Your 4-old-year might not be a natural-born veggie lover, but are there ways you can you can get to her to stop turning her nose up at the sight of broccoli? Le Bonheur Dietitian Lindsey Lee, MSN, RD, LDN, offers some suggestions for making healthy foods more appealing.
Try these tips for making a healthier treat for your child.
- Raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt dip
- Popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese or cinnamon sugar
- Steamed broccoli with shredded, natural cheddar cheese
- Carrots lightly coated in olive oil and honey and roasted
- Frozen spinach mixed into macaroni and cheese
- Fresh fruit, dried fruit, unsweetened applesauce, brown sugar, honey, or cinnamon sugar added to plain oatmeal
- Corn tortilla chips dipped in fresh salsa
- Apple slices dipped in peanut butter or caramel sauce
- Coating fish or chicken in ground almonds and baking for a “crispy” fish
- Topping baked sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows or brown sugar
Increase the nutrients in various foods and expose your children to new foods in familiar dishes by trying these additions or replacements.
- Use rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs in meatballs
- Replace some of the flour in baked goods with rolled oats and milk chocolate chips with dark chocolate or dried fruit
- Use frozen bananas to sweeten smoothies instead of sugar
- Add shredded carrots to spaghetti sauce instead of sugar to naturally sweeten the sauce
- Use pureed beans, potatoes, or winter squashes to thicken sauces, soups or chili instead of flour, cornstarch, or heavy cream
- Mix spaghetti squash with spaghetti noodles 50/50 (choose whole grain if you can)
- Add flaxseed to baked good recipes, such as cookies, pancakes, muffins, etc
- Top pizzas with a variety of vegetables instead of processed meats high in fat and sodium.
- Use kale as the lettuce on your sandwich instead of iceberg lettuce
- Use hummus or avocado as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise or mayonnaise-based spreads and skip the cheese