Feeding your family every. single. day. can be plain overwhelming. Just getting food on the table is an accomplishment, and it's easy to serve bland, colorless food with little nutrition. I grew up eating fast food and processed food, but now I am intentional in what I feed my family. My favorite way to think of adding nutrition is to simply add color to my diet. Today, I want to share 3 easy ways to add color to your diet. YOU can feed your family real, consistent meals without all of the stress.
Eat fruit with breakfast
When I first started trying to get my 5-a-day fruits and vegetables, I quickly realized that it wasn't going to happen if I waited until dinner time. So, I started to think about how to break up the servings throughout the day. I've tried many things over the years, but one of the easiest is just to add fruit at breakfast.
Try one of these:
- Add berries to oatmeal
- Try a fruit and yogurt parfait
- Make a quick smoothie
- Top pancakes, waffles, or crepes with a berry compote
- Throw freeze-dried berries into your cereal
While you meal plan each week, take a minute to think about simple ways to add fruit to your breakfast. Making some simple switches will add more color in the morning, which will help you feel better all day.
Half the Meat, Double the Vegetables
I've been reducing the meat in my family's diet for several years now. I never wanted to go straight to vegetarianism because I still like meat, but I realized that a lot of main dish recipes could easily be prepared with half the meat called for, and (at least) twice the vegetables. Here are some examples:
- For sweet and sour meatballs, 1/2 meat, 2x peppers and pineapple
- For quesadillas, 1/2 chicken, 2x corn, peppers, and green onions
- For spaghetti sauce, 1/2 the beef, 2x mushrooms and onions
- For beef and broccoli, 1/2 the beef, 2x broccoli
- For Jumbalaya, 1/2 the proteins, 2x celery, peppers, and onions
Go ahead and scroll through your Pinterest boards now, and pick out a recipe or two that is "meat heavy." Try re-writing the recipe to cut the meat in half and double the vegetables, and give it a try!
Puree or Powder Your Produce
Hiding vegetable purees in family dinners is a method made famous by Jessica Seinfeld in Deceptively Delicious and Missy Lipine, also known as The Sneaky Chef. Both are mothers who realized that sometimes it's simply easier to "hide" your produce instead of fighting about texture or appearance, especially with children.
I have used purees to add nutrition to my meals for years. More recently, I have also learned how to powder freeze-dried vegetables, like spinach, mushrooms, celery, and red bell peppers, to add into everything from meatballs to smoothies. Both methods work well for adding color to your diet. Here are some examples:
- Add zucchini puree to chicken noodle soup
- Add sweet potato puree to chili
- Add cauliflower puree to alfredo sauce
- Add red pepper powder to sweet and sour meatballs
- Add spinach powder to shepherd's pie
Purees and powders are simple, easy ways to add color to your diet. Think of all the rich, plant-based nutrition you could add over the course of just 1 week if you added a puree or powder to 1 meal a day.
Feeding a family is hard work, but adding color doesn't have to be complicated. Eat fruit with breakfast, double your vegetables, or try some purees and powders in your next meal.
For a printable with these tips and trips, download my Printable PDF. And start today to add more color to your family meals.