Not into grilled salmon? Can’t make yourself swallow kale, no matter how healthy everyone says it is? The good news is you don’t have to. On Nutrisystem, creating menus suited to your palate is simple: Pick and choose your favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options, choosing from over 150 foods; use filters on the menu page to sort out vegetarian dishes, for example, or low sodium foods; or call a Nutrisystem dietary counselor for help in building your best eating plan. (Not on Nutrisystem yet? What are you waiting for?! Click here to get started >).
And when you’re cooking your own meals at home, making small changes to meals you love or trying different ways to prep healthy foods can up the nutrition in your diet without torturing your taste buds.
Here are five tips to help a picky eater eat healthy:
1. Drink your veggies.
You don’t love spinach, but you do love fruit. So combine the two into one delicious smoothie: Strawberries, banana, ice, fat-free milk and yes, spinach, into a blender and voila—you get all the vitamins and minerals of the fresh veggie right through your straw. Frozen vegetables work just as well: Frozen cauliflower, for example, adds a big dose of vitamin C to your favorite fruit smoothie without messing with the flavor. Check out the Shakes & Smoothies section in our Recipes Center for more creative ways to sneak veggies into your smoothies.
2. Swap meat out of burgers.
Not all of it, of course, but replacing about half the ground meat with chopped and sautéed mushrooms helps cut saturated fat and adds a delicious, savory taste. Or if you’re in a meatloaf mood, mix broccoli slaw into the meat for added texture and nutrients. Not keen on cooking? No problem! Check out these 15 Nutrisystem Meals for Meat-Lovers. Just heat and eat!
Check out more healthy hacks for meat lovers here >
3. Sneak in healthy grains.
Even if a side of quinoa doesn’t seem so appealing, it’s worth finding ways to get this high-protein whole grain into your diet. Quinoa is actually a complete protein (meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs); plus it cooks quickly and can be used lots of different way. Make stuffed peppers with quinoa, use it as the base of any grain bowl (like this one: Quinoa Carrot Breakfast Bowl) or try baked chicken coated in quinoa instead of bread crumbs like we do in this recipe for Quinoa-Crusted Chicken. More grains to try: High-fiber barley in place of rice in your stir fry or casserole, or bulgur, which you can combine with beans to make a great meat-free burger patty.
4. Improve your pasta dish.
And there are so many ways to do it—the most basic of which is to switch white pasta out for wheat. Or toss in vegetables and lean proteins for a more nutritionally complete meal. You can also forego standard pasta altogether and try spiralizing zucchini, squash or even broccoli stems as the “spaghetti” you pair with your favorite sauce. And if you can’t have pasta without meatballs, make them healthier by using grated zucchini instead of breadcrumbs in your meat mix. Too busy for all that cooking? We’ve got you covered with these 10 Easy Pastas from Nutrisystem. They are a great way to have your carbs… and lose weight, too!
5. Experiment with prep.
You won’t eat plain and grilled fish, but how about coating that salmon with crunchy pistachios for a more satisfying bite? Or you could try making your own version of fish sticks: Slice salmon, cod or halibut into strips, dip in egg whites and whole wheat panko and bake. Love Mexican food? Try one of these healthy recipes. Hate raw kale? Wilt it into your favorite soup or bake it into chips. Roasting broccoli and cauliflower offers a more robust flavor than steaming, and if plain baked potatoes bore you, try oven-baked sweet potato fries. It’s all about trying different dishes until you find a healthy one you’ll eat over and over again.