A healthy kid’s lunch box is made up of pita bread, ham, salad, fresh fruit, sultanas and drinking water.
Getting kids to eat their fruits and greens can sometimes be a nightmare. Almost every kid hits a point when, somewhere in their developing mind, they decide for one reason or another that they are no longer going to try anything new.
Parents, you are not alone in dealing with this. Time and again, parents become exhausted with trying to reach the recommended nutritional goals for their kids. Tears, threats and bribery can be exhausting and rarely work.
Here are some clever ideas for introducing new (and healthy!) foods into your child’s diet:
1. Learn to Love Making Smoothies
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Smoothies are an amazing way to hide veggies and fruits from your kids. Most children won’t turn down a smoothie with a popular flavor, like strawberry—which is really just crushed iced, berries and juice. Now let’s say they hate carrots.
Try this out: juice some carrots, add a quarter cup to the blender, followed by ice and strawberries, as well as a shot or two of milk. Blend at warp speed and ta-da!
They will drink it down, without any knowledge of what is really in it. For a fruit medley, especially those including citrus, you are really good to go. Citrus is strong-smelling and most of what you taste comes from what you smell. Throw together carrot juice, oranges, pineapple, a dash of milk or yogurt and blend.
It is amazing what you can’t taste with citrus added-in.
2. When Is a “Treat” Really a Treat?
The same idea for smoothies can be used for “shakes.” Real shakes have loads of fat. While this tactic won’t get their vegetables in, it just might be a way to sneak in fruit or other healthy foods.
First, lose the ice cream. Replace it with frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries (a cup or so), crushed ice and milk. Blend for a delicious strawberry shake. A blueberry shake can be made the same way and because of the dark blueberry color, you can toss in some carrot juice or even, if you dare, pureed broccoli. This may also be a time to sneak in a child-oriented nutritional supplement, such as SmartyPants.
Nutritional drinks can be chalky or vitamin-like and not all children like them. But if you hide the flavor in a homemade shake, you’ll be good to go. Another option is to simply serve up healthier treats—like a simple fruit salad topped with yogurt or frozen yogurt in their favorite flavor topped with fruit and granola.
Of course, kids should know that “treats” are not another meal and should not be expected all the time.
3. Snack-Time Equals Fun-Time
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Salsa is a fabulous way to get vegetable servings in. Serving salsa with salt-free pretzels or baked tortilla chips cuts the fat and salt out. Salsa has peppers, tomatoes and onions and almost no fat. It is a fabulous snack.
You can also try cutting up fresh vegetables and serving them with a fat-free ranch or dressing of their choice. Apples are much more enticing with a caramel dip, but that is a lot of fat and sugar. If you’re going to go this route, opt for a low-fat, low-calorie caramel sauce.
Lunchables—or other pre-arranged, bite-sized meals—are all the craze and are ridiculous in the amount of fat, salt and calories they serve up (plus the cost!). Make your own using low salt pretzels, cubed or sliced Swiss or mozzarella cheese, seedless grapes and turkey cut into shapes. All of these are healthy, filling and easy-to-grab snacks.
4. Mealtime Mecca
If possible, pack your child a lunch on school days. It can be a hassle, but at least you are in better control of what they have in front of them.
A healthy kid’s lunch box is made up of pita bread, ham, salad, fresh fruit, sultanas and drinking water. A lot of times kids will switch lunches and “trade.” While that’s beyond your control, try supplying them with a variety of foods that they actually like and will want to hang onto. If they refuse wheat bread, then buy “white wheat” bread.
Include fruit (either straight up or with a dip), water or sugar-free juice and cut up vegetables with a low-fat dressing or peanut butter. As for eating at home, letting them help prepare their meals is huge. Children feel responsibility and pride in helping.
Anything you make with a red sauce (lasagna, spaghetti, etc.) is an extremely easy way to sneak in vegetables. Puree the vegetables ahead of time and add them to the sauce. They are almost guaranteed not to taste it, yet they are getting their share of vegetables.
This original article can be found here.