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 in the first couple of pages of results. When I typed in “Healthy Dinner Recipes” I was overwhelmed. There were lots of results of course, so I clicked on the first one and got a list of dishes:
Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast, Candies & Treats, Entrées, Healthy Cookies, Cakes & Bakes ….Wraps, Sandwiches & Burgers.
The word ‘dinner’ doesn’t even appear, and on checking out some of the meals, they didn’t even appear that healthy to me. The next site I tried was actually better, although I had to scan 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 fairly quickly. Unfortunately when it comes to finding ideas for healthy dinner recipes you still have to do a lot of looking. I try to scan the recipe and screen out ones that don’t meet my basic criteria for a healthy dinner meal. 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 like potatoes or brown rice.
Whole wheat bread, whole grain rice and whole-wheat pasta are healthier choices than the white varieties. A green salad always makes a healthy choice.
If you are a vegetarian it’s much easier to find a healthy recipe. The thing to look for though is an adequate source of protein. Soybeans are a good alternative to meat but should be consumed 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 else can you find healthy food recipes? Another good online source is Amazon.com. If you search on the keyword ‘healthy dinner recipes’ you will find a lot of books listed, (of course this isn’t going to help you get dinner ready this evening!). The only thing to be aware of is that a lot of these books are focused around weight loss diets, which are not necessarily good for you in the long run. Nevertheless Amazon is a good source of information.
If you have children it’s especially difficult to find recipes that are nutritious and appeal to them. This problem is worse if you are trying 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 some good information about preparing healthy dinners for children.
In conclusion, there is a ton of information out there but trying to zero in on the best healthy dinner recipes for you and your family is going to 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 lots of good healthy dinner recipes available that everyone will love. You just need to be able to spend the time to find them, and experiment a little in the kitchen.