by Marlena from Wisconsin
As a vegetarian myself, I offer a lot of meatless options, since that allows us to eat one meal as a family.
If I make a traditional meal that I want to eat my version of, I will make my own, such as hamburgers or Sloppy Joes. Personally, I love the Impossible Burger, so I will make burgers with that for myself and use ground beef for the rest of the family. But if I want to make one meal, I will add protein in other ways. We do eat seafood as a family, so tuna noodle casserole is a classic comfort food made often during fall and winter. I will also make shrimp stir fries using lots of veggies, such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and snap peas. I also love to make meatless chili with lots of beans, which the kids love.
I incorporate protein into a lot of snacks, in addition to meals. I will use chickpeas to make hummus or I'll make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I also use yogurt in my pancake recipe to give it a healthy makeover. We also make a lot of our meals protein-based, such as scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast. When I was a breastfeeding mom, it was easy to maintain my supply since WIC covers a lot of protein-rich foods and you can use several of them in one meal. The scrambled eggs and cheese can get wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with fresh tomatoes and onions and served with a side of yogurt for breakfast. And as a mom of a toddler, the peanut butter is a great snack for celery (and carrots!) as well as in a sandwich on whole wheat bread.
One thing I do when cooking or baking is look up ways to make healthy alternatives by substituting yogurt or applesauce into a recipe. The internet is a great resource for finding ways to modify recipes, and WIC offers ways to help by tailoring food packages to fit your needs as well; the tofu option is a great way to substitute any meat dish.
There are several ways to incorporate protein into your diet without eating meat, and the dietitians at WIC are a great resource; ask yours for ideas!
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Marlena.
About Marlena. . .
My name is Marlena, and I am a momma of two boys (Jed and Zeke) who are obsessed with all things tractors. Harvest time is upon us on the dairy farm we live on in rural Wisconsin, so a favorite after work/school activity is to ride along in the tractor with daddy. Once harvest time is over, my fiance Dustin and I are getting married in January!
Want more inspiration about how to involve your kids and encourage eating nutritious foods? Check out a few lessons at www.wichealth.org. Our Choosing Healthy Foods category is a great place to start!
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