Healthy Swaps

The beginning of the year is a great time to start healthy habits for yourself and your family. Begin a healthy habit of using some healthy swaps in your family meals. Healthy swaps can help to cut down on added sugar, salt, and saturated fats in your family meals. Some healthy swaps can even help stretch your food dollar and use what you have on hand. For example, adding beans to your taco meat can help increase the nutrient value, bulk up your meal, and use food staples you may have in your pantry.


Go-to healthy swaps

Choose 1-2 of these healthy swaps to get a start on some healthy habits for the New Year.

Simple baking swaps:

  • Make your own desserts instead of packaged desserts
  • Use 1/2 the sugar for your favorite dessert recipes
  • Use pure maple syrup or honey instead of granulated sugar
  • Replace oil 1:1 with applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin, or plain yogurt
  • Add ground flax seed or chia seeds to your baked goods

Healthy drink swaps:

  • Try tea instead of coffee
  • Make your own infused water instead of sugary sports drinks
  • Make a fruit smoothie instead of a milkshake

Lean meat swaps:

  • Choose lean meats (chicken and turkey) instead of red meats (beef and pork)
  • Make at least one meatless dinner each week
  • Make a seafood meal when possible (tuna, sardines, shrimp, tilapia, etc.)
  • Add beans to your meal rotations (ex: beans in taco meat)

Whole grain swaps:

  • Try making homemade trail mix instead of packaged snacks
  • Switch to 100% whole wheat bread, pastas, and crackers
  • Use spaghetti squash or zoodles instead of or in addition to whole wheat pasta
  • Try some whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, or barley instead of white rice

Get started! Choose 1 healthy swap by making this easy Quinoa Lentil Taco “Meat”.

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