When I’m looking for information about something, I just type the word or phrase into Google and I can usually find what I’m looking for on the first two pages of results. When I wrote “Healthy Dinner Recipes” I was overwhelmed. Of course, there were many results, so I clicked on the first one and got a list of dishes:
Appetizers, Drinks, Breakfast, Sweets and Candies, Appetizers, Healthy Cookies, Cakes and Baked Goods… Wraps, Sandwiches and Burgers.
The word ‘dinner’ doesn’t even appear, and upon reviewing some of the meals, they didn’t even seem that healthy to me. The next site I tried was actually better, although I had to scan through a lot of recipes to find something that appealed to me.
Criteria for a healthy recipe
If you’re like me, time is precious, so I have to find what I need pretty quickly. Unfortunately, when it comes to finding healthy dinner recipe ideas, you still have to do a lot of searching. I try to scan the recipe and weed out any 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 serving 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, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta are healthier options than the white varieties. A green salad is always a healthy choice.
If you are a vegetarian it is much easier to find a healthy recipe. However, what you need to look for is an adequate source of protein. Soy is a good alternative to meat, but it should be eaten in moderation. The Harvard School of Public Health has a good article on protein on their website. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/protein.html).
So where else can you find healthy food recipes? Another good online source is Amazon.com. If you search the keyword ‘healthy dinner recipes’, you’ll find a plethora of books listed (of course, this won’t help you prepare dinner for tonight!). The only thing to keep in mind is that many of these books focus on weight loss diets, which are not necessarily good for you in the long run. However, Amazon is a good source of information.
If you have children, it’s especially difficult to find recipes that are nutritious and appealing to them. This problem is worse when it comes to changing the family’s eating habits. The CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/nutrition_for_everyone/quick_tips/healthy_children.htm) has good information on preparing healthy dinners for children.
Bottom line, there is a ton of information out there, but trying to zero in on the best healthy dinner recipes for you and your family will take time. You also have 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 (Lima bean soup comes to mind) – if they don’t like it, it must be good for you!
Seriously though, there are plenty of great healthy dinner recipes out there that everyone will love. You just need to be able to spend time finding them and experiment a little in the kitchen.