When I’m looking for information about something, I just type the word or phrase into Google and can usually find what I’m looking for within the first two pages of results. When I typed in “Healthy Dinner Recipes” I was overwhelmed. There were a lot of results of course, so I clicked on the first one and got a list of dishes:
Aperitifs, drinks, breakfast, sweets and sweets, starters, healthy cookies, cakes and pastries …. Wraps, sandwiches and burgers.
The word “dinner” doesn’t even appear, and checking out some of the meals, they didn’t even sound so healthy to me. The next site I tried was actually better, although I had to scan a lot of recipes to find something I liked.
Criteria for a healthy recipe
If you’re like me, time is precious so I have to find what I need fairly quickly. Unfortunately, when it comes to finding healthy dinner recipe ideas, you still have to do a lot of research. I try to digitize the recipe and weed out the ones that don’t meet my basic criteria for a healthy dinner. Here are the things I look for when selecting a suitable dinner recipe:
– a generous portion of mixed vegetables
– a source of protein such as lean meat, fish or beans
– a source of carbohydrates such as potatoes or brown rice.
Whole wheat bread, whole grain rice, and whole wheat pasta are healthier choices than white varieties. A green salad is always a healthy choice.
If you are a vegetarian, it is much easier to find a healthy recipe. The thing to look for, however, is an adequate source of protein. Soy is a good alternative to meat but should be eaten in moderation. The Harvard School of Public Health has a good article on protein on their web page. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/protein.html).
So where can you find healthy food recipes? Another good online source is Amazon.com. If you search for the keyword “healthy dinner recipes” you’ll find plenty of books listed (of course, that won’t help you cook dinner tonight!). The only thing to know is that a lot of these books focus on weight loss diets, which aren’t necessarily good for you in the long run. However, Amazon is a good source of information.
If you have kids, it’s especially hard to find recipes that are nutritious and appealing. This problem is worse if you try to change the eating habits of the family. The CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/nutrition_for_everyone/quick_tips/healthy_children.htm) has good information on making healthy dinners for kids.
In conclusion, there is a ton of information out there, but trying to focus on the best healthy dinner recipes for you and your family is going to take time. You also need to be prepared to make a lot of changes until you find something that works for everyone. I used to joke about our kids’ reaction to some of my dishes (I’m thinking lima bean soup) – if they don’t like it, it must be good for you!
Seriously, there are plenty of great, healthy dinner recipes out there that everyone will love. You just have to be able to spend the time finding them, and experimenting a bit in the kitchen.