I cannot tell you how many times I have offered a child a plate of fresh fruit or veggies to have the mother grab it from me and say, “Oh, he won’t eat that.” What that really means is, “I have conditioned my child not to eat that.”
Yes, kids can be picky eaters, but that does not mean that we need to condition them to only eat chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and PB&Js. I have two toddlers who have a mind of their own when it comes to food like the rest of the world. But I have found several super healthy snacks and foods that my kids inhale without a struggle. Here are 5 of our favorites:
- Sweet potatoes – one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. And kids love anything “sweet”, right? When I’m in a rush, I nuke several large sweet potatoes in the microwave for 5-8 minutes. Then I sprinkle them lightly with organic brown sugar and a tad of cinnamon. My kids always ask for seconds – and the leftovers are packed in their school lunches the next day.
- Kale chips (I stole this from Gwenyth Paltrow’s cookbook – thank you Gwenyth!). Kale is also one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It’s a leafy green found near the broccoli section in your grocery store. To make kale chips, wash the kale, tear the leafs off the stems in 2-3 inch chunks. Place on a cookie sheet, drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. And then you have a super healthy substitute to potato chips that can also be used on sandwiches in place of lettuce or mixed into scrambled eggs.
- Milk shakes. Well, not the milk shakes you might be thinking of. Super healthy milk shakes look like this: Toss handfuls of any fruit into a blender (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, apples, watermelon, kiwi – anything!). Add milk and ice. Then blend. It’s that easy! In our house, when we ask the kids, “Who wants a milk shake?” we receive the unanimous shrieks, “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”
- Cucumber salad (I stole this one from my German mother-in-law). Cucumbers by themselves are easy for kids to enjoy. If you want super delicious cucumbers follow this recipe: Cut the cucumber in very fine slices. In a bowl, mix ¼ cup tasty vinegar, ¼ cup sour cream, salt, pepper, sugar and sprinkle with dill. Mix everything together and you have a yummy cucumber salad!
- Carrot salad (Again, I stole this from my mother-in-law!). We have all eaten carrots with ranch dipping – but it’s important to have a variation of flavors to keep your kids coming back for more. Carrot salad recipe: Shred several carrots in a food processor then squeeze the juice from half of a lemon on the carrots. In a separate bowl, mix ¼ cup tasty vinegar, ¼ cup sour cream, a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar and sprinkle with parsley. Combine all ingredients. Enjoy!
Do you have a healthy snack or food idea you know kids will love? Post it in the Comment section below. Thanks for sharing!