How To Cook Healthy For Kids

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Cooking Healthy For Your Kids

Not only have a lot of adults become overweight and unhealthy, but so have millions of children.  Children have become accustomed to running through fast food drive stops, eating frozen pizza and drinking soda.  Where have all the fresh vegetables and fresh fruit gone?   Even when we take our children out to eat and order them a meal including a vegetable, the vegetable seems to be the only thing left on the plate.  More people are starting to ask how to cook healthy meals for their children and families because more and more children are obese, have diabetes and other health issues.  Everyone needs a healthy diet and great role models for eating healthy.  The ideal lifestyle of eating healthy is to train children to eat this way from the beginning.  When a family eats healthy together they children learn great eating habits.  Eating as a family is a great way for children to participate in eating healthy.  When grilled or broiled meat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are eaten as a family kids are learning how to eat for a lifetime.  

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Heathley Eating Is For People of All Ages 

The question becomes how to cook healthy for kids. People are so busy these days and often come home with no clue of what they will have for dinner. It is so much easier for parents to hand their children a pop tart on their way out the door instead of making them a healthy breakfast. Let’s face it, time is a huge factor. When children come home from school and pig out on snack food it distracts them from eating a healthy meal later. A great way for children to become involved in cooking healthy meals is to participate in food choices and preparation of food. Allowing them to grill the chicken, season the meat or pasta, or prepare a bowl of fresh fruit will be fun and help them desire to eat the things they participate in making. A lot of kids enjoy helping out in the kitchen. Allowing them to choose healthy food recipes and make healthy food choices allows them to learn and set up their lifestyle of healthy eating. 

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Healthy Tips For Kids

A great thing about cooking healthy meals is that parents are able to control what ingredients are used to prepare those meals and portion sizes. This puts the power into the right hands. Processed foods are full of Trans fats and additives that do not fit into providing healthy meals for our kids.

  • Cook a variety of healthy foods so kids do not get burnt out quickly eating healthy - experiment with new healthy meal recipes
  • Plan ahead – it is way easier to cook healthy meals when they are planned out instead of spur of the moment
  • Cook with your kids – kids will generally try the healthy foods they cook
  • Involve kids in the grocery shopping and making healthy food choices
  • Make things that taste good like smoothies made out of non-fat yogurt , skim milk and fruit
  • Shape food to make it more interesting and fun to eat
  • Add vegetables to foods that children already like
  • Use whole grain pastas and brown rice
  • Make healthy meals that are colorful and flavorful – kids are much more likely to eat something that looks good

There are a lot of small steps that parents can take in cooking healthy meals for their children:

      • Use ground turkey instead of ground beef – this can be used for tacos, meatballs, meatloaf, hamburgers, chili, sloppy joes, etc. 
      • Put thinly chopped vegetables in soups and sauces for spaghetti, sloppy joes, chili, etc. 
      • Cook with extra virgin olive oil 
      • Use whole wheat flour for battering meat to bake
      • Use low-fat and non-fat dairy products to reduce saturated fat
      • Grill, Roast and Broil lean meats, fish and poultry instead of deep frying
      • Season vegetables so that they taste good – most kids will eat green beans that have flavor – there are many great healthy seasonings such as Mrs. Dash