Seven Little Swaps to Healthier Eating

Eating healthily every day can be a tricky challenge, but these helpful tips are all simple (and delicious!) swaps you can make to get you on your way to healthier eating, whether that’s eating more veg, upping your fibre intake or adding lean protein to your favourite meals.

herby pea houmous

1. Use More Veg in your Cooking

winter muffins

Vegetables are an important source of fibre, vitamins and nutrients, but it can sometimes be hard to eat enough when cooking for the whole family. Rather than always serving veg on the side, try incorporating it into whatever is the main focus of your meal.

This works well with meatballs, burgers, lasagne and even baking recipes – just grate the veg and stir it into the mix. Grating them means there’s no fiddly chopping and small bits cook down easily, so that fussy eaters won’t even realise they’re there. Good candidates include courgette, squash, carrot and sweet potato, which you could use in these savoury sweet potato muffins.

 

2. Vegetables as a Snack 

herby pea houmous

Instead of reaching for a packet of crisps, learning to enjoy vegetables as a snack is a great way to up your daily intake. A tasty dip is the perfect way to enjoy a double hit of your favourite veg, blended up as the dip itself, as well as for the crunchy crudités to dunk in. Herbs and spices add an extra layer of interest, such as in this herby pea houmous with vibrant mint and zesty lemon.

3. Switch It Up with More Veg

homemade salad wraps

Give some of your favourite recipes a veg makeover with clever substitutes. Courgetti spaghetti is already a huge food trend, but there are plenty of other tricks to using more veg. Grated cauliflower and beetroot are good rice or couscous substitutes, while layers of courgette or aubergine can replace lasagne sheets. Even burgers and wraps can be reinvented with lettuce or cabbage leaves, as with these Asian-inspired quinoa wraps.

4. Make Veg and Wholegrains the Star 

grilled mushrooms

Eating enough fibre is really important and it's recommended that adults aim to eat 30g a day, although most of us usually only manage around 18g. Vegetables, pulses, fungi and wholegrain foods are high in fibre, so why not make them the star ingredients in your dish? A perfect example is swapping out your usual meat main for this grilled mushroom alternative. 

5. No Peeling 

potato wedges

Not peeling your fruit and veg is a super simple way of upping your fibre intake and means less work in the kitchen, too, so it’s a win all round! The skin helps towards getting your daily fibre, so ditch the peeler and enjoy the same tasty meals but with less hassle. These gorgeous pork chops with potato wedges are a delicious way to do this.

 

6. More Protein: Meat and Dairy 

chicken caesar salad

Our bodies need protein to help the growth and repair of cells, but getting your protein hit doesn’t have to just mean tucking into a big, juicy steak. Fish and seafood, low-fat dairy products and lean meats, such as chicken and turkey, pack a protein punch, too.

They’re easy to incorporate into your daily diet – try Greek yogurt or eggs for breakfast, adding tinned tuna to your lunchtime sandwich, or this classic chicken caesar salad for an easy dinner.

7. Grains, Pulses and Nuts

butter bean burger

There are plenty of non-animal sources of protein-rich foods. Quinoa makes a great protein base for salads, while nuts and seeds are easy to sprinkle on salads, breakfast bowls or bakes for a crunchy topping. Lots of beans and pulses are high in protein (and cheap too) – keep a stash of chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans in the cupboard to add to soups, stews, salads, dips or your favourite veggie burger recipe.