When you just don’t have the time to cook up a healthy balanced meal for your young ones, it can be quite tempting to order from the nearest takeaway chain and call it a night. While there is no shame in having someone else cook for you and the family, it’s important to keep their health in mind. Fried vegetable dumplings and shrimp lo mein are always delicious choices and favourites of the kids, it can be rather simple to form a habit of ordering “just the usual”. So, instead here are a few tips to encourage your family to stay healthy and keep their bellies happy:

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Chinese Food

Known for having a reputation of being greasy, Chinese takeout restaurants offer a wide range of flavourful foods that don’t come with the oil, fat, and salt. For example, if vegetable dumplings are a favourite amongst the family, consider getting them steamed instead of fried. When foods like vegetables are fried, a large percentage of the vitamins and minerals are lost during the process. Preparing food by steaming helps to ensure that these nutrients, like vitamin B, B12, vitamin C, biotin and many others, are retained and absorbed in our bodies.

If you prefer to have meat with meals, other steamed entrees such as chicken and shrimp add much more nutritional value to your family’s plate as well. And when it comes to choosing the sides, try to steer clear of noodles and substitute with brown rice if available. Noodles are typically made from refined white flour and are often cooked with oil. Bok choy, carrots, string beans, and broccoli are all rich in fibre and equally delicious.

However, keep in mind that not all Chinese restaurants offer the same kind of dishes. For example, while one restaurant may only offer wok-fried sesame chicken, the other may offer a steamed version of the dish. Fortunately, families today have the ability to order online from a variety of local restaurants. Hungry House, for example, is just one site that has done all of the work by gathering all of the takeout menus from restaurants in your area. On one hand, this greatly increases the number of options you have for takeout. On the other, having all of these menus at your fingertips may tempt you to order from more than one place!

Pizza

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Pizza has been a universal food that nearly everyone can enjoy at any time of the day. However, not all pizza is created equally. While you won’t necessarily have to forgo the cheese, there are a few ways to turn a traditionally high-calorie meal into a nutritional pie — and it all starts with the crust. While gluten may be nutritional in moderation, a thin-crust pizza will leave much more room in your kids’ stomachs for tasty toppings like peppers, onions, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes. In addition, a thinner crust and less cheese means less white flour and empty carbs.

Try to avoid adding meats like sausage, ham, or pepperoni. Meats like these are largely processed and have been consistently linked with harmful effects on health, according to Cancer.org, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and bowel and stomach cancer. If your family prefers to get their protein from meat, consider adding grilled chicken to your pizza to reduce unhealthy fat intake.

Thai Food

Many people are drawn to Thai food because a majority of their dishes are based on the attraction of opposites: spicy and creamy, sweet and salty, sharp and musky. While these combinations of flavours are loved by many, they also often prepared with an unhealthy amount of salt and saturated fats. Dishes that include fatty beef, pork, dark-meat chicken, and rich duck pieces should be avoided. Instead, opt for steamed shrimp or tofu. Shrimp has been found to be high in selenium and vitamin B12, while tofu contains a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Although most Thai soups are high in sodium, the hot and sour shrimp soup (Tom Yum Goong) is low in fat and calories. Cashew chicken is another healthier Thai dish, thanks to the healthy fats found in cashews. Other smart Thai eats include Summer rolls, papaya salad, and chicken satay.

Trying New Things is Fun!

Every family might have a picky eater, but ordering takeout can make family meal planning much easier even if you are trying to watch what your family eats. Whether it’s pizza, Chinese, Thai, etc., there are thousands of options to explore when it comes to eating healthier. And, best of all, the time you save cooking can be spent with your family. Everybody wins!

 

PR collaboration through Dell Media