Healthy Meal Alternatives

Healthier Favorites With All the Taste You Crave

Want to keep your taste buds—and your family—happy while making smarter food choices? Check out the recipe resources, snack ideas, and fast food survival guide below.


Looking for healthy versions of your old favorites? Check the resources below. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Just type a favorite dish into a search engine and add the words “healthy recipe.” You’re sure to find some ideas. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t love the results. Experiment. Get creative. Try adjusting with different fruits, veggies, and nuts—instead of sugar, salt, and extra fat.

  • Cooking Light. Try this popular cooking site, or its parent magazine, for lightened-up recipes, many based on traditional favorites.
  • Prevention. The definitive journal of healthy food, nutrition, and cooking from J. I. Rodale, who first popularized the term “organic.” Use their recipe finder or browse the extensive collection of categories.
  • SkinnyMs. Recipes and resources to help you eat healthy no matter how busy you are.
  • Mayo Clinic Ingredient Substitution Guide. This handy guide from the Mayo Clinic offers ingredient swaps to make any recipe healthier.
  • A Couple Cooks. How about adding this one? They’re a local couple that has a really popular healthy recipe blog.

Healthy Snacks

Cravings that hit between meals catch us at our most vulnerable. Be prepared with these healthy alternatives to junk food favorites.

  • Instead of potato chips. Try kale chips, air-popped popcorn, nuts or sunflower seeds, rice snacks, pita chips
  • Instead of a candy bar. Dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), trail mix, protein bars
  • Instead of ice cream. Fruit smoothie, frozen bananas, cinnamon apples
  • Instead of chocolate chip cookies. Whole wheat fig bars, high-fiber granola bars
  • Instead of soda. Kombucha, fruit-infused water, juice with seltzer, iced green tea

Healthier Fast Food

While truly healthy fast food is hard to come by, there are many ways to make healthier choices when grabbing meals on the go.

  • Get it Grilled. When ordering chicken or fish, choose the grilled option over breaded and fried. You’ll cut the calories and lower your intake of deep-fried trans fats.
  • Banish the Bread. Get a burrito bowl or a taco salad (and if it comes in an edible bowl, resist the urge). You’ll reduce empty carbs and, if you end up eating more green leaves, add fiber.
  • Embrace the Bean. Beans are easier on your heart than meat, and add additional fiber for the win.
  • Have a Salad. By all means, have a salad. But rather than dressing it up with creamy-dressings or beefing it up with steak, try a low-oil vinaigrette, olives, and flavorful beans (see above).
  • Skip the Soda. Have unsweetened iced tea, milk, or water with lemon.