July 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm
by Irina Gonzalez
I’m always looking for ways to lighten up my meals and make healthy family dinners. The one thing I know about myself is that I absolutely cannot eat food that’s not delicious. When it comes to making something low-calorie, I always have to include plenty of flavor. If you want your family to eat a little healthier, try these easy tips to cut calories!
1. Use greens instead of a taco, tortilla or pita: I tried this tip this weekend and I cannot express to you how delicious it turned out. I made a simple, healthy quinoa salad and steamed collard greens to use as a wrap. I’ve seen others do this with any kind of taco or pita filling. Not only is it a fun idea but it cuts lots of calories.
2. Swap Greek yogurt for mayo and sour cream: This is one of my favorite tips is from my blogger friend, Alejandra Ramos of Always Order Dessert! She suggests using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise and sour cream. This works well for taco toppings and Waldorf salad. It’s surprising just how versatile (and still delicious) it can be!
3. Make your own iced tea or flavored water drinks: Instead of buying soda, make your own drinks. I like to make my own iced tea (literally, make hot black tea and let it cool overnight) or even flavored water. Adding something like cucumber, lemon or lime juice can give the water enough of a twist that the whole family can enjoy it. Making your own cuts out the added calories and sugar that are typically in store-bought drinks.
4. Eat fruits for snacks and desserts: My mantra for snacking and desserts is to try to keep it to fruit as much as possible. I usually enjoy a mid-morning snack between breakfast and lunch and almost always end up eating an apple or banana. As for dessert, when I want something sweet I make a fruit salad (maybe with a teaspoon of honey) or other fruit-heavy (and low-calorie) desserts.
5. Forget all of the extras and excess liquids: While I enjoy having a glass of wine with dinner, it’s best to cut out liquid calories. I limit myself to one drink and do not take milk in my tea or coffee. It’s a simple substitution but it works wonders.
How do you cut calories in your family dinners? Share with us in the comments below!