Cooking for your family is a great start, but "pack in a better variety of produce," than just Idaho potatoes, says Lempert. His advice: "Try what's in season -- it's probably on sale, too. Get picky eaters involved by letting them select produce."
"Everyone has a weak spot!" says Lempert. "The best way to curb unhealthy indulgences is to have healthy snacks ready to go. Stock the fridge with snack packs, like sliced apples mixed with nuts or carrot sticks with dip."
If you're choosing steaks, Lempert says, "marinating typically tough, lean cuts of meat like top round or round-tip roast, tenderizes and add flavor. Bottled marinades are high in sugar and pricey, so make your own with oil, an acid like citrus or vinegar and some spices." He also advises: "Ditch saturated fat by switching from ground beef to ground turkey or chicken," advises Lempert. "You can also make this on the cheap by grinding boneless cuts with a food processor."
Pass the bottle.
Buying bottled dressings, sauces and other condiments? "Switch to low-fat salad dressing and cottage cheese, which still taste great. (Can't say the same for nonfat versions.)" says Lempert. "Even better, try a simple dressing of olive oil -- it has good fats -- and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to scale back on preservatives and sodium."
"Soda is an expensive habit that adds empty calories to your waistline," says Lempert. "Halve costs by mixing a spoonful of frozen juice concentrate into a glass of club soda -- you'll save about 90 calories per soda. If a family consumes about eight sodas a day, this switch could mean 75 pounds of weight loss in a year, collectively!"
Buy whole grains.
"Swap out white breads and pasta for whole wheat versions," says Lempert. "Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer."