Frozen peas are an essential freezer staple. They can be added to nearly any meal to bump up the vegetable content- and require no preparation. Try adding them to risottos, curries, stews or even just on the side. So versatile!
Creamy dressings and sauces are often high in fat. When dining out a good trick is to request the sauce be served on the side so that you can better control how much you use. For example, when ordering Eggs Benedict you can ask for the hollandaise sauce on the side.
Did you know that you can reduce the amount of butter or oil used in baking by replacing with unsweetened apple puree? This is great for recipes that don't require the buttery flavour (works well for muffins, fruit-based cakes and brownies). You can choose how much of the butter/oil you substitute with apple puree but be sure to substitute using a 1:1 ratio. For example, replace ¼ cup of melted butter for ¼ cup cup of apple puree.
Here's a trick I learnt from my mother... Freeze whole ripe bananas and when the kids are pestering for dessert give them a half or whole frozen banana. It really does taste like banana ice-cream!
Salad ingredients can be pricy over the winter months but a more affordable option is to make coleslaw. Cabbage, carrot, celery and onion combined with coleslaw dressing will be a sure-fire way to get the kids eating veges.
Try our Hoki Sliders with Coleslaw tonight!
I've rediscovered an old favourite this week. Make fabulous toasted sandwiches with wholegrain bread, creamed corn and a little cheese. A great winter lunch that provides carbohydrate, protein and vegetables. Yum!
An easy way to improve you and your family's diet is to choose wholegrain bread. With more fibre and nutrients than most white bread it is an easy way to add extra goodness- plus it will keep you feeling fuller for longer too!
Spinach packs an impressive nutrition punch. Being a natural source of fibre, iron, vitamin A and folate it is a great addition to any meal. See how we used it in our warming Mushroom, Chicken & Spinach Soup.
Overindulged over the long weekend? If you want a fresh start the best thing to do is to start by focusing on one achievable goal to increase your chance of success. Good examples are "I am going to have breakfast at least 5 days this week" or "I am only going to buy lunch out once this week."
It may not be the trendiest choice but a hard-boiled egg is a great snack option. Boil the night before and pop in the fridge. The protein content helps to keep you fuller for longer.
Chicken skin may be tasty but it is also where a lot of the fat comes from. By simply removing the skin before cooking or eating chicken you will dramatically lower the fat content.
Pizzas can be a great family meal. Make sure you load them up with veges (a great way to use leftovers) and serve with a side salad.
No we aren't suggesting you add more salt but when you do be sure to choose iodised. New Zealand soil is low in iodine so New Zealanders are prone to iodine deficiency. Iodised salt is one way to decrease your risk.
Make an extra large dinner meal and refrigerate or freeze the extra serves in plastic containers. These make great lunches that can help keep away from takeaways at lunchtime.
Passing on simple cooking skills to your children could make all the difference to their lifelong health- preventing a reliance on convenience and takeaway foods. Tasty Stuffed Potatoes make a great school holiday lunch.
A simple way to keep a lunchbox cool and safe is to freeze a drink bottle, yoghurt pottle or fruit juicie overnight and pop it into the lunchbox in the morning. For more tips about school lunches read our article Pack a healthy Lunchbox for Children.
When pouring oil straight from the bottle it is easy to be heavy handed. A vegetable oil spray is great for ensuring only minimal oil is added. It is also a great alternative to butter for greasing baking trays.
Did you know that when people eat on smaller plates they tend to be satisfied with smaller portions? Using slightly smaller plates, bowls, glasses and cutlery can make a difference to how much you eat each day.
If you're a die-hard pastry fan a healthier alternative to flaky/puff pastry is filo pastry. It is easier to use than you think so don't be scared to give it a go. Try your hand at our Cheesy Vegetable & Bacon Filo Parcels.
Instead of high-fat chippies or cheese and crackers offer guests vegetable sticks (carrots, celery and cucumber) and hummus or home-made salsa. Delicious, healthy and colourful.
Many people find it hard not to eat while they cook. A good tip is to pop a piece of peppermint gum in your mouth as soon as you get into the kitchen. It keeps your mouth busy, and you'll soon learn that not many things taste nice with minty gum.
Breakfast is important to kick-start your metabolism for the day. It also decreases the likelihood of overeating throughout the day. If youre not a morning person try our Bircher Muesli that you prepare the night before. Ready to enjoy when you wake!
Changing your milk to a lower fat option is a small change that can make a big difference over time. If you currently buy standard (dark blue top) try swapping to lite (light blue top) or trim (green top).
Omega-3 fatty acids provide a variety of health benefits. One of the richest sources of Omega-3 is fish, especially oily varieties like salmon. It is recommended to have at least 1-2 servings of fish a week. Check out our recipes using fish and seafood if you need some inspiration - Seafood and fish recipes.
Tea is high in tannins, a compound that makes it harder for your body to absorb iron. This means to get the most iron out of your food you should avoid drinking tea within an hour of a meal. For more information on iron read our article - Iron Power.
Salads are fantastic for you. However, a common mistake is to drown them in salad dressing. A good rule of thumb is to choose clear dressings over creamy ones, or look out for lite products such as the Eta Lite & Free range.
Barbecues don't need to be all about the meat. Vegetables taste fabulous cooked on the barbecue. Corn on the cob is my personal favourite but other goodies are courgettes, capsicums, mushrooms and eggplants.
See how we've used barbecued vegetables in our BBQ Lamb and Summer Vegetable Salad.
Pop berries, grapes or bananas in the freezer so that a light dessert option is always on hand. Frozen fruit is sweet and refreshing- some would say even nicer than fresh. Great for sweet cravings on summer evenings.