Many of us have family recipes from grandparents, uncles, aunts or other relatives that have become family traditions. Unfortunately, most are filled with unhealthy ingredients – lots of oil, butter or sugar, just to name a few. Preserving these recipes are, nevertheless, important for us as part of our family heritage. I have written before about having children assist with cooking meals to encourage more family bonding time and as well as for them to read more as they learn to follow written recipes. Today, I would like to discuss teaching your children healthier options for recipes as part of your family cooking experiences.
On his website, Dr. Joseph Galati, founder of Your Health First Education, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide education and support to the public about nutrition, has an article Tweaking Grandma’s Recipes: Healthy Substitutes, which has many suggestions for substitutions. For butter, oil and margarine in recipes that involve baking, he recommends using applesauce or mashed fruit. For frying, grilling or sautéing, he recommends substituting one-half with olive oil or coconut oil. For regular sugar, try substituting one-half with locally sourced honey. For brown sugar, he suggests adding 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to the honey. For mayonnaise in recipes, substitute plain yogurt. On a sandwich, try pesto or drizzles of olive oil. Dr. Galati has many more recommendations and I encourage you to read his entire article.
Traditional family meals bring families together to continue bonding and building life-long friendships. Substituting more healthy ingredients will keep these traditions alive and be teachable moments for your children.
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