The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle that your whole family can enjoy — whether or not they're following the meal plans as outlined. Here are some simple tips for preparing family-friendly dinners that will help everyone in your household become healthier while you lose weight.
Skip refined carbs. Even small children benefit from — and can become accustomed to — nutrient-dense whole grains. Start transitioning your family to whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and less common grains like quinoa and bulgur.
South Beach Diet-style: Begin enjoying a side dish of these grains once you enter Phase 2.
Serve more veggies. Build your main-course meal around fresh vegetables. Consider serving sautéed vegetables and a salad, instead of opting for one or the other. Add extra veggies to whole-wheat pasta, soups, stews, and the like.
South Beach Diet-style: Sauté vegetables in extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil.
Stick with lean meats. Select lean cuts of beef and skinless poultry, and braise, bake, broil, or grill your meat.
South Beach Diet-style: Choose lean cuts of beef, such as eye of round, ground beef (labeled "sirloin," "lean," and "extra lean"), tenderloin, top loin, and top round. When it comes to poultry, opt for the breast (skinless, of course) instead of the darker wings and thighs, which are higher in unhealthy saturated fats. (Vegetarians can enjoy tofu and soy-based meat alternatives.)
Go fish. Choose oily fish, like salmon, for its beneficial omega-3s. Be cautious when it comes to farmed salmon, which may have high levels of environmental toxins (PCBs), and long-living, deep-sea species like swordfish and tilefish, which may accumulate mercury in their flesh. Mercury consumption can damage your nervous system and may be especially harmful for young children, pregnant women, and nursing moms.
South Beach Diet-style: For a quick, convenient meal high in omega-3s, try canned or foil-packed salmon, which is usually wild.