(Inside: Healthy food and kids–not something you can easily get into the same room together. But these ideas for How To Sprinkle Extra Hidden Nutrition Into Your Kid’s Meals really work and can be fun to implement with your kiddos, too!)
Getting kids to eat healthy can feel as difficult as pulling teeth.
As a parent, it’s one of the most common daily struggles you can face.
After all, children are privy to the eating influences of their friends, classmates and even sports teammates.
Oftentimes, kids are fed a diet high in processed foods, often because the parents lead that same lifestyle.
It’s also more convenient and at times cheaper to buy low quality food, which makes busy parents more susceptible to falling into the trap of cyclical poor nutrition.
Luckily, the parents have more power than they think in regards to their kid’s eating habits.
Leading by example is perhaps the most effective way to instill healthy values as they develop and form their personal sense of right and wrong.
Also, parents pay the grocery bill.
Thus, they can control what goes into the cart and insure that the home pantry and fridge are stocked full with sensible options.
By implementing a few simple healthy eating hacks, you can effectively sprinkle some extra nutrition into your kid’s meals and snacks.
How To Sprinkle Extra Hidden Nutrition Into Your Kid’s Meals
Investing in a good cheap blender was one of the best decisions I made for the family.
When you think of smoothies, you may imagine a tasteless, green drink that’s hard to palate.
You might think “there’s no way I’d drink that every morning, much less my picky eater.”
However, smoothies are a wonderful option to get kids eating more nutrients because they are a blank canvas; you can make a multitude of smoothie combinations with just fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
When making your kid’s smoothie, the key is to provide a base of fruit, which will mask the flavor of the greens and other vegetables.
Berries, bananas, pineapple and mango are all tasty options that they’re likely to love.
Add a few other ingredients like spinach, almond butter, chia seed and even cauliflower to make a rich, delicious, vitamin-rich morning meal for your child.
Pro tip: veggies like cauliflower and zucchini are virtually tasteless in a smoothie, making them the ideal ingredient for this sneaky veggie-packed smoothie.
Don’t be afraid to use frozen ingredients for that extra convenience either – they still pack a great nutritional punch!
Starting the day off right with a hefty dose of nutrients will help prevent sugar cravings, keep their energy up though out the day and even make their moods more even keel.
Just like in adults, better nutrition often leads to deeper sleep, which will help prevent your kid from experiencing grumpy spells due to a poor night’s sleep.
Ramped Up Breakfast Items
Pancake, waffle, and muffin batters are all the perfect vehicle to introduce healthy foods to kids.
Since these are food items that they likely already know and love, they’ll be more likely to give them a shot
without immediately saying “no” or ruling them out.
Also, they even work well in a travel baggie for their lunch box or in-the-car snacking.
Some easy add-ins to include are cinnamon (stabilizes blood sugar), fruit like berries or bananas (adds fiber and nutrients), chia or hemp seeds (adds healthy fat), or even a partially serving of vegan protein
powder or collagen.
Another healthy swap is to try some gluten free flours instead of wheat-based mixes that can cause bloating and stomach irritation.
Alternatives like coconut, tapioca and almond flour are tasty and hold up well in these mixtures.
If your family consumes animal products like eggs, you have a lot of possibilities ahead of you with omelette creation.
There are so many different variations that you can play around with. Think: peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados, kale, spinach and sweet potato.
Feeling like you’re wasting food because your child won’t eat all of their meal?
Make some combinations that you would enjoy eating as well to help minimize what’s left over.
If you have a hard time getting your kid to try your new healthy creations, consider a few things.
Don’t introduce all of these new meals at once; start small and add them onto your “menu” as you gain
Also, since kids love to be included in activities, you may find that they are more willing to try things that they’ve had a hand in creating.
Even giving them a task as simple as hitting the blend button on the smoothie or stirring the pancake batter is a significant step.
Remember that expecting your kids to implement healthy habits is dependent upon your own commitment to it.
You’ll find more success and experience more positive progress if you are on board with this way of eating as well.
A healthy family is a happy family!
Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.