Healthy mealtime and nutrition solutions for kids are typically challenging to working parents because of the modern, fast-paced lifestyle of families these days.
Raising a healthy family requires learning practical ways to serve nutritious food including kid-friendly and easy-to-prepare meals and snacks.
If both parents are always busy that preparing food for the kids should ideally demand a shorter amount of time, here is a guide to healthy food ingredients and some accompanying food ideas to serve for kids.
When shopping for bread or pasta, whole-grain bread can be a little more expensive than white bread, but whole grain provides significant amount of fiber and nutrients compared to regular bread made of white flour.
Prefer buying whole-grain bread, rolls, pitta, ciabatta, mini baguettes, bagels, and raisin or sun dried tomato bread for varieties in your bread offerings for the kids.
When buying breakfast cereals, choose whole-grain cereals over sugary cereal to maintain the kids’ healthy diet. Usually, cereals that can simply be eaten out of the box like candy are the sugary cereals that you may want to avoid. Check the food labels and look for calcium-fortified and fiber-enriched cereals. Depending on your child’s required diet, your more specific considerations may also include options that provide extra iron and other vitamins and minerals.
Add different fruits in every serving of breakfast cereal to continuously entice children with the variety offered in every meal.
Except in cases where food allergy becomes a concern, the usual peanut butter and jelly is a good staple in many homes. It is true that peanut butter is relatively high in fat, but its fat content is primarily mono- and poly-unsaturated fat, which is way much better than saturated fat found in many other high-fat foods, especially those children love to buy in the fast food.
You may also look for reduced-fat peanut butter or vitamin-fortified ones. Just make sure you always check the nutrition label and don’t just rely on what shows in the enticing and sometimes deceiving food packaging.
Tuna is a versatile food you can use for making a sandwich, salad, or even a pasta dish. It is one of the best sources of unsaturated fat. It provides kids omega-3 fatty acid, protein, and many other vitamins and minerals.
Most tuna products in the grocery allow easy and practical preparations. You can come up with a tuna melt with fresh tomato slices and shredded cheddar. Shredding the cheese and scattering it evenly allows the flavor to really spread, and this considerably lessens the amount of cheese to use on the sandwich without sacrificing its taste. You can also come up with a tuna spread by mixing tuna, pickles, and mayonnaise, preferably a low-fat mayonnaise, then spread it evenly over whole grain bread.
There is the notion that eggs aren’t healthy because of its high cholesterol content. Actually, most healthy foods are also not healthy if taken beyond moderation. In the case of an egg, it is actually a good source of protein and it contains some iron and other vitamins and minerals beneficial to the body. It may contain cholesterol, but it doesn’t contain much saturated fat, which is a more important consideration when raising a person’s actual cholesterol level.
According to nutrition experts, eggs can be a healthy part of a children’s diet. For most kids, an egg every other day is generally fine. An omelet filled with mushroom and other vegetables and topped with tasty herbs can constitute an ideal children’s breakfast. A boiled egg can also be easily made into an egg sandwich when mixed with low-fat mayonnaise, black pepper and/or other herbs and spices, then spread it over wheat bread.
More often than not, asking kids to eat vegetables is quite tough for parents. Introducing your kids early on with a variety of vegetables helps them appreciate many vegetable offerings like carrots, peas, corn, and baked potatoes. These vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and potassium. If the kids are not really very fond of them, especially when independently eaten raw or in salads, you can actually include them to certain dishes that they typically love like pastas, sandwiches, and soups.
To keep up with their essential intake of vegetables, you can make a cheesy broccoli-potato mash, a Portobello stuffed with cheese and spinach, or you can simply mix diced carrots, spinach, and herbs in a variety of dips that children usually like with their fries and other finger foods. Adding color to food servings, a side dish of buttered vegetables with corn, broccoli, and carrots is also ideal when serving a kid’s meal.
“Food Groups,” Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service.
“Healthy Food for Kids,” Weight Lose Resources.