Feeding kids healthy food is a struggle. Hey, we live in a world filled with Happy Meals, Chuck E. Cheese, Mountain Dew and Fruit By the Foot . It is so easy just to give in…especially when your are crunched for time with a busy lifestyle.
Teaching your children how to eat properly is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them! You will be setting them up for a lifetime of great health. And with great health comes success! Children who are fed diets rich with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates…and low in sugar, processed carbohydrates and trans fats…have more energy, do better in school and are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cancer in adulthood.
Here are some examples of what I feed Gabe and Lily…
Sandwiches on 100% whole wheat bread.
I used leftover chicken to make a quick chicken salad a few days ago. I shredded my chicken and added preservative free vegan mayo, a little red onion, some dried cherries and a couple chopped cashews.
They devoured this!
I added a sliced apple (LEAVE THE SKINS ON to get the full benefits of the fiber and vitamins) with some vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping. Sprinkled with some cinnamon,giving it an antioxidant boost, it is a kid pleaser.
Salads are a little less convincing in the mind of a child, but a great way to get a lot of veggies (or fruits) into those growing bodies. Try letting them pick their own veggies. This gives the illusion of control…haha! Then top it with the homemade (or organic store bought) dressing of their choice. I posted a few of our favorite dressing recipes here.
Gabe LOVES deviled eggs, so I was sure he would be into this salad I created last week for myself. And wouldn’t you know…he gobbled it up!
Wraps are my secret weapon. Kids like anything that resembles a taco or burrito. You can put anything into a wrap…which makes it super simple. Spread a whole wheat, preservative free tortilla with a little hummus, cream cheese, vegan mayo or mustard…add veggies…shredded carrot, cucumbers, red pepper slices, lettuce and green onion are excellent choices…some protein…shredded chicken, nitrate/preservative free turkey or ham, tuna, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan…and roll it up!
Our favorite wrap is this Chipotle Turkey Wrap. You can go easy on the chipotle mayo for the littles…or use plain mayo instead.
Monday we went on a picnic in the park. I made a portable lunch of veggies and hummus…
and apple slices to dip in organic, no sugar added peanut butter.
This was easy, and thoroughly enjoyed by both Gabe and Lily!
I also packed some Cliff Kid Z Bars, which are organic and free of the junk that is in most snack bars, and some no sugar added 100% fruit strips. These are not the most healthy foods, but once in a while they are fine.
Now, I am sure a lot of you are saying, “There is no way my children will eat any of that.”
My first piece of advice…TRY! And keep trying! Kids will NOT starve themselves! Eventually they will get hungry, and provided junk isn’t readily available, they will eat what is on hand…I promise.
I have included a few “special” lunches I prepare for my kids on occasion.
Though they are much better than their nasty, chemical filled counterparts, they shouldn’t be prepared on a daily basis.
In place of Spaghetti-O’s…Annie’s All Stars (or they have other shapes). Add a half cup of shredded cheddar and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste while heating to increase the antioxidant and protein content.
Serve with some fresh fruit.
A glass of milk…and you have a complete meal.
What to do about the dreaded boxed mac and cheese…
Go for organic (preferably with whole wheat pasta…but my daughter “needed” this one) varieties, I always cut the amount of butter in half, and add shredded cheese. I also stir in a veggie…peas work well, but I like broccoli and cauliflower also…and some tuna or chicken.
Sprinkle with a little more cheese, and viola!
This post would not be complete without snacks!
Gabe and Lily approved faves…
Peanut butter bananawiches…banana, peanut butter and walnuts (or sunflower seeds).
Fruit kabobs! What kid doesn’t like a sharp stick to play with…? Ha! Anything goes here! Oranges, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries…
Homemade fruit popsicles…recipe to come tomorrow!
Smoothies. Yogurt, milk or juice, blended with a banana, frozen fruit and some chia seeds…DELICIOUS!
And this sweet little face gobbling up her…AVOCADO pudding! Dirtiest trick in my mommy recipe repertoire.
I hope this has given you some ideas!
As always…if you have any questions feel free to ask.
You should also follow me on Facebook, where I give daily health tips and glimpses into what I am eating (and my kids).
Weekly dinner menus…PLUS the recipes!
Like what you’ve read…leave me a comment!