Planning Healthy Meals
Planning healthy meals for your kids is not a secret but there is a secret to having healthy meals. Make sure that you include at least one item from each food group for every meal. Aim for balance and know which foods your child needs more of and which he needs less of to be able to get a balanced meal. Do take the time to read up on the food pyramid and daily recommended intakes. Here is an example of a well balanced healthy meal plan for an entire day:
- Bagel or 2 slices of whole wheat bread with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- Melon slices
- Glass of Milk
- Chicken breast slices with lettuce, tomato and carrot slices wrapped in whole wheat pita
- Low fat yogurt with fresh berries
- Steamed fish fillets with lemon and herbs
- Sautéed green beans with marble potatoes
- Apple bran muffin
- Fresh fruit or vegetable juice
- Carrot, cucumber and celery sticks with peanut butter or light ranch dressing
One thing that you should remember about preparing healthy meals for kids is that you should definitely plan it ahead. Take the time to write down what you will be cooking and preparing for the week so that you have something to follow. This will help you avoid any last minute dishes that are instant. It will also be a good guide for you for when you shop for what you need. You can make sure that you won’t be buying anything unhealthy that isn’t on your list.
Aside from making your meals balanced, it is always good to make sure that you present your meals nicely, especially if you have a picky eater. Try to make the meals look more enticing; if you have a young child you can even try making pictures such as a face with the food. Cutting fancy shapes with cookie cutters can also be a good idea. The options for creativity can be limitless if you learn how to use your imagination.
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep to natural sweets. Having your kids ask for sweets is inevitable, so you may as well stick to something natural such as fruits. You can even do this with drinks since natural and fresh juices are much better than those that are filled with sugar and preservatives. Try different combinations that your child might enjoy such as apple and carrot or melon and cucumber. Try to make it fun and let them help you decide what to try next so that they have something to look forward to.
Finally, don’t forget to involve your kids with planning their healthy meals. Ask them what they want, take them to the supermarket with you or have them help out with preparing the meal. The more that they are part of things then the more open they are to eating the things that you made. Healthy meals for kids can actually turn out to be healthy meals for the entire family.
Healthy Meal Planning for Children Starts Here.