Most parents understand the struggle to convince their kids to eat healthy. With fast food and sugary treats around, it’s a tall order to make broccoli more enticing.
According to coach.nine.com.au, “most parents understand that they should provide healthy food for their children, but the reality of work schedules, children’s activities and different food preferences can make meal preparation a hectic and frustrating experience … Many of us know the feeling of spending time and money on a healthy meal only to have our children grimace at the sight of it and not take a single bite.”
So what do you do? Whip up a couple kid-friendly meals and watch those faces light up!
Prioritize the Protein
Protein stimulates growth, strength and brain power and helps to build and repair cells, making it a must for growing children. You can find protein in seafood, fish, white-meat poultry, lean beef, skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, lean pork and beans.
One of our favorite dishes that’s big on protein is our delectable Bean & Jicama Salad (pictured above). With a crisp clean taste, it’s perfect as a make-ahead salad. What’s more, you won’t even have to turn on the oven!
If your kids prefer to have meat with their veggies, this Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry (above) will hit the mark. Quick and easy to make after work, gluten-free and low in carbs, this is a dish you can make on repeat.
Get those Fruits & Veggies
Look at how your children are currently eating and see where you can encourage more fruits and veggies. Are they having granola and yogurt for breakfast? Add a chopped banana, apple or berries to the mix. Lunchtime? Offer carrot and celery sticks as a healthy snack. Throw in an apple while you’re at it!
Dinnertime is when you can really load up on the good stuff. Kick off a main course with these delicious Caprese Cherry Tomato & Bocconcini Kabobs (pictured above). They’re perfect for adults and kids alike, and you can even dive into Meg van der Kruik from This Mess Is Ours’ sensational Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup with Citrus and Dukkah (pictured below) afterwards for a filling, all-vegan meal.
Cut out the Junk!
It’s easier said than done, and don’t we know it. The reality is, if the temptation isn’t there, your kids won’t eat it. Supplying more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products will encourage them to cut back on more unhealthy alternatives.
However, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t have the occasional ‘special treat.’ But remember, treat means treat, so try not to overdo it.
It’s crucial to enjoy your time in the kitchen. You don’t need to be artistic — just spice it up a little. For example, try replacing your traditional sweet pancakes with something savory (like our Savory Chickpea Pancake featured below). By making something a little different, you can introduce your kids to new tastes and expand their culinary horizons.
You can even change up their view on fast food. Our Curried Cauliflower Fritters recipe (pictured below) is gluten-free, vegan and delicious. If you want to experiment, try sliced zucchini, carrots, broccoli, onion or red bell pepper — or combine them all for a flavor medley! Don’t forget to serve with chutney, sweet chili sauce or sriracha mayonnaise.
Excited to make these recipes for your kids? Maybe you snapped a picture of their reaction to a healthy alternative. Let us know on our Facebook page and share your photos!