Are you stuck and need some ideas on how to get more nutrients into your families daily intake? Keep reading to find out my 10 Healthy Tips To Pack More Nutrients Into Your Day.
You may not want to hear this, but one of the best ways to get your children to eat more nutritious foods is by eating them yourself.
If you are a picky eater, go outside the box and try some new foods. Give foods you once thought you didn’t care for another chance.
Make a goal to pick one new fruit or veggie each week when grocery shopping. Taste buds change and you might find you like a food you once did not. Work together with your kiddos to prepare that food. They watch by example and if you eat healthy, they will follow!
Growing bodies depend on nutrients provided in healthy foods to grow and learn.
My top 10 Healthy Nutrition Tips To Pack More Nutrients Into Your Day:
1. Use a fruit purée instead of butter or oil in baked goods. Applesauce works great and is substituted 1:1.
2. Add ground flax seeds or wheat germ to pancake mix. Also try adding applesauce or pumpkin purée to pancake mix.
My littles refuse to eat whole grain varieties of pancake mixes I have tried, both store-bought and homemade. However, they never notice when I add these extras into their regular pancake mix (well, the pumpkin they notice, but love during fall!). Homemade applesauce is easy to make, but store-bought unsweetened varieties work as well.
3. Add puréed veggies to sauces such as spaghetti sauce or chili. Veggies like squash and carrots also blend in well. Don’t want to purée veggies yourself? Try using baby food- already puréed and full of nutrition. Try it, no one will know!
Some people are against “hiding” veggies in their kiddos meals. I always offer a vegetable as a side dish, so in my family, these are all just added bonuses. I am all for hiding veggies where ever you can, as long as you continue to work towards children eating them willingly and knowingly as well.
4. Make zucchini muffins or another fruit or veggie based bread for snack time. For extra fun use the really small muffin tins. Watch as they disappear!
These make perfect after school snacks or as a dessert option in a cold lunch. My kids love the bright-colored reusable silicone muffin cups. For whatever reason, this makes the food more exciting. Check out this link for a healthy recipe for Zucchini Bread.
5. Buy baby carrots and put them in snack sized bags on a refrigerator shelf your child can reach on their own. Put other healthy options on this same shelf so they can help themselves. Try things like yogurt, cottage cheese, or sliced fruit. A bit of preparation will pay off with a healthy snack for your child.
My littles know that when they get hungry between meals, they can choose from these foods. It has become routine now so there is no arguing. Anything to make life easier…
6. Cut fruit and veggies into interesting shapes or put them on skewers. Making fruits and veggies seem more exciting will help. Offer low-fat dressings to dip the veggies in.
I find that when I put chopped veggies on the dinner table while I am getting the rest of dinner ready by the time we eat, they have disappeared. Hungry kids are so much less picky.
7. Have a snack attach shelf in the pantry. Offer foods in snack sized bags for portion control. Things to include could be popcorn, pretzels, raisins, dry cereal, or whole grain crackers. You can even offer the occasional treat this way. If they want chips, have it in the snack sized bag to keep the portion size in control.
I grab these for my littles snack at school. It is so easy in the morning to toss in their backpacks. It is also easy to grab a snack for myself when I am on the go. Being ready with healthy options helps avoid grabbing quick unhealthy foods found most everywhere. Starving at the grocery store is a for sure no-no:)
8. You can add fresh or frozen vegetables to recipes you are already making. Having meatloaf? Add some shredded carrots to the mixture. Tacos? Try adding chopped peppers while browning the meat. Chili? Add extra diced tomatoes. Think outside the box and toss a handful of veggies in to increase the nutritional value of the meal.
Try chopping extra peppers, carrots, celery, onions or whatever veggie ingredient you are prepping and freeze for a later date. All of these items freeze well and are easy to toss into a variety of recipes.
9. Try ground turkey rather than ground beef, most people won’t even notice the difference. Scared to go cold turkey? Try mixing half and half at first and gradually make the change. You will save on both calories and fat.
Remember to look for reduced fat ground turkey around 94% or greater. Regular ground turkey is higher in fat and calories than extra lean ground beef due to it containing both dark and white meat along with turkey skin.
10. Cook with your children. When a child helps prepare a food, they are more likely to eat it!
Try not to think about the mess they are making, or that you could get the meal made faster by yourself. Kids need to learn how to cook, and what better way than working with their parent? Fun for kids and adults alike.
Most importantly, lead by example. Children watch what their parents do. If you are not eating your vegetables, how can you expect your child to eat theirs?!
What tips and tricks do you use with your family to get the most nutrition out of a meal or snack? Comment below.