:00 p.m., making less healthy take-out a tempting call. Healthy cooking doesn’t have to be time-intensive and pressure-packed. Try these simple tips to make healthy cooking a breeze.

blue divider HOME COOKING, HEALTHY EATING

PLAN AHEAD

Create a weekly meal plan to save time. Check out cookbooks, websites, and blogs for healthy recipe ideas. Strive to use whole, fresh, and in-season foods when possible, as well as lean meats, low-fat dairy, and unrefined grains. Use your meal plan to create a healthy shopping list.
blue divider HOME COOKING, HEALTHY EATING

KEEP A WELL-STOCKED KITCHEN

Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy ingredients to make throwing a meal together a snap! Have plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand. Frozen options are equally as healthy and convenient. Stock cabinets with healthy fats such as olive and canola oil; dried herbs for seasoning; vinegars for dressings and marinades; canned beans and tomatoes; whole-grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat pasta; and salsa to get started.

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EQUIP WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Healthy cooking can be easier with the right gear. From slow-cookers and choppers to sharp knives and food processors, these tools can cut back on prep and cook times.

blue divider HOME COOKING, HEALTHY EATING

PREP AHEAD

Prep vegetables and fruit ahead of time. Once or twice a week, take time to wash, peel, and chop produce for upcoming meals. At the very least, prep the night before so you can quickly throw your evening meal together after a long day at work.

blue divider HOME COOKING, HEALTHY EATING

ENJOY THE PROCESS AS WELL AS THE MEAL

Cooking can be fun. Play music or light a candle. Get the family involved. Turn off all distractions, sit down, and enjoy your healthful meal. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with your family and help children develop lifelong healthful eating patterns!
blue divider HOME COOKING, HEALTHY EATING

TIPS

-Make half og your plate fruit and vegetables )1/4 healthy protein and 1/4 whole-grain).
-Prepare a meal wtih at least three food groups.
-Add a salad to any meal. Just toss fresh, dark, leafy greens; vegetables of choice; chopped nuts; dried fruits; and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or fresh lemon or lime juice. Top with freshly ground pepper.
-Use a 9-inch plate to control portion sizes.
-Strive for 1-3 servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal and 1-2 at each snack to get your 5-9 servings each day.

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