When it comes to Spring cleaning, most of us think about our closets and garages, but what about your diet (and your family’s)? Spring is the perfect time of year to focus on lighter, healthier foods before the arrival of Summer’s swimsuit season. With the abundance of fresh, green vegetables such as asparagus, dandelion greens, peas, and artichokes this time of year, Spring is the perfect season to focus on clearing out the pantry and fridge to make room for healthier alternatives and habits. Below are 5 ideas to get you started.
1. Ditch the oil.
Just a little bit of oil here and there adds up to quite a bit of fat. By switching out oil with vegetable broth in dressings, sauces, and sautéing, you can make a big change in the amount of calories being consumed in your family’s food.
2. Bake, don’t fry.
Take your foods out of the frying pan and put them onto a baking sheet without losing any of the flavor. I have recently been making over some my family’s favorites by baking instead of frying with great success, including my Vegan Beef & Cheese Taquitos.
3. Replace grains and breads with vegetables.
Add more veggies to your family’s diet by using lettuce leaves and collard greens as wraps instead of bread. Spiralize zucchini and carrots and top with your favorite sauce instead of using pasta noodles. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor as a delicious alternative to rice.
4. Try 1 new vegetable a week or prepare a favorite veggie in a new way.
Serve up at least one new vegetable a week, or try preparing a tried and true vegetable in a different way to bring new life to an old favorite. Get your family to help you in the prep and they’ll be more likely to give it a try. Download a list of Spring seasonal vegetables to help guide your selections.
5. Go meatless at least once a week.
In my children’s book, NOT A NUGGET, I encourage children to see animals as friends, not food, and suggest some meatless recipe alternatives to try. Use the book as a starting point to introduce some meatless meals, and if you’re already eating plant-based, check out the book’s web page for fun activities and recipes the whole family can enjoy together.
For more help spring cleaning your family’s diet, enter our fun giveaway to win a copy of NOT A NUGGET and a vegan coaching or meal planning session with me!
For healthy recipes to spring clean your family’s diet, download a free copy of my Vegan Family Dinners cookbooklet.
Cover photo by Kara Schunk.