Are you looking to soothe your stress after a tough day with some comfort food? If so, you’re not alone! During stressful times, people tend to want to indulge in their favorite classics. Comfort food means something different for everyone and can take many forms. Some people want the recipes they enjoyed as children, others look for specific ingredients in their comfort food.
Either way, comfort food may not always be the healthiest food, so here are some ways to make it a bit healthier for you and your family.
What Does Healthy Mean to You?
The first thing you should do is consider what “healthy” means to you during. It is an important detail, because they will determine what kind of swaps or comfort foods you want to choose from. Maybe healthy means adding in more fruits and veggies, enjoying whole grains instead or processed grains, cooking more from scratch, or more specific options like low-carb or low-fat. Once you know this, you can work on finding the best healthy comfort foods for your family.
Find Healthy Swaps for Your Favorites
Before finding healthy swaps, make a list of all your favorite comfort foods. What sounds good right now? Maybe it’s meatloaf, grilled cheese and tomato soup, brownies, or biscuits and gravy. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it brings you joy and comfort. Once you have your list, you can start looking for simple swaps to make it a little healthier.
For example, you might use veggie spirals in place of noodles in your pasta dish to increase the nutritional content. Maybe you can make your favorite brownies with dark chocolate, which rich is a source of antioxidants and minerals, instead of just plain chocolate. You might try a healthier pizza crust by using almond flour, or use ground turkey for your meatloaf. There are tons of swaps you can make that are super easy to do.
Add High-Nutrient Elements to Your Comfort Dishes
Instead of trying to take things away from your comfort dishes, focus instead on what you add in. You don’t have to take the shredded cheese and sour cream from your tacos, but what if you added shredded lettuce to them, and then have a side salad or other vegetable side dish? You are still enjoying your favorite tacos, but also having a lot more nutrition in your meal.
Getting into the mindset of adding rather than taking away allows you to feel a sense of fullness rather than scarcity.
Make Your Food from Scratch
A super easy way to increase the health of your meals and snacks is to cook more from scratch. It is so easy to make mashed potatoes from actual potatoes – you don’t need the frozen or boxed variety! They will be healthier, whole food, and taste so much better.
Many commercially prepared foods are high in fat, salt, and sugar. When we prepare our own food, we know exactly which ingredients and how much of each are going into our food. Making food from scratch at home puts you in control every ingredient that makes up your meal. It can be exciting to find ways to transform some of your traditional comfort foods into healthy new versions that boost your health, as well as bring comfort to your soul.