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Healthy Kids Food: What to Feed Your Kid Other Than Macaroni and Cheese?
- The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help our children eat healthier foods.
- Keep the portions small and use low-fat or soy-substitute cheeses to reduce the fat content.
Children are frequently drawn to foods that aren’t the healthiest for them. Take macaroni and cheese for example. Most parents make the packaged variety. One-fourth cup of this cheesy pasta dish contains almost 300 calories, six grams of fat (mostly saturated fat), and 25 percent of the daily recommended sodium amount. The serving is also high in carbohydrates. Is this really a good food choice to be serving children? The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help our children eat healthier foods.
Healthier Foods for Your Kids
If you’re worried that your son or daughter isn’t going to take kindly to healthy snacks, keep in mind that many of the tastiest treats don’t have to seem healthy. Smoothies are a good example. You can combine bananas, milk, and yogurt with some frozen fruit in a blender, pour it into a glass and your child will be just as happy as if you had offered him or her milkshake.
Children are also big fans of pizza, but unfortunately, pizza is often high in fat. Portion control is also difficult with pizza. A better alternative to pizza is to take an English muffin, spread some tomato sauce on it, sprinkle on some low-fat mozzarella cheese, throw on some veggies and add a pepperoni or two. Heat it up in the toaster-oven or microwave and you have a healthy, pizza-like snack. Consider making your own tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes and herbs to avoid preservatives.
Vegetables are sometimes a tough sell on kids. When your toddlers need snacks or when your kids come home from school, have a relish tray ready in the refrigerator. Children are keen on celery sticks, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, olives, cauliflower, and broccoli. Serve vegetables with low-fat ranch dressing, peanut butter, or other types of healthy spreads. If vegetables are still not popular, try mixing them with other foods your children enjoy. For example, add broccoli to a baked potato or top turkey sandwiches with cucumber slices and romaine lettuce.
Tips for Feeding Your Children
Of course knowing a few healthy alternatives to certain snacks won’t be enough if you want to provide your child with solid, healthy eating habits. You also need to focus on portion control. While you can control how much food is on your child’s plate at meals, you can also work on packaging chips and cookies into individual serving size packages.
Another idea is to start encouraging your child to read food labels. As soon as they begin reading, you can start helping them learn how to identify good foods and ones they should avoid.
Don’t cut out macaroni and cheese from your child’s diet forever. Homemade macaroni and cheese is a better option. Keep the portions small and use low-fat or soy-substitute cheeses to reduce the fat content. Consider throwing in some vegetables, too; broccoli, tomatoes, or green peppers would all be good ideas.
And don’t forget that the best way to teach your child that there is more to life than eating macaroni and cheese is by demonstrating through example.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Menu17 Nov 2008