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Have you given up on getting your kids to eat anything except McNuggets?

Have you given up on getting your kids to eat anything except McNuggets?

At least they're eating SOMETHING....right? Our BOTTOM LINE - we want them to love nutritious food. For little ones a cool summer idea is to use a colorful ice cube tray as a plate.

Fill the "cubes" with:

  • Veggies - baby carrots, celery, broccoli florets with "dip" - Ranch dressing, or their favorite
  • Fruit - grapes, banana, apples or other favorites with "dip" - fruity yogurt or peanut butter with yogurt
  • Cheese Cubes
  • Home made chicken with favorite bottled sauce, Pretzels, whole grain crackers, other favorites.

Elementary age kids like to make their own pizzas. Use small Boboli crusts or pitas (mini or full size) topped with a squeeze of pizza sauce, a variety of toppings ready to use in fridge, then place in toaster oven (this is a good time to discuss using a kitchen timer) or microwave to melt cheese.

Some topper ideas:

  • Shredded deli rotisserie chicken, reduced fat pepperoni, chopped ham, Italian turkey sausage (cook a batch and use for several days)
  • Shredded Cheeses - Italian mix, mozzarella, cheddar, Jack, etc.
  • Chopped vegetables - bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, even pineapple

Wraps are a trendy meal delivery method for older kids. They can be as creative as they choose and practice ethnic food choices.

Protein sources - shredded deli rotisserie chicken, cooked shrimp, cooked turkey sausage, leftover beef, pork, chicken or fish (make extras just for this purpose), cheeses, deli meats, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, ham salad, refried beans, black beans, hummus, even peanut butter.

Sauces - teriyaki sauce, gourmayo (new squeeze variety in several flavors), reduced fat mayo, salsa, salsa mixed with lowfat sour cream, reduced fat spreadable cream cheeses, sandwich spread, etc.

Vegetables - matchstick broccoli, shredded romaine, grated carrots, sprouts, thin strips of bell pepper, chopped tomatoes, grated zucchini, etc.

Wraps - whole wheat tortillas, regular flour tortillas, corn tortillas, flavored (and colored) tortillas, large leaves of leaf lettuce washed and dried (stack in zip bag on paper towel).

Asian Wrap - a spinach tortilla spread on wasabi gourmayo, with shredded chicken, matchstick broccoli, a couple strips of bell pepper, maybe a little shredded carrot. Roll it up and wrap in foil.

SW Wrap - a sun-dried tomato tortilla spread with a little chipotle gourmayo, top with shredded chicken, a few black beans, bell pepper, some grated zucchini or tomato, some jack cheese.

Use your imagination and engage children in the preparation of meals. You'll help them make better choices and eat for nutrition as well as flavor, texture and eye appeal.

Article submitted by:
Karen Bates / Personal Chef