Everyone knows it’s hard to take care of yourself, let alone little ones! School has started and things tend to become a little more hectic. I was asked to provide some healthy suggestions for your tots this school season as we know they have minds and appetites of their own. Here are some sneaky ways to get your kids to eat healthy, without the fuss and make it fun for them. Studies show that parents who eat well also have children who eat well too (1).
You can get sneaky including flax-seeds, chia seeds and protein powder in some of their dishes like protein powder in pancakes and flax-seeds in waffles. You can add a little coconut oil, and healthy fats in their smoothies as well! Since most parents are on the go dropping their kids off to work and then running late themselves. Here are some quick fast breakfast ideas on the go.
Smoothie with chia seeds
Fruit & nut butter
Whole grain bagels or English muffins with cheese (as long as they can tolerate gluten and dairy)
Rolled steel cut oats with flax seeds. You can also make oatmeal honey balls with, raisins, cranberries and for extra protein add some almond butter the night before. You can also sneak in a little flax seed in here to for some added fiber. They are easy to make and fast to eat! I used to make these in residency for myself before I found out I couldn’t tolerate gluten. Oats are technically “gluten-free; however, there’s a lot of cross contamination so be careful.
I’m still a fan of sandwiches and wraps for kids. They need to eat healthy, without being singled out. So if your child is gluten-free, make sure you have gluten free bread, wraps, tortillas, pita, bagels etc for them. Good options include tuna, gluten-free deli-meats, traditional pb&j using almond butter instead. Always include some veggies to nibble on as well as fruit. Try avoiding sugary, processed food snacks! You want to instill good healthy habits while your tots are younger. You can always get creative and carve shapes out so they have fun eating their healthy foods! If they get lunch at school, be sure to let the school know about your child’s dietary needs so they can appropriately accommodate.
Here are some tasty fun ways your kids can enjoy healthy foods after school!
Yogurt with fruit
Hummus & veggies
Dates & almond butter
Guacamole and whole grain chips
Coconut milk chia pudding with berries. I love making this for myself! You can add coconut flakes for added crunch
Gives these all a try and let me know how your little one likes them! In fact, I’m sure you’ll be nibbling on these foods yourself as well!
- Berge, Jerica M., PHD, and Et Al. Parent/Adolescent Weight Status Concordance and Parent Feeding Practices. Pediatrics, 24 Aug. 2015