Healthy Meal Plans for Kids
Sure, you’d love to create healthy meal plans for your kids, but you don’t know how. Or you know how, but you’re sure they won’t go for carrot sticks and granola. By following a few simple tips, you can make sure your kids get nutritional foods and actually eat them.
Breakfast is an easy meal to make healthy for kids. If your child refuses plain whole-grain cereal and milk, try adding bananas, blueberries or other fruits to sweeten it and make it more fun to eat. Alternatively, try oatmeal or farina with the same fruits. Eggs can be the perfect breakfast, if they’re paired with whole-grain toast, filled with vegetables and low-fat cheese, and accompanied by a healthy drink such as orange juice or low-fat milk.
If your child is tired of the same old peanut butter sandwich, try these alternatives to the typical bagged lunch: celery and peanut butter, a tuna wrap, or crackers and cheese. Or continue to give him a whole-grain sandwich, but make it more interesting: grilled cheese with avocado, chicken salad or a pita pizza. Make sure to include some fun finger foods for snacks, such as strips of fruit or vegetables, handfuls of berries, low-fat cheese sticks or brown rice cakes.
Kids tend to love anything covered with tomato sauce or cheese (or both), so take advantage of this by covering vegetables with cheese, or chicken with tomato sauce (think chicken cacciatore). Ground meat is often a winner, so buy packages of lean meat and make meatballs, hamburgers or shepherd’s pie. Hide vegetables whenever possible–in the bottom of the shepherd’s pie, in soup or pureed in sauces. Most importantly, try to replace as many refined grains as possible with whole grains. That means cooking with whole-grain pasta, brown rice and other intact grains.