Mood-Boosting Recipes for the Whole Family

Learn to create healthy meals for your family

Peeking at the weather forecast is enough to send us all into hibernation mode under our blankets. These shorter days are also a deterrence from getting the proper amount of Vitamin D, which could dampen our moods and lower our energy levels. Did you know that our bodies also produce more melatonin when the sun sets? This hormone makes us sleepy. 

Dampening spirits can also contribute to our eating habits. It’s common to crave warm, hearty food because it helps us feel naturally protected. However, warm and hearty doesn’t have to mean junk food. Believe it or not there are plenty of winter fruits and vegetables in season right now that can help provide the proper vitamins and nutrients to help you and your family get through these frigid days.

Check out the fun family recipes below that are sure to boost everyone’s mood!

Breakfast of Champions

Starting the day off on the right foot includes eating a hearty breakfast. Begin the day by warming your family’s tummies with a warm bowl of steel cut oats. The texture of steel cut oats are heartier and have a nuttier and richer taste than regular oats. Add a do-it-yourself station with fruits, nuts and cinnamon options so your kids can customize their bowls of goodness.

You Had Me at Taco

Taco night is the best night! Creating a make-your-own spread is fun and easy and there are many healthy substitutions. For instance, why not skip ground beef and try ground chicken or turkey. Opt for Greek yogurt over sour cream. Swap tortilla’s for lettuce wraps. Choose toppings that are in season like spinach, peppers, cubed sweet potatoes and sliced radishes.

Not-so-Fried Fries

Instead of stopping at a fast food restaurant, why not pick up some russet or sweet potatoes and make your own? It’s an easy and better alternative. Chop the potatoes into wedges and toss with a little salt, pepper, and tablespoon of vegetable oil. Lie them flat on a baking sheet and roast them at 450 degrees until they become golden.

Say Cheese

A sure way to your child’s heart is to make them the ultimate wintertime comfort food: macaroni and cheese. There are sneaky recipes out there that mix pureed vegetables into the cheese sauce. Shh…I won’t tell if you don’t.

Pizza Power!

Have you heard of chickpea flour? Not only does it have more protein than wheat flour, but it also is a key ingredient to making a delicious pizza crust. Making your own tomato sauce helps avoid any unnecessary sugar found in store bought sauce. Create a few different pies and have your kids help with choosing the toppings they enjoy. Have them choose from fresh vegetables and lean meats.

Cookie Cravings

You do not have to be a pastry chef to make a savory cookie. These foolproof no-bake cookie balls are sure to satisfy all and include healthier ingredients like almond butter, dark chocolate and honey.

Are you feeling hungry yet? These are just a starting point of suggestions to encourage healthy eating habits. Combining this with exercise will help improve the mind, spirit and body.