The Open Door Shares Tips for Healthy Swaps in the Kitchen

Looking for inspiration to kick start a healthier lifestyle? Now’s a great time to make healthier swaps or test out new things in the kitchen to improve your health! 

Not sure where to start? Hitting a rut in your New Year’s resolutions? The Open Door is here to help! See the below list from our Community Education Coordinator for easy swaps and tips for eating a little healthier in 2022: 

  • A low-sugar and versatile staple, plain yogurt is a great go-to ingredient for dishes sweet or savory, whether you’re looking for an alternative to mayonnaise in a tuna, chicken, or potato salad, or sour cream or cream cheese in a creamy dip. Plain yogurt is also great for making parfaits layered with fruit, yogurt and granola! 
  • Look for products with fewer ingredients. For example, choose nut butters that list just nuts as their ingredients, without added sugar and oils. Unsweetened applesauce is another great swap!
  • Add more vegetables. By adding more vegetables into your diet and the dishes you’re already making, you can easily boost the nutrients you and your family are getting.
    • Incorporate vegetables like spinach, zucchini, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, and cauliflower that can easily blend into a dish—this tip is great for picky young ones!
    • Try one new vegetable a week as a family, or try preparing vegetables in new ways. For example, try vegetables steamed, sautéed, roasted, with a dressing or dip, and raw.
  • Planning to “go vegetarian” a few times a month is a great way to explore plant-based proteins (especially those with beans and other legumes), which can be budget-friendly and are higher-fiber alternatives. Try black bean veggie burgers, lentil tacos, vegetarian chili over rice, a stew with lots of veggies and lentils, or a stir fry with tofu or tempeh!
  • Try something new. Working in a new recipe is a great way to introduce healthier alternatives to your diet, and keep your meal rotation interesting. Encourage your household to brainstorm a few recipes to try.
  • Get the whole family in the kitchen! Cooking a meal from scratch, together, is a great way to lighten the workload of preparing meals while teaching children how to cook, getting everyone in the family excited to try new things, and bonding.
  • Learn how to make a favorite take-out dish at home! Cooking a meal at home is usually a healthier and more affordable way to enjoy a favorite dish. 

Stay tuned for more healthy recipes, tips, and tricks from The Open Door! 

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