The Importance of Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family

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As busy moms and dads on the go, we tend to bring an arsenal of snacks with us or eat what we can easily purchase on the run – for us and our kids.  It’s not possible to be at home for every meal nor would many of us want to be. However, it’s a common problem for parents and children to get too many calories from snack foods alone (not all of which are healthy or from varied food groups). They can add up quickly and we may not realize it.

I’m not advocating we spend all our time in the kitchen but having the skills to cook nutrient-dense meals can help the whole family.  It’s about learning how to cook healthy foods quickly and easily, so we don’t have to “rack our brains” figuring out what to make, and then worry it won’t taste good after all the effort. Here are the nutrition facts for a few healthy foods you can learn to cook for yourself and your family.

Peppers

 

Peppers are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. The vitamin C in peppers helps to increase iron absorption so include them in iron-rich meals. Vitamin C also protects against infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Capsanthin is just one of a few powerful antioxidants found in peppers that give red peppers their color.

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato

Pumpkin and sweet potato are full of fiber and vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protects from infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Increasing fiber helps prevent constipation and controls blood sugar.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts, etc.

Cruciferous vegetables are known for their anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting phytonutrients, and most are rich in minerals such as folate. Folate helps prevents birth defects and may influence the immune response. These high fiber low-calorie vegetables make for a combination that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Whole Grains

Barley, Oats, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Brown Rice, and Whole-Grain Pastas, etc.

 

Whole grains are rich in B vitamins and minerals (iron, copper, zinc, magnesium). Vitamin B impacts our energy levels and promotes cell health. Refining grains strips away half the B vitamins plus many nutrients that cannot be replaced through fortification. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and also aids in the production of energy.

Jessica will be giving a workshop on Wednesday, November 13th from 10am to 2pm on Healthy Meals for Toddlers. 

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