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Healthy Food For Kids

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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

Just as with adults, children suffer the consequences physically and emotionally, psychologically and behaviorally, when given a steady diet of processed and highly salted and sugared foods. Whole foods for kids is the rule of thumb.

Unprocessed, natural, whole grain foods are more nutritious and higher in fiber than their processed, bleached, sugared and salted counterparts. In the new “plate” rather than “pyramid” model of nutrition, experts say half of the plate should be taken up with fruits and veggies and the other half should be whole grains, low fat dairy and lean meats, with more of the whole grains than the lean meats, and, of course, fats and oils as the least amount of the plate.

To keep nutrition flavorful and appealing to children who are generally pickier than adults and also require so much good nutrition for their growth and development, use whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and root vegetables, sweet potatoes and cheese (for protein) in a variety of combinations. Making snacks ahead of time can save you a trip to McDonald’s when the little ones get a craving or you are out on a day trip.

A list of good foods for kids healthy eating includes:

• Cheese:
Fortunately, cheese can be found in snack form at most markets. Kids tend to naturally really like string cheese and products containing cheese. Just look out for preservatives or dyes and you’re good to go!

• Sweet potatoes:
Baked, sautéed, made into crispy chips or even with a little maple syrup and mashed up, these are packed with nutrition and fiber and so delicious to boot!

• Peanut butter:
An American staple. While some kids are allergic, many are not and these legumes continue to be a good source of protein, and can be quite tasty and filling in moderation. Peanut butter is also handily diverse, spreading well on fruits and vegetables such as carrots, celery and apples. Yum!

• Hummus:
Many children actually come to enjoy the flavor and consistency of hummus. It is a chick-pea based spread which is perfect for sandwiches, topped with veggies, or to be used as a dip. As we know, most kids are native dippers.

• Quesadillas:
As a great hot alternative to a regular sandwich, quesadillas are made with tortillas, a good source of fiber and iron, and then packed with the ingredients of your choice. Cheese, freshly grilled chicken, beef, tofu or turkey are just some of the endless healthy choices.

• Broccoli:
It goes without saying that broccoli is a superfood and the more the better. By combining cheese with broccoli you can often get kids to really love this wonderfully nutritious veggie and even add some whole wheat crackers for a delicious crunch!

• Spinach:
See above and even sneak this into smoothies and shakes ... most kids won’t know raw spinach is mixed in with their fruity beverage and they’ll be getting an extra dose of healthy!

• Eggs:
Packed with protein, eggs in moderation are great for children. Deviled eggs are fun for kids, and egg salad sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and omelettes can be full meals or snacks any time.


kids health. Food Pyramid Guide Becomes a Plate
Retrieved from the internet on December 12, 2011

Parents. 20 Best Snacks for Kids.
Retrieved from the internet on December 12, 2011

Aimee Boyle is a regular contributor to EmpowHER

Reviewed December 13, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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