FAMILY FEATURES   –  Taking time to nurture your health and well-being starts with building healthier habits. As the seasons change, challenge yourself to make small yet consistent choices that help you and your family through transitions at school, the office or wherever your days take you.

To help you establish (or re-establish) healthy habits during mealtime and beyond, consider these tips.

Eat Meals Together

“Making time for meals together as a family provides a chance to connect and decompress,” said Bridget Wojciak, director of nutrition at Kroger Health, a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative. “In fact, regular meals at home can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and improve feelings of connection.”

Bring everyone together with a better-for-you seasonal favorite like Turkey and Bean Tostadas.

Make Time for Yourself

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on mental and physical health, but turning lost moments – like a meal by yourself spent mindlessly scrolling through social media – into mindful moments can help. Try practicing gratitude at the table by thinking of three things you’re grateful for or putting your fork down between each bite to savor the flavor and consider the nourishment you’re receiving.

Enjoy the Cooler Temperatures

Cooler temperatures can make it more enjoyable to take advantage of outdoor exercise, which is a good way to soak in vitamin D to improve your mood and boost immunity. Going for a brisk walk after mealtime (solo or with your pet), jogging and even raking leaves are examples of activities that count toward the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Visit heart.org/healthyforgood to download more heart-healthy recipes and find more tips for a healthier you in mind, body and heart.

Tuna Pasta Casserole

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 4

  • 4 ounces dried whole-wheat rotini pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 pouch (11 ounces) low-sodium chunk light tuna
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) low-fat, low-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose, salt-free seasoning blend
  • 3/4 cup crushed low-sodium, whole-grain crackers
  • 1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Using colander, drain well. Transfer to large bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray 2-quart glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    Stir mixed vegetables, tuna, soup, roasted peppers, half-and-half and seasoning blend into pasta until combined. Transfer to baking dish. Top with crackers and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes, or until casserole is warmed through and topping is golden brown.

Nutritional information per serving: 400 calories; 7 g total fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 2 g polyunsaturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 537 mg sodium; 52 g carbohydrates; 8 g dietary fiber; 7 g sugars; 32 g protein.

Turkey and Bean Tostadas

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 5

Salsa:

  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted and diced
  • 1 large ear of corn, husks and silk discarded, kernels removed
  • 1-2 medium fresh jalapenos, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Tostadas:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 5 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 8 ounces ground skinless turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. To make salsa: In small bowl, stir tomatoes, avocado, corn, jalapenos, onions and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  3. To make tostadas: Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place tortillas on baking sheet. Lightly spray tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. Using fork, pierce tortillas several times to prevent from filling with air.
  4. Bake tortillas 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  5. In medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, cook turkey, chili powder, cumin and coriander 5-6 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally to turn and break up turkey.
  6. Add beans and water. Cook 5 minutes, or until beans are heated through. Using potato masher, coarsely mash beans. Remove from heat.
  7. To assemble tostadas, spread turkey mixture over each tortilla. Top with salsa.

Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 4.5 g monounsaturated fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrates; 8 g dietary fiber; 7 g sugars; 19 g protein.

Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced, or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
  1. In large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook onion 6-8 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in gingerroot, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in flour. Pour in broth and water. Using spatula, scrape bottom of pot to dislodge any browned bits. Stir in pumpkin. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in milk. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls.
  4. Garnish with sour cream and chives, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 138 calories; 2.5 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 199 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrates; 10 g dietary fiber; 14 g sugars; 6 g protein.

 


SOURCE:
American Heart Association