Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to Nourish Picky Eaters: Healthy Meals for Kids

Hello my fellow foodies,

I have a nice surprise for all you mother's out there.  Today is a guest post from Carolyn Knight who shares her thoughts on helping children eat better.  I know first hand from my Grandson Daniel who would rather pizza, chicken fingers or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Carolyn provides helpful hints to turn them around as well as good information for all of us to follow.  Make sure you check out her links!

Have a great day and remember, a good life deserves good food...


How to Nourish Picky Eaters: Healthy Meals for Kids
We are all familiar with the war of attrition involving a lip-locked child staring at a dinner plate stacked high with veggies.  The good news is: healthy meals for kids can also taste great! As a parent, you cannot let them starve, but indulging in fatty foods too often is bad for everyone, no matter their age.  The trick is to pack as much kid friendly flavor into dishes, based on fresh fruits and veggies loaded with nutrition.  Ever think your kiddo would ask for seconds of anything but pizza?  Take a look at these tricks to getting your kid to scrape their plate without you feeling guilty.
1. A Little of This, A Little of That
When the kids are begging for pizza that is pure starch, cheese sprinkled with an eighth of a cup of veggies and/or protein, maybe it is time to come up with a substitute. Try using whole-wheat pasta instead of the regular white flour kind.  Whole grains are slow-carbs; they keep blood sugar from spiking and then crashing, while providing fiber. Throw together a basic marinara from sautéed onion and garlic, canned san marzano tomatoes, a little tomato paste, dried rosemary, fresh basil, and salt and pepper.  Brown lean ground beef, and sauté sliced mushrooms, chopped eggplant, and spinach. Then add pasta and marinara.  Pour mixture in a casserole dish, top with low-fat mozzarella and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Both you and your kids will love this dish, plus it makes great leftovers!
2. A Small Piece
There is absolutely no way a kid is going to say no to birthday cake.  And, the last thing a parent wants is for their child to kick-box the houseplants on a sugar high. Good habits are formed early, and portion control is something everyone should practice.  Try making cupcakes with fun decorations instead of a whole cake, and limit your family to one apiece.  If they feel like they are getting a treat rather than being denied their fair share, there won’t be such a battle.
3. Make it Yourself
Cooking at home is a great way to control what goes into the family diet.  You can use healthier oils, sugars and whole grains that might not be available at a restaurant.  Orange, yellow, blue, purple, green, and white fruits and veggies contain all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients.  Show your kids how to cook with the rainbow! Make eggplant a main course with this recipe that is both easy and super tasty!
Feeding your family does not have to be a constant struggle. Practice using fresh, natural ingredients, and limit the amounts of indulgent foods the family eats. After a while, everyone’s palate will adjust, and your kids will actually prefer the healthier foods! 

1 comment:

  1. Fruits are good for health and specially for children !! there energy consumption level is at top .. they consume all their energy in playing and crying :)