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Expressive Mom

Contribution from Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed on healthy eating for kids. Gomez has been teaching 5th grade in the LAUSD for 12 years and has recently embarked on a journey to lose weight, eat healthier, and finally get in shape!  From healthy eating guides to a step-by-step manual to help tackle the process of losing weight, readers will find the latest information to combat the rising obesity epidemic and start getting into shape at
Those of you with children may find it difficult to offer healthy recipes for kids throughout the entire day. This may be especially troublesome these days if your children have already developed some poor eating habits or if they are among friends who are consistently eating fast food and bags of potato chips.

However don’t worry, with a little bit of persuasion and vital teachings from your part, you can open your children’s eyes to the wonderful world of healthy nutrition.

This is the perfect opportunity to educate your children about the importance of eating healthy, and what the long term repercussions can be if a person does not monitor what they eat. It’s never too early to educate them about healthy nutrition in the hopes that from your teachings they grow up taking care of their bodies and never have to worry about health related issues of being overweight or obese.

Here are some healthy recipes for kids to get you started building your arsenal of meals that will be conducive to a nutritious and well balanced life. As you explore these options, take note of what your family enjoys eating and additional possibilities that you may think of. Often merely tweaking a few ingredients can produce an entirely new meal without needing much extra work.

1. Beef Bowl with pudding dessert.
Grilled or baked strips/chunks of meat with a layer of brown rice, beans, and any vegetables you know your family prefers. You can even add beans if you’d like, or potato wedges instead of rice. As a dessert, a small helping of pudding with a dash of whipped cream and a cherry to top it off.

2. Grilled chicken wraps with jello dessert.
These can be fantastic choices to offer your family because aside from the grilled chicken, you can include a variety of vegetables or other low calorie options that will taste great such as lettuce, beans, brown rice, tomatoes, onions, or even some shredded low fat mozzarella cheese. Use a whole wheat tortilla instead of tortillas made with refined flour.

3. Whole wheat pasta with turkey meatballs and frozen yogurt dessert.
Instead of eating the standard pasta made of refined enriched flour, opt for 100 percent whole grain pasta since it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and high in fiber so you will eat less of it to get full. Ground turkey is also better for you than regular ground beef, or you can ever select the garden meat variety that is vegetarian to make your meatballs or meat sauce.

4. Soup and Salad.
There are a variety of soups such as vegetable, lentil, and minestrone that are all healthy and great tasting. Spice it up for kids by throwing in a few goldfish crackers and they will happily eat it all. A bowl of soup and a salad with their favorite toppings and a light salad dressing, PRESTO… you have a healthy meal on your hands.

5. Tuna pita pockets with applesauce dessert.
Whole wheat pita pockets provide the perfect “container” to place an assortment of healthy edibles within, and kids will treat it just like a taco. Tuna with lettuce, olives and some parmesan cheese can be a great starting point.

The healthy recipes for kids listed above are all far better and lower in calories than the majority of fast food or pizza delivery options available around you. Use these meals as building blocks to get you thinking of other possibilities you could prepare for your children. Depending on the age of your kids (5-10), you may want to get a little creative with the presentation of the meal. It’s the simple things that matter, so think how you can present the healthy meal in a way so that they will start asking you to cook this meal again in the future. Sometimes by merely adding a decorative garnish such as a fruit cutout or curly orange/apple peel can inspire your child to want to eat the meal. If adding that little extra is all it takes to get them eating in a healthier manner, the minute or two spent on the presentation is well worth it.

If your children are older (11-18), then definitely a more serious conversation should take place. You can even gather specific articles and pictures from the Internet that will work wonders for motivation. Nothing works better than a graphic representation of a coronary bypass surgery.

Keep in mind as you build your library of healthy recipes for kids, maintain an ongoing recipe book where you continually add new healthy meals that your family enjoys. Pretty soon you will have a book full of healthy recipes for kids and if you want, you can even let your children decide which meals to cook out of the recipes you have collected. This way they will feel more connected to what is prepared and served that day.

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