What are some simple changes schools or parents can make to improve the nutritional quality of meals?
Schools and parents should focus on reducing fat, sodium, and sugar in their recipes and increasing fiber with these simple changes:
- Increase the use of vegetables and beans in recipes. Substitute spinach and other greens in place of iceberg lettuce. Generally speaking, the more colorful the meal is, that is the more fruits and vegetables it has, the healthier it is.
- Purchase reduced fat, low-sodium, or “no sugar added” versions of products.
- Substitute some or all of the butter, margarine, or shortening in baked goods with applesauce or prune puree.
- Replace oil-based marinades with balsamic or other vinegars or fat-free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broths.
- Purchase lean cuts of meat and poultry and remove the skin from poultry.
- Add zest and improve the nutritional quality of recipes with fresh herbs and spices.
White rice Brown rice, bulgur, or pearl barley
Pasta Whole wheat pasta
All purpose flour Whole wheat flour
White bread or rolls Whole wheat bread or rolls
Cheese Low-fat or fat-free cheese
Ground beef Ground turkey (preferably turkey breast)
Chicken legs or wings Chicken breast
Pork chops Pork loin
Mayonnaise Low-fat or “light” mayonnaise or mustard
Sour cream Low-fat sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt
Evaporated milk Evaporated skim milk
Creamy salad dressing Low-fat or “light” salad dressing
Soy sauce Low-sodium soy sauce
These tips were provided as a courtesy by Project Bread.