Monday, February 27, 2006

Putting that good food to use

With the arrival of our farm cooperative food basket Friday night, I've been so excited about eating healthy that my blog Living the Mom Life is starting to sound like a food blog. It's not a food blog, but in the spirit of all the fresh, natural food we'll be getting every month from the program sponsored by Hardin's River Mercantile in downtown Little Rock, here's an article about feeding kids healthy food.

Healthy foods that your kids will love

By: Angela Tyler
If getting your kids to eat healthy foods is a battle in your home, here are some tips that will make your kids happy and give you the satisfaction of knowing you are feeding them foods that are good for them.

Finger Foods
Kids love finger foods. Vegetables with low or fat-free ranch dressing are sure to be a hit as will sliced fruit or canned fruit in individual cups. Small sandwiches with the crusts removed served with a few carrot sticks and cheese are great ideas for kids.

Naturally Sweet
Most kids will ask for sweets such as candy and snack cakes. Instead of giving in to the pressure, give your kids applesauce and homemade oatmeal cookies prepared with a sugar substitute or honey rather than white sugar. Fruit snacks and dried fruit roll ups made from 100 percent fruit are great ideas for kids.

Start the Day Right
You can give your kids a delicious, healthy breakfast by getting rid of the ready to eat cereals and pastries and replacing them with bran pancakes and low-sugar syrup and/or fruit. Whole-wheat tortillas filled with fruit, scrambled eggs, or cheese and turkey bacon are delicious and your kids will have fun eating them, paying no attention to the fact that it is actually good for them.

Sugary Drinks
Replace fruit drinks and sodas with flavored tonic water and fresh fruit juice. Drink boxes containing pure fruit juice are relatively inexpensive and kids love the individual boxes, complete with straws.

Healthy Dinner
Dinnertime can include homemade pizza topped with cheese and vegetables, or soft tacos made with shredded chicken and cheese. Chicken strips prepared in the oven are always a hit and you could include an assortment of fresh vegetables and whole-grain breads. Fish sticks are relatively healthy if you prepare them in the oven rather than fried. Cheese and legumes are healthy choices.

Make it Fun
The secret is in the presentation. Arrange an assortment of healthy foods in a fun way on your child's plate. You can include smiley faces made from raisins or nuts and choose foods that are colorful. Kids will eat most things if they are presented in a unique design that makes eating fun.It's not difficult to get kids to eat healthy foods. It just takes a little extra thought and planning. Start by using our tips and you may be surprised to see what your child will eat.

Article by:
Would you rather spend time doing the things you love rather than being stuck in the kitchen? has free cookbooks and recipes. And, if you are looking for fun exercise videos for your kids, don't miss

As a footnote, I don't advocate the sugar substutites on the market; instead I prefer to use either a small amount of real sugar or a natural sweetener like xylitol. We don't drink a lot of fruit juice anymore because of the high sugar content but give our kids lots of water in fun cups or with ice cubes.

These are some great ideas to start putting to good use!

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