Here's a great guest article on healthy recipes for kids with some clever strategies to help children to achieve good health effortlessly.
Michelle Obama has inspired millions of people by promoting healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Here Phyllis Wilkerson gives us her take on inspired healthy recipes for kids, as envisioned by the first lady. Phyllis Wilkerson is a freelance writer in the health sector.
One of the first lady's biggest efforts during her time in office has been to encourage other parents to be more involved in promoting the health of the nation's children. Michelle Obama encourages moms to make sure children get an hour of active play each day and eat a balanced diet. However, kids can be picky eaters, so when the little ones revolt against healthy foods, try these recipes that appeal to most kids' taste buds.
Kids are happier about eating foods if they look fun, so replace the usual after-school snack with a fruit caterpillar. Start by slicing a banana into 1-inch pieces, then stick slices of apple, orange, pear, kiwi, or any type of fruit between each segment to make a caterpillar. Add raisins for the eyes, and spots if you would like, to complete the look. Use the same concept to make fruit butterflies with slices of watermelon or rounds of orange for the wings, and a strip of another fruit for the body.
Helping your kids develop good eating habits will help them continue to eat healthy when they grow up. Teach them about the health risks that come from eating too much processed food. Fruits caterpillars are great for making eating healthy a fun activity for the kids.
Rather than serving juice, which is packed with sugar and can can cause energy highs and lows, opt for water or beverages with a little more substance. Try making an iced Swahili ginger tea for your kids. Start by grating one-quarter cup of fresh ginger mixed with one-quarter cup of an organic, all-natural loose-leaf low-caffeine tea, such as Golden Moon loose tea. Simmer the ginger and tea in 4 cups of water for five minutes, strain out the tea and ginger, and stir in one-quarter cup of sugar. Ice the result and mix with 2 cups of milk for protein and creaminess.
Kids often resist foods that are green mostly due to the appearance. Get your kids to try kale chips with their eyes closed and they're likely to love them.
These dark green chips are crispy, packed with vitamins, and make a great snack when paired with hummus. To make the chips, wash a bunch of kale, cut out the thick ribs, and rip the leafy portions into pieces measuring no more than 3 inches in each direction. Spread them on a baking sheet, spritz with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt, and bake at 350 degrees for roughly 15 minutes, or until they start to get brown around the edges and are crispy throughout.
Kids often balk at whole wheat pasta, which is heartier and healthier, but they won't notice it with the goodies in this recipe. The trick is to mix turkey pepperoni in with pasta and red sauce, and also include your kids' favorite pizza toppings. Set out several topping options and let them make their own pasta bowls with kid-friendly favorites like mild Italian sausage, black olives, roasted bell peppers, and anything else your kids love.
Presentation is the key to getting kids to eat and enjoy healthy foods. Don't get discouraged if you kids don't take to these recipes right away. Keep making creative meals and add more healthy options each time. In no time, your kids will develop excellent eating habits!
Article copyright Phillis Wilkerson
Getting kids eating better can be a challenge.
Young children seem to adapt to vegetables, including salads, if they are introduced early and often. I've known lots of youngsters that love salads and even spicy foods such as curry.
One of the main deterrents to a healthy diet for our own children was the attitudes of other children who reacted with dismay towards wholemeal sandwiches and simple foods such as hummus just because they were unfamiliar to them. There is nothing so potent as peer pressure! Fortunately, with perseverence (and the odd compromise) we managed to raise kids who, now adult, have a wide range of foods in their diets and who still love salad.
See the side panel (right) for books that can make your life easier if you do have a fussy young eater in your family. There are also books that can help in getting kids to eat better for their health's sake. With the current rises in diabetes and obesity, this is something that we all need to study if we are parents - or prospective parents.
Supermarket food does us no favours as many children's prepared foods are either hopelessly bland or packed with undesirable additives and fillers. Home made is best where possible for preparing healthy recipes for kids - and everyone else - and home grown foods are almost always tastier than supermarket equivalents.
There are some other pages on this site that might help in your quest for healthy recipes for kids - food they will love and you'll love to see them eat! Check out the side bar above.
Healthy Recipes for Kids - Copyright P. Wilkerson 2012
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Picture: Falafel and salad - another great meal for kids
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