Do kids and picky grown-ups have to give up their favorite meals to eat more healthfully? No! Learn the secrets to make traditional kid’s meals more nutritious!
Do your kids love foods like mac and cheese but hate the side of veggies or eating fruit as a snack?
Here are some pointers for modifying recipes so your kids and picky grown-ups can eat their favorite meals, but get their vegetables too.
- To make mac and cheese healthier, use skim milk and low fat cheese. Also, add pureed cauliflower and/or butternut squash to the sauce. Both will give only a tiny bit of flavor that will be masked by the milk and cheese.
- In mashed potatoes, use half the amount of white potatoes and substitute the other half with cauliflower.
- Add a mix of pureed vegetables to casseroles
- Dice up fresh tomatoes and add them to tomato sauce. It will add bulk to the sauce, making the sauce more filling. Also, if your kids don’t like whole wheat pasta, try making half of the pasta whole wheat and half of it white. They won’t notice the difference.
- Add sliced tomatoes and lettuce to grilled cheese sandwiches and switch out the white bread for whole grain bread. Again, if they don’t like whole grain bread, try using whole grain bread on one side of the sandwich and white bread on the other side.
- Substitute half of the bread crumbs for rolled oats or use half rolled oats and half crushed bran cereal when breading meats.
These small swaps can add up, so try them at home! But remember, it’s also important to continue to serve your kids vegetables on the side so they learn to enjoy eating vegetables on their own. These tricks will help ensure your kids get their vegetable servings for those times when kids are stubborn and don’t want the side dish you’ve prepared. Do you make any substitutions that make unhealthy meals a little bit healthier? What are they?