SIMPLE – Nutrition Ninja

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Simple Innovative Meal Plannin - Love EatingEating healthy always sounds great until you are faced with a food or food group that you aren’t crazy about.  Then what?  Factor in a family where everyone like and dislikes different things and you can end up playing short order cook or just resorting to the drive thru….again.

So how do you get everyone to eat the same balanced and nutritious meal?  You have to use your ninja skills.  Ninjas are quick so no need to fear, these ideas are fast and simple.  You will have to plan ahead a little and put some thought in to making this work in your kitchen.

Let’s start with veggies; because, that is the one I hear the most people complain about.  It is also one of the easiest foods to sneak in to your diet.  There is a vast array of veggies out there, be adventurous try some new ones, prepare some old standards in new ways.  Vegetables can be steamed, baked, broiled and grilled.  Try different seasonings – just don’t drown them in sauces or you have defeated the purpose of developing a palette for the green stuff.

Okay so maybe not everyone is so open minded about eating there veggies; this is where the sneaky ninja skills come in.  Get out your food processor and toss those fresh, clean and dry  veggies in there.  You decide the texture – the smaller the pieces – the easier they are to hide.  Now you are ready to sprinkle nutrition into all your meals.  If it is something where the green veggie flecks will be obvious, like an omelet or soup; start small.  Only add a little at first and each time use a bit more.  You can develop a liking for veggies and your body begins to crave those nutrients.   Start sprinkling those veggies on all kinds of things: grilled cheese sandwiches, mac & cheese, casserole, pizza, the choices are endless.

Now maybe you have a super sleuth in your house and they are on to your clever tactics. It is time for you to pull out the super ninja skills.  Add a little water to the food processor as you chop those veggies up and now you have a veggie sauce.  This works great in tomato based dishes like spaghetti and tomato soup.  You can also add it to dishes that use ground beef; think meatloaf or even in hamburgers.

Be creative.  Keep trying.  You have to try things several times before you can be truly sure if you like or dislike the taste.  Now that you have the veggies going I am going to give you few other small and simple ways to add nutrition to the dishes you prepare (this will even work on the premade dinner you bought from the deli).  Keep ground flax seeds in a spice shaker and start sprinkling a bit on to your food – the flavor isn’t very strong so it goes well on everything from yogurt to beef roast.  Consider it garnish and most kids love the idea of extra “sprinkles” on their food.  You can also you chia seeds this way.  Using these little sprinkles adds Omega-3 essential fatty acid, fiber, protein and calcium to your diet.

Making these little changes can add up.  Stick with it.  Making changes gradually is going to increase your chances for successfully sticking with them. What foods do you or your family struggle to work in to your diet?