Written by  Megan Anderson, Nutrition Counselor at Camp Shane FL

At Camp Shane, we try to get the campers to understand that there are healthier alternatives to their favorite foods. You can make these substitutions and easily swap low-nutrient dense foods for ones that are beneficial to your children’s health and that taste great too!

Swap 1: Instead of Sour Cream, Use Non-fat Greek Yogurt

Sour cream is very high in calories and fat. 1 cup of reduced fat sour cream contains 416 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 16 grams of carbohydrates. 1 cup of Non-fat Greek yogurt contains 133 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 7 grams of carbohydrates. Non-fat Greek yogurt is also a good source of protein. Keep this in mind at your next taco night!

Swap 2: Instead of White Rice, Serve Quinoa or Riced Vegetables

White rice is not very nutrient dense, is high in carbohydrates, and contains little fiber. Although it does have some benefits, there are alternatives such as quinoa and riced vegetables that can be helpful when trying to lose weight. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing 8 grams of protein per cup cooked. A complete protein is a protein that has all 9 essential amino acids. Riced vegetables are on the rise of popularity because they have a very similar texture to rice, but with all the benefits of vegetables. It’s a sneaky way to get those veggies in that even kids will enjoy!

Swap 3: Instead of Pasta, Make Spaghetti Squash or Zucchini Noodles

Instead of pasta, try cooking a spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. These vegetables are low in both carbohydrates and calories, making them great alternatives that are easy to prepare. Not to mention, they are just as tasty as pasta.

Swap 4: Instead of Red Meat, Prepare Lean Meats

Red meats, such as beef and pork, have higher levels of cholesterol and saturated fat than lean meats, like chicken and turkey. Reducing cholesterol and fat intake can improve heart health. Try to opt for lean meats when grocery shopping! Keeping the red meat out of your house will naturally reduce your intake because it isn’t around.

Swap 5: Instead of Tortillas, Use Lettuce Leaves

If you are looking for more sneaky ways to increase your intake of greens, try using lettuce leaves in place of tortillas. It is a good way to cut back on calories while maintaining the crunch when biting into your wraps.