Friday, January 9, 2009

Healthy Kid Food

I'm always looking for healthy snacks and food for my kids. As I've talked with other mothers, I realize that this is a problem for many of us! Here's a few ideas I've found to start with. I'll post more as I run across them:

I checked out this book at my library and it has a lot of great recipes! The author doesn't include any sugar in these recipes. Many of them are low sodium as well. Most are sweetened with natural fruit juices. I like the ideas in the book. I think that a lot of these recipes can be modified to work for the entire family.

Here are a few sites that I've found good ideas at. I don't agree with everything said on these sites, but there are lots of good ideas!

What about you? What healthy snacks and foods do your kids like to eat?


Cherylyn said...

Fresh vegetables are great, if you can get them regularly. I'm not good at doing this, but I'm trying to get better. I've noticed any time I put a bowl of baby carrots or sliced cucumbers on the table, they disappear pretty quickly. My kids also love green smoothies, but we have to be careful and drink them in the kitchen because the berries can stain. One of my kids will eat any vegetable if he can dip it in ranch dressing. Do you have any health alternatives to ranch dressing?

Cherylyn said...

Sorry to comment twice in a row, but I just remembered about my chicken enchiladas. I make them kid-friendly by toning down the spiciness of the sauce by mixing 1/2 can of red sauce with 2 8oz. cans of tomato sauce. It's still spicy enough for me and my husband, and the kids like them too.

Heather said...

If ranch dressing gets your kids to eat their veggies, I wouldn't be too worried about it. You can get fat free and low fat ranch, but I've found that the taste is highly compromised.

One of those sites talks about making ants on a log - peanut butter on celery and raisins. I remember loving that when I was a kid. Another great veggie that kids often like is peas - if they don't like them cooked, try giving them frozen - it's like a crunchy treat! Our kids love that. It's great for teething toddlers!

We've stopped buying baby carrots because the flavor is not as good as whole carrots. It takes some time to slice up the whole carrots, but if you just keep them in a cup of water in the fridge they don't dry out. They are much, much tastier!

NoSurfGirl said...

I never knew that about whole vs baby carrots!

My kids actually love carrots, which is wierd to me because they're definitely not my favorite... I think I had cooked carrots too often as a child :)

Thanks for this post. I am ALSO always looking for healthy kid snacks. LONG LIVE THE SESAME STICK, that's all I have to say about that! haha.

Heather said...

Cooked carrots are difficult for me too. I think it's the texture...But I love raw.

I love Sesame Sticks too and I think it's because of you, NoSurfGirl :). I remember you always had them and would share them with me :). I found some spelt ones at the health food store that I love! I've always wondered what kind of oils they use in them? Do you know? I've always felt a little guilty eating them because of the obvious amount of oil in them.

Shelly said...

Neither of my kids like vegetables (big surprise). Rather than fight the battle several times a day, a few years ago I started giving them vegetable/fruit juice mixes. Then, I found that I often just didn't have the time to make juice from scratch so I started buying it. Of course, I later learned that there is a LOT of sugar in these juices (even if they are 100% juice). I had stopped giving them juice altogether until I recently came across a brand called First Juice that is 50% less sugar than other juices without being diluted with water. They have really cool flavors too like blueberry + purple carrot and it is certified organic. It's worth a shot if you are busy!

Heather said...


Thanks for sharing what you've found. It's good to hear that there are some options for healthier fruit & veggie juices on the market.

I have been hesitant to give my kids much fruit juice as well. For one reason, I've read sources that link excessive fruit juice to child obesity. I've also learned that fruit juices contain fewer nutrients than their fruit counterparts. Some sources say not to give children more than 4-8 oz. of juice a day.

So I guess moderation is a good thing when it comes to juice, but if kids won't eat any fruits or veggies, some juice would be better than nothing! You could also try sneaking the veggies in (we blend cooked or raw veggies - broccoli, cauliflower, squash - in a blender and put them in sauces and soups). The kids don't know they're in there, but still benefit from the nutrients.

Shelly said...

Sneaking in veggies is great. I've ground them up and mixed them in with mac and cheese and pasta...they never know the difference!

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