Unlock the 7 Secrets to Boosting Nutrients in every meal

It’s so easy to get into a food rut, trying to prepare meals that satisfy ALL the mouths in the house; it can be exhausting and all consuming. I don’t know about at your house, but I constantly get ‘What’s for dinner?’, sometimes they hit me with that in the morning, before School – seriously! and then a follow up response like ‘Urghhh, but I don’t want that’.

How much simpler would it be to just cook deliciously nutrient-dense meals just for me and my partner, but alas, the good food police stop me in my tracks.

I used to make multiple meals to appease the masses but gave up on that as it was burning me out. Now, I am far more sensible and just adapt meals to suit the fussy ones.

My theory is if you start with a super-nutritious meal then you’re winning. Sometimes it’s your one hawk-eyed child that examines every mouthful that you have to win over, so you may have to get a bit sneaky about how you go about it.

By incorporating simple yet powerful ingredients, you can supercharge your meals and maximize their nutritional value. So let’s look at how to get that extra boost of nourishment into your meals and fuel yours (and your kids) bodies with the goodness they deserve.

  1. Embrace Colourful Veggies:

Eat the rainbow as I tell my kids... Vegetables are the superheroes of nutrition, packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

Eat the rainbow and boost nutrients in your diet

Make it a goal to include a variety of colourful veggies in every meal. Add vibrant red capsicums to your stir-fries, toss leafy greens into your salads, or roast a rainbow of root vegetables. The more colours on your plate, the wider the range of nutrients you'll consume.

With little finicky food haters in the family (each of mine have had their time as fussy easters), I’ve found the more I offer different foods, the more likely they are to just try them.

Failing that, I get all sneaky with blended up vegies added to our meals (I mean who hasn’t snuck carrots, mushrooms and zuchinni into their Bolognese) and another option is get yourself some Nutra Organics Vegie Hero powder which is a blend of 15 fruits and veg to add to any meal.

  1. Power up with Protein:

Protein is a key nutrient for building protein, repairing tissue, oxygenating blood, digestion and regulating most other physiological and metabolic processes (via hormone and enzyme production) so crucial for overall well-being. Making protein a key component of each meal will also help keep you full.

Ideally, you want to include quality sources of protein; this means opting for lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish. I always try to find pasture raised poultry, which is often tricky so often a good free range will have to do (I look for Hazeldene Poultry).

If on a plant-based diet, include protein-rich options like beans, broccoli, lentils, tofu, yoghurt (plain Greek if possible), tempeh, or quinoa.

  1. Sprinkle with Superfoods:

Whip yourself up a power packed sprinkle that can added to any meal that tickles your fancy; soups, salads, pastas, roasted vegies or even popcorn.

Try making your own jar of super sprinkle by whizzing up the following in your food processor:

  • 1 cup nutritional yeast (full to the brim with B vitamins)
  • ¼ cup walnuts (and/or almonds)
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of sea salt

Then sprinkle on everything! Alternately, get creative with your favourite ground spices in a nutritional yeast base.

Healthy Sprinkles to boost nutrient content of your meal

Supplementing with these nutrient-dense foods (‘superfoods’) can add an extra vitamin, mineral and fatty acid punch to your meals. A few more easy peasy ideas;

  • Sprinkle chia seeds or flaxseeds, both high in good fats (omega-3’s), fiber and protein on your yogurt or smoothie
  • Add a handful of nutrient-rich berries (blueberries, goji berries or any really) to your breakfast bowls or salads.
  • Have a go experimenting with spirulina, maca powder, turmeric or hemp seeds to add a that extra pinch of goodness to your recipes.
  1. Flavour with Herbs and Spices:

Herbs and spices not only give your meal a little bit of extra flavour, but also provide an array of health benefits.

There are a wealth of studies showing that various herbs and spices possess antioxidant (Yashin et al., 2017), anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective (Faridzadeh et al., 2022), anti-carcinogenic (Talib et al., 2022), and glucose and cholesterol-lowering properties (Jiang, 2019). There are also some that can affect cognition and mood, which isn’t surprising really.    

herbs and spices to boost nutrient content of your meals

Go easy on the salt but go forth and explore the world of herbs and spices. If your little ones aren’t so sure about them, put aside their portion and add to the rest; I mean, why should you miss out.

Ways to add these powerhouses to your meals might be to add:

  • some basil to your pasta dishes and salads
  • fresh thyme, bay and oregano to your Bolognese
  • cinnamon (and nutmeg) on your morning oats (delicious!!), or
  • ginger, garlic and turmeric to your stir-fries or
  • oven roast potato, sweet potato or a combination of other vegies (think carrot, pumpkin, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, parsnip) using a mixture of nutritional yeast, ground paprika, ground coriander seed, pepper and oregano.

Flavourful? absolutely, but these additions will also level-up your meals by offering powerful healing properties, a welcomed benefit.

  1. Add high quality bone broth powder or concentrate

Anytime you are making a soup, a saucy dish nor even cooking some rice, switch out water or standard stock cubes with a high-quality organic bone broth powder or concentrate. I love the Nutra Organics bone broth powders but also have used Gevity bone broth body glue (this is a thick broth concentrate) and honestly can't live without them.

These are not only high in protein and collagen (helpful for wound healing, healthy skin and nails and improved joint health) but also contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K2, iron, zinc, selenium, and manganese, vitamins and minerals needed for efficient metabolic function and immune health.

  1. Incorporate Healthy Fats:

Healthy fats are essential for nutrient absorption, they’ll nourish your body, promote satiety and be beneficial for overall health with research showing they can help lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease (Yanai et al., 2018), improve blood cholesterol levels (Pizzini et al., 2017), reduce inflammation (Calder, 2010), and even help to control blood glucose levels.  

Make sure to include sources of unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, fish and olive oil in your meals.

Why not:

  • whip up a zingy homemade salad dressing using olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs
  • add a few slices of avocado to your sandwiches or
  • sprinkle a handful of almonds on your salads.

For fussy little ones, make a batch of nutmeal-based bliss balls, an almond meal banana bread or sneak a piece of avocado into their smoothie.

  1. Hydrate with Infused Waters:


Keeping your fluid levels up is a big one and key to maintaining overall health. Instead of reaching for sugary beverages, infuse your water with fruits, herbs, and citrus slices. Have you tried adding slices of cucumber and mint leaves? It’s pretty refreshing, or maybe have a go with a lemon, lime, and strawberry combination. A great way to hydrate while also adding a hint of flavour and additional nutrients.

  1. Add a side of fermented foods

Fermented food for good health | Lacto fermented | Kinchi

Interestingly, when foods are fermented, the nutritional content often increases. During the lacto-fermentation, the bacterial enzymes digest molecules that we can’t, and in the process generate molecules that are hugely beneficial for our health.

The good bacteria make nutrients like Vitamin C, B vitamins and Vitamin K and they make them (and others present in the vegetables) more bioavailable for us meaning they are more easily absorbed and utilised by the body. There are plenty of other benefits to adding fermented foods to your diet but I’ll save that for another blog.

So, get some Kimchi, Sauerkraut, lacto-fermented olives or pickles on the table. There are plenty of organic and fancy ferments available these days; try some.

If you’re keen to DIY some lacto-ferments, which is addictive by the way, there is a great resource explaining the process and the key players you’ll need to lacto-ferment an array of vegetables or get yourself a copy of Sharon Flynn's beautiful and gut-loving book, Ferment for Good. 

Getting the goods into your little ones

Now a brief word on the little fussy ones. Choosing healthy food options for kids is easy (ish) but getting them on board to actually eat them is not. You'll likely experience periods of time when you have to go full stealth mode and jam as much goodness into your meals while they are none the wiser.

And yes, we’ve all tried talking sense and logic, but sometimes the little ninjas just won’t have it. You may very well need to:

  • Disguise the food; and I mean blend it into smoothies, sauces, purees.
  • Boost it: there are some excellent kid-friendly greens powders you can buy to add to smoothies and soups to sneak in those extra nutrients.
  • Replace their favourites: so maybe they love a hot chocolate, what kids don’t really, but there are healthier (and just as delicious) hot chocolate powders (we love Choc Whiz) out there and they wouldn’t even know they were packed with goodness.
  • Get their hands dirty: I have found that having a vegie patch has helped introduce my kids to the source of their food and make it more familiar. Growing some snow peas, simple greens and some edible flowers is a great way to introduce new flavours and textures. So get out there and grow it.

So you see, you can power pack your meals and step up your nutrition game. Remember, nourishing your body is a journey, and small changes as I’ve outlined can have a big impact on your health.

Eat the rainbow, pick your protein thoughtfully, sprinkle like it’s stardust, get to know herbs and spices, include healthy fats and introduce fermented foods. Your body will thank you for the extra dose of nourishment and vitality.

Get ready to embrace a healthier, supercharged you, one meal at a time!

Eat well & Be well, 

Dr Tammy Alner



Calder PC. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes. Nutrients. 2010 Mar;2(3):355-374. doi: 10.3390/nu2030355. Epub 2010 Mar 18. PMID: 22254027; PMCID: PMC3257651.

Faridzadeh A, Salimi Y, Ghasemirad H, Kargar M, Rashtchian A, Mahmoudvand G, Karimi MA, Zerangian N, Jahani N, Masoudi A, Sadeghian Dastjerdi B, Salavatizadeh M, Sadeghsalehi H, Deravi N. Neuroprotective Potential of Aromatic Herbs: Rosemary, Sage, and Lavender. Front Neurosci. 2022 Jun 28;16:909833. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.909833. PMID: 35873824; PMCID: PMC9297920.

Jiang TA. Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices. Journal of AOAC Int. 2019 Mar 1;102(2):395-411. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.18-0418. Epub 2019 Jan 16. PMID: 30651162.

Pizzini A, Lunger L, Demetz E, Hilbe R, Weiss G, Ebenbichler C, Tancevski I. The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Reverse Cholesterol Transport: A Review. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 6;9(10):1099. doi: 10.3390/nu9101099. PMID: 28984832; PMCID: PMC5691715.

Talib WH, AlHur MJ, Al Naimat S, Ahmad RE, Al-Yasari AH, Al-Dalaeen A, Thiab S, Mahmod AI. Anticancer Effect of Spices Used in Mediterranean Diet: Preventive and Therapeutic Potentials. Front Nutr. 2022 Jun 14;9:905658. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.905658. PMID: 35774546; PMCID: PMC9237507.

Yanai H, Masui Y, Katsuyama H, Adachi H, Kawaguchi A, Hakoshima M, Waragai Y, Harigae T, Sako A. An Improvement of Cardiovascular Risk Factors by Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. J Clin Med Res. 2018 Apr;10(4):281-289. doi: 10.14740/jocmr3362w. Epub 2018 Feb 18. PMID: 29511415; PMCID: PMC5827911.

Yashin A, Yashin Y, Xia X, Nemzer B. Antioxidant Activity of Spices and Their Impact on Human Health: A Review. Antioxidants (Basel). 2017 Sep 15;6(3):70. doi: 10.3390/antiox6030070. PMID: 28914764; PMCID: PMC5618098.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published