Easy Back-To-School Options for the Kid on the Run
Feeding kids healthy food in the time of convenience is hard, as is making sure they actually eat it. Fruits and veggies are always a must-have, but with shifting opinions on everything else, sometimes it’s hard to tell what the best thing to give your kids is.
“Make mealtime fun by offering a variety of foods and colors and allowing kids to help plan their own meals,” Jeanna Jackson, a local Birmingham pediatric dietitian says.
Things like, “Whole fruits, such as apple slices and bananas, hummus dip, guacamole, celery and peanut butter, pretzels, yogurt, string cheese, applesauce and unsweetened fruit cups,” Jeanna points out, tend to help kids eat and fill up on their nutritional requirements.
And if you’re still having trouble?
“Continue to offer a variety of food as it can often take a long time for a kid to accept a new food,” she says. “Try and offer a favorite food with something new, and if a child refuses several times, wait a few weeks and try again as kids’ preferences are always changing. One thing we often recommend is pureeing vegetables and adding them to sauces such as spaghetti sauce or soups to add variety when your kid will only eat certain foods.“
Jeanna also warns to keep away from sugar, including breakfast time when it can impact a kid’s entire day.
“Kids are often filling up on sugar-sweetened beverages, and this makes them less hungry for mealtime. Also allowing kids to snack or graze all day on processed snacks can make mealtime more difficult. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and juices and stick to structured meal and snack times. Offer snacks that are low in added sugar and fat such as fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Going back to school is around the corner, along with shopping for new clothes, registering and stuffing all sorts of athletic equipment into your hallway closet. Here are some easy ideas for a healthy and quick lunch to make your life on the go that much easier!
Grains: pretzels, wheat pita bread, whole-grain crackers
Dairy: Greek yogurt with fruit, cheddar cheese
Fruit: sliced pineapple, banana, blueberries, strawberries
Vegetables: avocados, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumbers
Protein: hummus, peanut butter, grilled chicken strips, turkey meatballs