Some kids are more prone to be picky eaters and others are not. A child’s eating habits may be in part shaped by their parent’s attitudes towards certain types of food. Other times, a child’s eating habits may be shaped by their own preferences. Regardless of how the behaviors were developed, it is important to nurture healthy eating habits with kids.
Six Healthy Meals for Kids
1) Sweet Peas:
Kids must receive a healthy dose of vitamins through vegetables and fruits daily. To encourage kids to eat more vegetables, try something creative. Vegetable medleys are what experts recommend for kids. Instead of the store bought brand, try making your own with animal shaped carrots, sweet peas and red potatoes. They animal shapes may encourage them to eat more because it seems fun.
Most picky eaters do not like green vegetables, but sweet peas are universally what kids enjoy. These peas are sweet to the taste, unlike broccoli that is highly nutritious, but has an aftertaste that most kids do not like. Adding basil to broccoli often sweetens the taste for kids. Add a protein source, like a salmon or another fish that is high in Omega-3 fats. These foods are good for the skin, hair and cardiovascular system.
Want your child to eat more fruit? For lunch, try making a waffle peanut butter sandwich with strawberries and a fruit smoothie. In the smoothie, combine strawberries, bananas, carrots, kiwi and other fruit kids enjoy. If you want the smoothies to be thicker, add some vanilla or flavored yogurt. Smoothies taste like a dessert.
They are nutritious and fun ways to keep kids healthy. Carrot sticks or celery sticks with a light dip may also be served along with the sandwich as a vegetable serving.
Pizza is always a hit with kids. Give the pizza a healthy makeover by preparing it with unprocessed foods. Prepare the sauce with fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes contain a high amount of lycopene and other vitamins that ward off free radicals known for causing cancer.
Secondly, add some green vegetables. Spinach is a good idea or egg plant. The vegetables will be masked by the tomato sauce and kids will love it. Instead of shredding the cheese, cut the mozzarella cheese into interesting shapes and allow the kids to watch them melt over the pizza. Chicken is a healthy alternative to pepperoni. Try adding shredded chicken to spice up the pizza. Allow the kids to help assemble the pizza on toasted pita bread.
Spinach or vegetable lasagna is another healthy meal that kids enjoy. All of the ingredients in lasagna are healthy for kids. Spinach contains a healthy amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate and also fiber. Adding spinach to a fresh tomato sauce with ricotta and mozzarella cheese and lasagna noodles is a healthy meal that may be enjoyed by kids.
Some parents may also choose to add eggplant, zucchini, squash and other vegetables to increase the number of nutrients the child intakes per day. Some parents may choose to add a protein source such as lean beef or chicken. However, this is not necessary. Foccacia bread may also be served along with the lasagna.
5) Grilled Food:
Grilling foods adds flavor to meals. Kids may be more apt to eat vegetables or meats that are cooked on the grill than on the stove top. For instance, try grilling chicken breasts marinated in lime juice, cilantro, garlic and olive oil. Alternatively, fish may be prepared on the grill. Grilling baskets will help the fish remain intact while on the grill.
Prepare asparagus on the grill with soy sauce and olive oil. Bake a potato and mash the potato with garlic and a few sprinkles of parmesan cheese. The grill will give the vegetables a flavor that will make kids forget they are eating asparagus or another summer vegetable such as squash. Also serve your grilled items with a corn and tomato sauté for the perfect spring dish.
Summer wraps are a fun lunch time food. Kids cannot often see what is inside the wrap, so the colors of the vegetables do not receive an automatic “thumbs down.” Parents may include a variety of healthy items in a wrap.
Beans are a good source of protein. Black beans with cilantro, onion and bell pepper may be included in a wrap with turkey and a light sour cream based dressing. Cheese, cucumbers and other vegetables may also be added. Turkey is optional since the black beans are a source of protein.
The wraps may be served with pita chips, apple wedges, carrot sticks or a host of other healthy side dishes. Kids like wraps because parents may prepare the wraps in the proper size for their small hands.
Keep it Simple
These are just six simple ideas that most kids will enjoy eating. They are healthy, nutritious and relatively low cost to prepare. As always, the freshest ingredients are always the healthiest.
Author Bio: Jessica is a freelance writer for several fitness websites. She enjoys cooking for her three children and taking them out for bike rides at the local park.