When it comes to eating a healthy, balanced diet, one thing always seems to stand in the way: convenience. When faced with the choice between time spent preparing and cooking a homemade meal, it’s so much easier (and, for the most part, inexpensive) to opt for convenience over health in the kitchen, which often means less nutritional choices.
But healthy eating can be convenient for even the busiest home cook if you stock your kitchen with some good-for-you staples that simplify your choices and make for easy meal prep. Check out these nutritional must haves from Modernize:
Milk. It doesn’t matter if you prefer cow’s milk, soy, almond milk, or some other variation. Having access to a healthy option is good for your digestion, in addition to offering other health benefits.
Fruit. Buy what’s in season. Buy what’s fresh. When it comes to fruit, you can never have enough options in your home, especially if you have hungry kids to feed. Some fruit stays fresher kept in the fridge, but consider having a fresh fruit bowl on your counter, too, that contains a variety of healthy options for those hungry tummies.
Yogurt. In general, the less added sugar, the better when it comes to buying good, high-quality yogurt. Opt for all-natural, full-fat versions and spice them up with your own fruit or granola rather than buying the mixed or flavored varieties.
Vegetables. Depending on where you live, this one is easy. Think local, homegrown ingredients that offer the best bang for their buck, like sweet potatoes, spinach, or kale.
Salsa. Whether you opt to make your own or buy from the store, salsa is a great addition to any recipe. It goes great with chicken, but also spices up a homemade breakfast burrito or casserole for very few calories.
Salmon. It’s not always the most economical protein, but when it comes to nutritional value, salmon packs a pretty powerful nutritional punch. Stock up when it’s on sale—it’s worth it.
Unsweetened applesauce. Not only is it a hit with the kids, but applesauce is a common substitute in a variety of calorie-conscious recipes, so it’s a good thing to have around.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. When it comes to cooking, they’re about as blank a canvas as you can get. Throw them in the slow cooker or frying pan, or braise them with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese for an easy meal in a short period of time.
Lean ground beef or turkey. Yes, the higher fat content beef is best for grilling. But anything ninety percent or more makes for a delicious addition to your favorite recipes for lasagna, meat sauce, or tacos.
Eggs. It might just be the least expensive healthy option at the grocery store, but eggs are a valuable commodity to have at the ready for healthy eating.
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This post was written by Ty Schmidt of Modernize.