Healthier Eating for Kids

Isn’t it always tough to get kids to eat well? Not to mention who has the time? I have the knowledge that chicken nuggets and mac and cheese are not good for them but what options do I have? Some people are great at this and I have to admit I’m not. I do make them have egg sandwiches and egg wraps one time each week. The other days are pancakes and waffles or whatever they can grab. We have been using protein powder which makes me feel better about their morning smoothies because it has pre and probiotics in it as well as protein. For lunch, we sometimes do lunchmeat, mac and cheese, or chicken nuggets. My kids like popcorn shrimp and fish sticks too. I usually microwave a frozen veggie. For dinner we try to focus on a protein and a veggie, preferably green, and occasionally a carb like rice, pasta, or bread but many times not a carb at all.

My point: make a simple change. If I try to switch up our entire menu and eating routine I will just fail and go back to the old one or possibly even worse. So think small. I’m going to give you a list here of small things but DON’T do them all! Just pick one that sounds good and works and once you get that one down add another. 🙂 Just keep going and eventually all your small changes will add up to a big one.

  1. Cut out juice and allow only water. Here we only have juice as a treat. A smaller change: instead of juice at every meal, only do it at one meal and then cut it to water.
  2. Make eggs one day a week for the kids. I know a white tortilla isn’t the best with cheese but it’s better than a muffin for breakfast 🙂

IMG_33793. Cut up a veggie tray and have it on hand for snacks and lunch. I have this awesome cool and serve tray from Pampered Chef. I find when I keep it filled with veggies we pull it out to snack on instead of other stuff.

IMG_3342

4. You can try protein balls as a snack. Can I just say my kids love these? We go through various times of making them and every time I do they are gone in a flash!

No-Bake Energy Bites: Protein Balls

1 cup (dry) oatmeal

1/2 cup Chocolate or Vanilla Shaklee Life Protein Mix

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut/almond butter

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup honey/pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

5. Make trail mixes for a snack. I always have on hand nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips among other things and my kids like to get a bowl and throw some stuff together. They take ownership and come up with some interesting mixes.

6. Have fruit for dessert! You can layer fruit with yogurt and some granola. Freeze just banana plain and then blend it with some almond milk, coconut milk or milk for a nice treat. We always stock up on fruit in the summer and then freeze it and use it in smoothies and such throughout the year.

7. Serve a veggie with at least lunch and dinner and vary it. There is so much to choose from and there are several I haven’t touched! My kids enjoy grilled asparagus. But there is broccoli, colored peppers, carrots, green beans, egg plant (grilled or other wise), zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, salad, etc. I usually steam my veggies or roast them. Just toss them with a little olive oil and some spices and they remain healthy! We many times eat the steamed ones plain.

8. Cut back on processed foods. We usually have crackers, popcorn (we air pop it), and pretzels in the house but not too much else in a box for snacks. I used to buy fruit snacks regularly and stopped a long time ago. We dry apples in the fall too and I can’t keep them around for a day and my kids eat them up!

9. Include your kids in the meal prep. My kids love to help and when I allow them to and get over my agenda and the fact that they are going to make a mess, they have fun and are more likely to eat whatever it is they made because they take ownership of it.

10. Add fish once a week. We try for salmon and it’s best if you can get it wild caught but really farm fish may be better then no fish. We love salmon here. I also enjoy swordfish, tuna steaks and tilapia (if I get a good recipe).

So that should get your started. If you want specifics or have questions I’d love to answer them and see what your interests are. That may help me write.

Jessica

 

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