The Christmas season has always been my favourite time of the year! Sure, I do love summer, but there is something very special and cozy about the Christmas holidays. People seem to smile more and just generally be in good humour. However, it’s also a very busy time of the year! Not only are there gifts to buy, stockings to fill, treats to bake, a house to clean, school concerts, Christmas plays, and family parties…phew I’m out of breath just thinking about all of this…and there are still the everyday tasks, like making lunches and meals.
In anticipation of all the rich and delicious food that will be in abundance during the holidays, now is probably NOT the time for take-out. Now is a good time to stay on track by continuing to eat nutritiously. We still need to consciously up the consumption of healthy foods, such as citrus fruits, beans, legumes, probiotics and nuts and seeds to get the nutrients we need. This way we enter the holiday season with a fully charged immune system.
Of course, we’re all very busy, so what we need are some quick and healthy weekday recipes that go from prep to table in no time at all! Mealtime is the perfect opportunity to introduce your family to new ingredients that contain nutrients that help lead to good overall and immune health.
The top nutrients to look for to help maintain good overall and immune health include:
Vitamin C and E
These have antioxidants important for the maintenance of good health and are found in citrus fruits and seeds/nuts, respectively.
Found in nuts and seeds, helps maintain immune function.
Found as beta-carotene in orange vegetables like sweet potato and butternut squash, has also been shown to help maintain immune function.
Foods, like kefir or probiotic yogurt, contain probiotic bacteria, which may modulate immune function. Eating foods that contain probiotics is preferred to taking probiotic supplements because then you also get the other nutrients in the food, like protein and calcium.
Found in meats, eggs, seafood (e.g. salmon, tuna and trout), milk products, legumes, and nuts and seeds, helps build and repair body tissues and antibodies.
The B vitamins
Which help to maintain good health, are found in abundance in leafy greens, whole grains, and winter squashes, to name a few.
TIP – Try ingredients of different colours and textures, adding them to multiple meals to make the family accustomed to eating them.
To make eating a healthy diet easier for you, I am including a few links to some healthy, delicious, and quick weekday recipes that I’m sure you will love!
Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry – This family-friendly curry has a perfect mix of sweetness and spice. Make it milder by using mild curry powder, spicier by using hot.
Spinach and Meatball Soup with Outer Space Pasta – Sure, this veggie-packed meatball soup is technically for kids, but we won’t judge if you sneak a bowl for yourself. Passata gives the broth a subtle sweet tomato flavour without being too overwhelming for picky eaters – if you can’t find it, purée one cup of no-salt-added diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor, instead. Serve with a side salad for a balanced meal.
PC Blue Menu Carrot & Mango 100% Vegetable & Fruit Juice Blend – While not technically a recipe, this juice is perfect to pack in school or work lunch boxes! A luscious blend of fruit and vegetable juices from concentrate and fruit purées, including carrot and mango with apple, cucumber and lemon. At 80 calories per 250 mL serving and no added sugar, it’s the ideal way to quench your thirst. It also provides 1 serving of vegetables and 100% of the daily value of vitamins A and C per 250 mL serving.
Whole Grain Lemon and Raspberry Pancakes – A a box of wholegrain pancake mix can lead to endless breakfast possibilities. Try this raspberry-lemon twist.
Orangey Sweet Potato Mash – This colourful side dish is low in sodium, a source of fibre and an excellent source of Vitamin C. A delicious start to meeting your diet resolutions!
Remember, the ever-present fall flu is still lurking menacingly in the background! Contracting the flu is the last thing any of us want at any time, but especially not during this busy time season. In addition to eating a healthy diet, we still need to be vigilant about our hand washing and if you haven’t already done so, be sure to visit your Atlantic Superstore to receive your flu shot and book a consultation with a Registered Dietitian while you’re there.
To stay up to date with all the latest news, be sure to follow the #SuperstoreFluCrew and #Fluless hashtags.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored in partnership with Atlantic Superstore. As always, all opinions are our own.