“It’s not as good as the real thing.”
How many times have you heard someone say that about healthy alternatives to popular meals?
Maybe you’ve even said it yourself.
The good news is, being a picky eater doesn’t have to be a barrier to a healthy lifestyle. Read on to discover 7 healthy foods picky eaters will love.
What Stops Picky Eaters From Becoming Healthy?
Becoming a healthy eater is hard for anybody, but it can be particularly hard for picky eaters who are already limited by the range of foods they will eat. Many picky eaters have a handful of foods that they enjoy and will rarely stray from their comfort zone.
This means becoming healthy is confronting. You may feel deprived of their favourite foods, and think that healthy options can’t compare. You could find yourself overwhelmed by the new choices available to you and even nervous about cooking them for the first time.
The biggest problem, however, is trying to change too much too quickly.
Deciding to be healthy doesn’t automatically mean living off lettuce and trail mix!
You can still enjoy many of the meals you love by putting a healthy spin on them, and you are far less likely to experience setbacks if you enjoy the healthy food you’re eating.
The 7 Healthy Foods Picky Eaters Will Love
The following 7 foods are perfect for fussy eaters because they are all generally universally liked, and they all taste great - even after being given a healthy makeover.
Naked Beef & Bacon Burger
Everyone loves a good burger, right? Even most picky eaters will have a burger that they like, and nothing beats beef and bacon. Two distinct, hearty flavours, but both not usually considered as healthy.
Luckily, with just a few tweaks, you can enjoy all the flavours of a burger without paying for it in your waistline.
By removing the buns, you’ll save costly carbs, and offset a delicious side offering, like some cajun sweet potato chips. For the filling, some freshly chopped beetroot and onion, along with some spinach, will be flavourful and filling. Top it all off with a tomato relish and you have a great healthy but familiar version of your standard beef burger.
If there’s nothing you love more than a char-grilled BBQ sausage, a slice of bread and some tomato sauce, you’re in luck - sort of.
You’ll have to lose the bread and the sauce to cut down on the carbs, salts and sugars, but that doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing flavour. A gluten-free curried sausage will naturally have a stronger flavour and aroma than plain beef. Also, by combining it with a veggie packed stir-fry you’re getting your meat fix and your five daily servings of greens all at once.
Even picky eaters love a good lasagna. There’s nothing better for an easy family meal, and lasagna is practically made to be reheated as a tasty leftover treat. Unfortunately, lasagna is packed full of greasy mince and cheese and isn’t very good for you…
Thankfully, there is a compromise!
By mixing in some vegetable filling with the beef mince, and using ricotta and sour cream, rather than cheese, to bind the layers together, you can make a spectacular lasagna that is healthier but tastes just as good as the original.
*For an extra tip, try eating it with a side of steamed broccoli. Broccoli pairs surprisingly well with cheese-based meals. While in this lasagna, the cheese has been replaced, the flavours work the same way and broccoli will complement it nicely.
Shepherd's pie has been a staple in Britain and its colonies for centuries. What makes it a great dish is the ability to throw in almost any vegetable, and then cover it up with a hearty serving of potato and mince.
A healthy version of shepherd's pie keeps this concept, but gets rid of the carb-loaded pastry. Using a pot to house the ingredients instead, throw in a variety of veggies like onion, carrot and peas, and then mix it with a generous helping of lean beef mince.
To quite literally cap it off, cover with smashed sweet potato and enjoy all of the traditional flavours of a shepherd’s pie without a guilty conscience!
If you didn’t burn bolognese during a food technology class in highschool, you might not fully appreciate just how common and beloved bolognese is in Australia.
This household staple gets a bad wrap for its carbohydrate contents, but the real issue is the pasta, not the mince and the sauce. By removing the pasta, and mixing in a few vegetables like carrot and mushroom, bolognese can be a substantial meal on its own.
However, if you do need to mix it with something, try vegetable pasta or noodle alternatives, or even mashed potato, which can add volume to the dish without disrupting the balance of its flavour or texture.
Everyone loves meatballs drenched in a thick, tomato based sauce - even picky eaters. The good news is, you don’t have to leave them behind when you embark on your healthy lifestyle journey.
The thing that makes meatballs fattening is that they are often paired with large portions of spaghetti. In this version, you can pair them with vegetable noodles as a spaghetti replacement, or even with a side of steamed potatoes and vegetables.
If you do want to eat them on their own, then using herbs like fennel seeds, parsley and basil will give them an aromatic and delicious flavour that will hold up as a meal on their own.
Chipotle Chicken Wings
Chipotle chicken wings are far healthier than alternatives that are bathed in sauces with high sugar and salt contents. Simply combine chipotle chillies with onion and paprika, mix it with tomato paste, and you have a far healthier, but no less flavourful marinade.
To keep the health benefits rolling in, pair them with a fresh salad for a perfect summer dish. The spice of the chipotle will create an interesting contrast with the cool crispness of the salad.
Another big obstacle for people trying to go healthy is lacking the time to prepare meals. A lot of unhealthy food, especially junk food, is eaten because it is more convenient than home cooking.
The thing is, people who are time poor aren’t lazy. People lead increasingly busy lives, and convenience meals are the way of the future.
Activate Foods makes healthy versions of familiar meals from scratch, and delivers them to Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney. Every tasty meal for picky eaters that mentioned on this list are on the Activate Foods menu.
If you are a time poor picky eater who is struggling to stay on the healthy eating path, visit our website to learn more about our convenient, affordable and healthy meals.
If you’d like to create an account and take the stress and effort out of healthy eating, sign up here.