I was reading this month's Health magazine, and there was some great information that I wanted to share!
1. Did you know that extra-lean ground sirloin is a better choice than ground turkey? I thought I was eating healthy by making our meals with ground turkey, but unless the package says, "extra lean ground turkey" or "turkey breast", "you're actually getting a mix of white meat, dark meat and skin! This adds up to double the fat, compared to extra-lean ground sirloin (20 grams, compared to 10 grams, respectively).
2. My son loves eating bananas, and I thought a healthy on-the-go travel snack for him would be banana chips. I've heard so many great things about dried fruit...but did you know that many of the banana chip varieties are deep-fat fried?! Some of the brands add sugar; others do not. Some have as much as 15 grams of fat per half-cup serving...yikes! Health magazine suggests reaching for dried apricots instead, with less than 1 gram of fat and Vitamin A. I'm not so worried about my son eating too much fat (toddlers need more fat than adults), but I snack on whatever he's snacking on, so this was a good piece of information.
3. Frozen edamame is loaded with protein, fiber, B vitamins, folate and vitamin K. I have a friend who's toddler refuses to eat anything protein-related (beyond milk, cheese and yogurt), so I thought this was a great option for her. My son doesn't eat a huge variety of veggies, but he loves playing "peek-a-boo" with the shelled edamame...whatever works! :-)
4. Another go-to food for toddlers is grapes, but if adults are eating them, did you know that they are low in vitamins and fiber? I didn't really even think to find out; I just assumed they were produce and good for us. I guess all produce is not created equal. Instead, Health magazine suggests swapping them for raspberries, as they are high in fiber and high in antioxidants.
5. Do you love couscous? It is super easy, quick and a seemingly good choice of carb, compared to white rice. Right? Not necessarily! It actually has the same "nutritional value as white pastas", according to Health magazine. They suggest trying bulgar, quinoa, wild rice, black rice or amaranth. In fact, quinoa is high in fiber and high in protein...I didn't know that! Have you tried cooking with any of these lesser known alternatives?
I would love to hear any additional food swapping ideas you have!
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