Take Supermarket Shortcuts
Although many prepared food items may not be the healthiest choices, you can shop wisely if you read the nutrition labels. Check the sodium content, because many prepared foods have a lot of salt. Compare labels of similar items. Pick the one with the lowest amount of sodium and saturated fat. Most large supermarkets have a variety of heat-and-eat items. All you have to do is assemble the final dish in your kitchen.
- Grab a rotisserie chicken. You can eat it as-is, add it to soups and salads, or use in tacos and casseroles.
- In the meat case you'll find prepared and boil-in-the-bag dishes such as pot roast and chicken that can be ready in minutes.
- Buy bagged salad. Let kids add their own protein (chicken, shrimp, cheese, or hard-boiled eggs) and serve with whole-grain rolls.
Let Supper Sandwiches Rule
Just can't face standing over the stove? Let supper sandwiches come to the rescue. To each of these meals, add a dish or two like a salad, fresh fruit, a steamed fresh or frozen vegetable, or heat up a can of beans. You'll add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your family's meal.
- Top whole-grain buns with lean beef, turkey, or vegetarian patties. Add your favorite trimmings such as lettuce, tomato, sliced cucumbers, and low-fat spreads.
- Stuff warm pita bread pockets with scrambled eggs and cheese, leftover chicken, meatballs, or hummus. Add your family's favorite shredded or diced veggies.
- Top whole wheat toast with tuna and shredded cheese, then broil until the cheese bubbles.
- Fill a folded corn or whole wheat tortilla with shredded cooked chicken, diced tomato, and cheese and warm it in a pan.
Have Breakfast for Dinner
There's no rule that says you have to eat certain foods in the morning and others in the evening. Lots of healthy, kid-favorite breakfast foods work in a pinch for dinner too.
- Toast whole-grain bagels and top with peanut butter. Add low-fat yogurt or milk, and fresh fruit. Buy fruit already sliced at the grocery store to save yourself a step.
- Make a turkey- or ham-and-cheese omelet with low-fat cheese. Add chopped veggies to it, or top it with salsa. Serve with whole-grain toast and fruit.
- Top whole-grain pancakes or waffles with nuts and strawberries, or bananas and peanut or almond butter.