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Fun and Creative Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Eat Healthy

Updated: 5 days ago

Learning What to Cook for Young Children and Finding Healthy Substitutes

When it comes to cooking for young children, it's important to focus on balance and variety. Including a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins in their meals is key to providing them with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Sneak in the Veggies: Kids can be picky eaters when it comes to vegetables, but there are clever ways to incorporate them into their meals without them even noticing. Puree vegetables like spinach, carrots, or zucchini and add them to sauces, soups, or even baked goods like muffins or pancakes. You can also try chopping vegetables into tiny pieces and mixing them into pasta dishes it works especially well with meatballs. I always add carrots, celery, and broccoli to my meatball recipes when doing meal prep for my clients with children.

2. Make Fruit Fun: Children are more likely to eat fruits if they find them visually appealing. Get creative and turn fruits into fun shapes using cookie cutters or make fruit kebabs with a variety of colorful fruits. You can also blend fruits into smoothies or make homemade popsicles using pureed fruit and yogurt.

fruits for kids

3. Swap Processed Snacks for Homemade Alternatives: Instead of reaching for store-bought snacks that are often high in sugars and unhealthy additives, try making your own healthier versions at home. Baking homemade granola bars, fruit and nut energy balls can be a great way to control the ingredients and provide your child with a nutritious snack.

Healthy snacks for kids

5. Get the Kids Involved: Cooking with your children can be a wonderful bonding experience and it also encourages them to try new foods. Let them help you wash fruits and vegetables, stir ingredients, or assemble their own mini pizzas or tacos. When kids are involved in the cooking process, they are more likely to enjoy the meals they helped create.

a kid reaching for strawberries  meal prep for kids

In conclusion, cooking for young children doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a little creativity and some healthy substitutes, you can provide your child with delicious and nutritious meals. Start small, experiment with different flavors and textures, and most importantly, enjoy the process of nourishing your child's growing body and mind.

Happy cooking!

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