Healthy Kid-Approved Meals
Healthy and Fun Meals for Kids
Parents whose children are picky eaters can ensure proper nutrition by making meals fun as well as healthy. While some children may seem to prefer sugary foods, they will often develop a taste for healthy foods if given the chance. Just like adults, most kids are not excited by a bland plate of steamed vegetables. So many delicious foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that it's rarely necessary to restrict kids to foods they won't enjoy. Here are some healthy ideas for meals that are also kid-approved.
The first meal of the day is especially important for kids considering their higher activity levels, rate of learning and growth. For kids to be energized all day, they should be fed balanced meals combining protein and fat with carbohydrates. Many breakfast cereals are sweetened heavily with sugar, making them poor choices that can cause hyper behavior, moodiness and late-morning fatigue. Instead, consider giving kids a couple of eggs or turkey bacon slices lightly fried in olive oil. Both of these protein sources are sure to please kids, and eggs are particularly loaded with B vitamins that support brain development. Whole-grain toast, oatmeal or brown rice porridge are a few tasty carbohydrate sources that promote healthy blood sugar levels. Butter is a better fat source than margarine for enlivening foods because, unlike margarine, it contains ample fat-soluble vitamins and has no partially hydrogenated oils. Finally, fresh fruit offers antioxidants and enzymes and can be used as a breakfast dessert.
Lunch can be challenging to plan and prepare when it has to be sent with kids to school, but many portable choices are healthy and fun for kids. No kid will refuse a sandwich topped with tuna salad or roast meat. With liberal additions of lettuce, tomato or other vegetables, a sandwich can be an entire meal. Grilled meats, such as chicken breast, are sure to be a hit. Finally, a slice of sweet whole-grain bread, possibly made with zucchini or raisins, can be a satisfying finale to a kid's lunch.
Dinner should be easily digested so that kids can go to bed without a full stomach, which can upset sleep quality and reduce energy the next day. By giving kids plenty of carbohydrates, they'll be more likely to relax and fall asleep easily at the end of the evening. Whole-grain pasta meals, such as spaghetti and meatballs, are classic healthy favorites for kids. Beans, fish and stew are other options that can be made more exciting with the addition of antioxidant-rich colorful vegetables or shredded calcium-rich cheese. For dessert, dried fruits and nuts will satisfy most kids, especially if presented as a custom trail mix comprised of the child's favorite nuts and fruits.
If you need to save time, you'll also find plenty of heat-and-eat health foods for kids at your local grocery or natural food store. Alternatively, you may want to consider cooking large amounts of food at once and freezing excess vittles for future meals. By giving your kids healthy food that is also enjoyable, you are also giving them positive eating habits that can last them a lifetime.