Children of all ages turn their noses up at certain foods at mealtime.
They need snacks throughout the day, and often a quick lunch if they are home at lunchtime. How can we change the habit of serving sweet snacks, fast foods, and other things that are not healthy for children, especially in today’s busy world? Try these easy ideas to serve healthy foods your kids will love.
- Sprinkle a small amount of brown sugar over cooked carrots to make quick glazed carrots.
- Dress up green beans with some peanuts, Chinese noddles or grated raw carrots.
- Cut broccoli, cauliflower, or a combination of both, into small pieces. Children will often eat smaller pieces of vegetables than bigger chunks.
- Serve the raw vegetables with a favorite low-fat dip, and dress up cooked cauliflower and broccoli with shredded low-fat cheese or fat-free powdered cheese.
- Also, consider offering a variety of salt-free seasonings to change the taste of the vegetables. Try Mrs. Dash or a similar brand in several different varieties, butter-flavored popcorn seasoning or another flavor the kids haven’t tried before.
- Also consider low-fat margarine or salad dressings in a spritz bottle, so the children can spray just a bit of flavorings onto their vegetables.
- Try “hiding” vegetables in another food, like putting diced raw vegetables in cottage cheese or mixed some diced cooked vegetables in with cooked macaroni and cheese.
Besides simply buying baked chips and no-salt crackers, try some different snack ideas:
- Let the children use cookie cutters to cut shapes from toasted bread, then frost the shapes with low-fat margarine or peanut butter.
- Keep a supply of thin vegetables cut into thin slices or strings, like carrots, celery, cucumbers and peppers.
- Offer a favorite dip or spray-on dressing for children to eat with the vegetable finger-food.
- Keep fresh fruits cut or diced, as well. Some additions or dips for fruit include low-fat caramel dip, yogurts, or pudding.
Parent Trend recommends serving healthy foods your children like to eat, then introduce some things they have not liked or have never tried. Keep healthy choices on hand instead of chips and boxed cookies. Let the children help prepare healthy foods, so they will learn more about good foods and enjoy eating something they helped get ready.