Do you find yourself racking your brain every day to come up with three whole nutrient-rich meals that your kids will actually eat?
It’s no easy feat sneaking fruit and vegetables into the meals of children who seem to have a sixth sense to sniff out the components of health so they know what to turn away. But you naturally want your family to benefit from good diet plans. For inspiration we look towards the Mediterranean where staple foods are rich in locally-sourced fresh fruit, vegetables and unprocessed heart-healthy whole grains.
Is the Mediterranean diet really all it’s cracked up to be?
A recent Spanish study showed that “following a Mediterranean diet can cut your risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart-disease-related deaths by about 30% compared to a typical Western diet that didn’t include Mediterranean staples.”
The merits of the Mediterranean diet have been well-publicised but in the age of the low-carb fad one can’t help but think: is all that bread, olive oil and pasta really healthy? Well, of course, the key has and continues to be moderation, but the real benefit of a Mediterranean diet is less about the allotment of carbs versus protein, and more specifically related to the positive effects of food that is locally sourced, unprocessed, cooked at home and shared as a family. It’s this traditional Mediterranean way of eating that’s well worth emulating.
Incorporate good diet plans with a Mediterranean flair into your family meals
According to an article on Eating Well, it only takes small changes to get you eating like the sun-kissed Mediterraneans over on the continent.
- Cram fruit and vegetables into each meal, not only at dinner time. In Spain, the vegetarian tortilla is eaten throughout the day. This delicious egg-based tart can be stuffed with spinach, onions, peppers and numerous other nutrient-rich veggies.
- Substitute butter with olive oil. Opt for the cold-pressed extra virgin variety and keep it raw and uncooked to soak up all the benefits.
- Good diet plans include plenty of healthy whole grains. Popular grains include polenta, barley, and rice in risotto or paella. The traditional breads of Western Europe are made slowly with the finest quality flour, yeast and water, with some bakeries still using the same methods that their grandparents used. Free from any unrecognisable chemicals, these loaves are made with old-fashioned goodness to achieve that slight chew in the centre and perfectly crusty crust.
- As a bonus for mum and dad, some say the Mediterranean diet contains a whole food group dedicated to red wine. Being full of antioxidants, an occasional glass of red wine receives a health gold star.
- Offer fresh fruit and top-quality yoghurt to your kids for dessert. Greek yoghurt, walnuts and honey may just be the dessert of the gods.
- When it comes to protein most Mediterraneans are less about huge portions of meat, and more about thin slices of parma ham or salami and fresh fish like sardines, calamari, tuna or whatever’s freshest from the sea. If the idea of getting your kids interested in eating fish seems laughable, consider the excitement of taking them on a journey from seaside to plate. In charming sea-side towns like Calpe in the Costa Blanca, live fishing auctions happen on a daily basis.
For a true taste of the Mediterranean’s good diet plans, why not consider a field trip to immerse your family in the health benefits of the region? AR-hotels boast a portfolio of top-quality resorts in Costa Blanca. Each of these resorts in Costa Blanca proudly serve up the finest cuisine filled with the best regional produce and local flavours. For further information about balmy, active and delicious holidays in Calpe, contact AR-hotels.