Ideas for getting kids to eat and try healthy foods

Dr. Kristina Fruechtl Blog

 

  1. Have a “New Food Monday”

Pick a day of the week where there is always a new food served. This way the kids will be used to it in their schedule and may complain less or even get excited about it. The possibilities are endless!

  1. Try smoothies for protein, fiber, and sweet-tooth satisfaction. Here are a few recipe suggestion:.

Frozen cherries, coconut milk, scoop of protein power, ice cubes

Peanut butter, tofu or protein powder, coconut or almond milk, banana  (optional: cocoa powder – can buy in bulk at a co-op inexpensively)

Frozen berries, dry old-fashioned oats, cubed apple, plain greek yogurt, almond milk

Apple cubes, canned or fresh pumpkin, coconut milk or plain unsweetened greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ice cubes, protein powder

*Add cinnamon to any smoothie to help avoid blood sugar spikes from the sugar in the fruit

*Add turmeric to any smoothie (a small amount) to add anti-inflammatory benefits

*A handful of spinach is a great way to get fiber or vegetables in. It will change the taste of the smoothie a little, but some kids (or adults) may not even notice.  I recommend using a mix of berries if you’re going to add spinach as they will hide the taste and color better.

 

  1. Baked sweet potato fries or sweet potato chips

Peel sweet potatoes or yams, cut into French fry shapes of your kids liking, or cubes or slices.  If they’ll eat them with the peel on, even better since there’s a lot of nutrients in the peel. Toss lightly with olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or cinnamon for a warmer flavor) and bake at 350 degrees until slightly crispy, about 30 minutes.  If they are too soggy with oil they won’t crisp, and if they are too dry without oil, they also won’t get crispy.  Keep an eye on them the first time you make them to see when they are done.

Dip: You may not need this, but just in case, an organic mayo mixed with salsa or a chili sauce is a good option if you want to avoid the high fructose corn syrup in traditional ketchup.

  1. Quesadillas

Gluten-free, Brown Rice or Wheat (if not going gluten-free) tortilla, moderate amount of cheese, canned or soaked and cooked black beans, sliced fresh or canned tomatoes, ground turkey or ground beef (look for no hormones, antibiotics, free-range if possible), and full fat greek yogurt or organic sour cream .

*These are great to send for lunches too if your kid will eat them cold, as an alternative to sandwiches.

  1. Hard boiled or deviled eggs
  1. Olives and Hard salami cubes or slices
  1. Homemade trail mix:

Select a few of these and mix together: Walnuts, pumpkin seed, almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, shaved or shredded unsweetened coconut flakes, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, unsweetened dried fruit or small bits or candied ginger.

Get raw or dry roasted nuts and seeds.  Avoid nuts roasted in oil. Unsalted is best.

  1. Zucchini muffins:

Find a recipe with lower sugar, or you can almost always reduce sugar by ½ or more.  Substitute honey in equal amount of sugar called for in the recipe.  Try using a gluten-free flour – the muffins may be a little chewier depending on the type of flour used.  Add some shredded carrots too.  Any muffins can be frozen and then taken out when needed.

  1. Hummus and sliced veggies
  1. Apples and Peanut Butter or Almond Butter

 

All of the options above from #3 – #10 can be packed for the kids lunches too!