Tips for Families
The Mediterranean Diet is all about delicious foods, flavors, textures and colors, with something for everyone – even finicky eaters! Keep these tips in mind as you shop for your family.
- Plan meals in advance. Make a shopping list and buy most of what you need in one trip to the store per week. Build up your pantry to keep Mediterranean ingredients such as olive oil, canned tomatoes, whole grains, pasta, and tuna on hand. Buy additional fresh produce and seafood a few times a week.
- Be prepared when hunger strikes. When kids need an after-school snack, offer up small bowls of Mediterranean dips like hummus, tzatziki, baba ghannouj, and spicy muhammara. Pair the dips with an ever changing variety of fresh vegetables, or offer whole grain pita bread for dipping.
- Follow the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid and encourage your kids to eat vegetables every day. Add veggies to the foods your kids already like. If pancakes are popular, add some grated carrots, or shredded zucchini to the batter. Toss frozen peas and corn with pasta or mac and cheese. Or, add diced sautéed onions, peppers and feta to scrambled eggs.
- The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid recommends eating several pieces of fruit each day. Make fruit a part of your family’s daily diet. Dice up apples and strawberries or toss a few blueberries into the morning meal. If your child is looking for a savory snack, offer up black or green olives as nutritious option. Stock up on clementines, grapes, pears, and melon for after school munching. Encourage kids to eat fresh fruit rather than drinking fruit juice for a better source of fiber, which is often lacking in their diets.