For busy parents, it can be hard to keep track of healthy meals for kids. But making healthy meals for kids is easy, fun, and very rewarding. What’s more, parents who cook meals for their kids can begin to be more involved in their children’s lives.
It is a good idea to start by making meals that are easier to prepare. Try to find items that you already have in your home or that are relatively inexpensive to purchase. In addition, because kids don’t need an abundance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains or lean protein, you can go with items that are already in your home or that you can easily find in the grocery store.
Freeze the vegetables and fruits immediately if you can. This way you will be able to grab these quickly when you need them. If you’re able to cook them, start by using frozen vegetables and fruits.
When you’re making healthy meals for kids, always consider serving plenty of fruit or other fruit juices. Ask your kids what they want to eat or what they are hungry for. Knowing their needs will help you make healthy choices.
One reason you’ll find it easier to make healthy meals for kids is that there is no need to wash vegetables or fruits. This means you’ll have plenty of time to wash your produce and get things cleanly packed in the refrigerator. Although this sounds like a time-consuming chore, it’s a fairly simple activity. You just need to rinse or squeeze any dirt or leaves from the product before packaging in ice cube trays or containers.
To make sure your produce is fresh, remove any wilted leaves or other signs of wilting before packaging. Wash these off with warm water before packing in the refrigerator. Just be sure to wash all produce before storing.
Kids love fresh produce, so this is a good time to give them some extra energy with fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods. Include dried fruits, raisins, and dates as well as whole grains. Also, fresh fruit and vegetables contain sugars, preservatives, and sodium, so these should be included in moderation. Eat small amounts of these food groups throughout the day to keep them feeling full without overwhelming them.
Healthy meals for kids need protein as well. Protein is found in beans, nuts, eggs, and fish. Try to have a mixture of all of these foods to ensure that your child is getting enough of each.
Healthy meals for kids are better for them in other ways, too. Kids who have plenty of time to themselves and have plenty of activities will spend less time outdoors. Eating a few snacks and fruit and vegetables throughout the day is also good for health.
Making healthy meals for kids means making healthy choices. Kids won’t likely snack on non-healthy snacks as much as adults do, but it doesn’t mean they won’t snack at all. When it comes to snacks, offer both healthy snacks such as granola bars and apple chips, and unhealthier snacks such as cookie dough or potato chips. Both should be eaten in moderation.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still find ways to make a nutritious meal for kids. Some parents don’t even have all of the main ingredients on hand when preparing a recipe. In these cases, there are plenty of substitutes for those items.
If you’ve been cooking healthy meals for kids, share them with others. Don’t hide the recipes from your children and watch them grow up without the knowledge of healthy meals for kids. If they know they can get something healthier, they’ll learn to value it.