Plan meals and snacks that include nutritious foods that children can access easily, such as lean meats, fish, poultry eggs beans nuts whole grains as well as milk, yogurt and cheese for protein intake.
Since children have smaller stomachs, make sure to provide smaller meals and snacks more frequently. Avoid offering sugary drinks or snacks between meals in favor of water or milk instead.
Set a Meal Plan
Meal plans can be an effective means of deflecting children’s desires for fast food and processed snacks, and creating a menu with balance among healthy food groups, all while teaching your children to make wise choices when left on their own.
Consider meeting with your children individually to plan meals for the week. This can make them feel included and valued while getting them involved with preparing the meals – which could potentially reduce pickiness at mealtimes.
Encourage your children to think creatively when planning, encouraging them to brainstorm healthy food ideas tailored specifically for them. For instance, an athlete might prefer adding more protein-rich items like poultry and fish into his menu plan.
Engage them by challenging them to incorporate as many nutritious ingredients as possible into each meal – they may be surprised to discover delicious dishes with healthy ingredients!
Encourage your children to become part of the shopping process by taking them with you to the supermarket. Their involvement may make them more likely to purchase nutritious foods.
Your family can create meal plans either weekly or monthly – whatever works best for them. When making meal plans, try keeping planning sessions on the same day each month in order to create consistency and build new habits easier. Involve your children when creating meal plans as this will give them a greater understanding of healthy eating that could lead to making better choices later in life.
Control the Supply Lines
Most kids eat what is available to them at home, making it essential that healthy foods are easy for them to access. Stock the fridge and pantry with reduced-fat (2%), low-fat or fat-free milk, whole wheat bread and pasta and healthy snacks like air-popped popcorn, unsalted nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers with peanut butter or applesauce as a healthy treat – such as applesauce frozen yogurt low-fat chocolate pudding are good choices – while set out fruit, vegetables and lean meats for snacking. Over time many kids will learn to appreciate healthier foods like fruits vegs and lean meats as a daily treat!
Work Fruits and Vegetables Into the Daily Routine
One of the major obstacles for people looking to improve their diets is adding fruits and vegetables. If they’re uncertain where to start, registered dietitians suggest starting by adding one additional serving daily of fruits or vegetables; over time, aim to increase this number while eating a greater variety.
Reaching your daily five servings of fruits and veggies may seem like a lofty goal, but it can be done easily if you think outside of the box. Fruits and veggies come in many forms such as fresh, frozen and canned offerings – each offering benefits towards reaching that daily target! Registered dietitians recommend keeping all these options on hand in your kitchen to make sure there’s always plenty to choose from!
Some ways you can add fruits and vegetables into your daily diet include placing them on sandwiches, blending them into smoothies or snacking on them with hummus and carrot sticks or snap peas as a healthy option. You could also incorporate fruits into oatmeal, pancakes or muffins or mixing berries or chopped bananas with yogurt as part of breakfast or mixing in chopped bananas for yogurt parfait. Finally, adding a vegetable-based omelet into your morning routine or plant-based options like refried beans for lunch is another effective strategy for increasing plant intake.
Add more fruits and vegetables into meals by making them the focus of a dish, such as this delicious one pan sausage, sweet potato and asparagus bites that are suitable for children as young as 4 through to preteens. They’re easy to prepare while providing plenty of nutrition!
Experimenting with different foods is one of the best ways to encourage children towards healthy eating habits, and especially important when they’re still young. Make them part of the process by inviting them in during food prep; this may increase their willingness to try it!
Serve Lean Meats
As for protein sources, opt for lean meats like chicken, fish or turkey when choosing protein-rich proteins like poultry. When purchasing meat cuts like round, chuck and sirloin which tend to be more tender with lower levels of fat content than others. When selecting ground poultry or beef ground labeled “low fat” or “lean,” replace red and orange meats whenever possible with these lower-fat options.
As part of their meal plans, strive to incorporate different kinds of protein – beans, nuts, tofu and tempeh are great choices – to provide kids with all of the nutrition they require.
Make sure that the meal plan includes an appropriate serving of grains to keep children full for as long as possible, from 4-10 ounces daily, half of which should be whole grains. A general guideline suggests adding leafy greens, dark-colored and orange vegetables, beans and peas along with starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams into this daily serving of veggies. Also include snacks made from all-natural ingredients instead of processed ones such as whole grain crackers, plantain chips or offering fruits paired with hummus!
Create Healthy Snacks
If your clients want to reduce processed food intake, there are plenty of healthy snacks they can replace it with. Try providing them with wraps containing low-sodium deli turkey and cheese with their preferred vegetables; apples with peanut butter; bananas with almond butter or apricots with nutella as options that provide protein, fiber, healthy fats as well as vitamins and minerals, according to London.
Provide veggie-rich dips alongside whole grain crackers or veggies like carrots, jicama, cucumbers and radishes as a tasty appetizer or healthy brunch toast toppings such as hummus with cucumber slices or cream cheese and tomato or even nut butter and blueberries for your kids to experiment with! Introducing new vegetables can even be as easy as serving finger-friendly dinner like mini eggplant pizzas; for dessert you could add these stuffed dates stuffed with sunflower seed butter (can also be nut free!) to their That Clean Life meal plan plan!