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Healthy Family, Healthy Kids

When it comes to feeding your family, you want everyone to enjoy tasty and nutritious meals together as often as possible. Making sure kids get an adequate amount of nutrition in their diets can be especially difficult.

Encourage your child to try new foods, help prepare dinner, or choose what’s for lunch; all of these are ways to build your child’s confidence in the kitchen and attitude towards food.

What are your kids’ favorite foods: pizza, chicken fingers, sandwiches, french fries…? None of these are chock full of vitamins, but there are several ways you can boost their nutrition while keeping your kids satisfied. Cook these items from scratch and try one or more of the following tips when doing so!

  • Serve healthier fats: Choose low fat varieties of dairy and leaner cuts of meat to reduce saturated fat intake. Don’t be afraid to serve fish! Fish can be prepared (and even taste) a lot like chicken.
  • Bake rather than fry: Baking french fries or chicken fingers is a must try! Trust me, kids won’t miss the added grease from frying. They can even assist you with breading the chicken!
  • Use whole grains over refined: Serve mineral-rich breads, wraps and rice rather than nutrient-depleted grains like white bread.
  • Add veggies whenever possible!. Have veggies make a regular appearance at the dinner table, so your kids are not afraid to try them.

Fact: Kids actually enjoy eating vegetables, when they grow accustomed to them.

  • Dessert? Why not! Just because most are not-so-healthy, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid dessert altogether. Freeze yogurt or make your own 100% juice popsicles. Both are great ways to include calcium and Vitamin C for added nutrition.

Motivate your child to participate in mealtime traditions early on. Guaranteed, they will grow to practice these habits plus grow to love healthier foods. Remember to set a good example; family members are likely to follow your lead!

Baked Fish sticks with Chunky Chive Mashed Potatoes

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cod, halibut or tilapia fillets, cut into 3/4-inch thick strips
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 2 tablespoons Smart Balance light butter spread
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chives, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Place potatoes (skin on for added fiber) in a medium pot. Fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil for 15-20 minutes.
  3. In one dish, pour your seasoned breadcrumbs; in another, combine the yogurt and lemon juice. Coat each strip of fish with yogurt, followed by breadcrumbs, then place onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until cooked through or for about 10 minutes, turning once.
  4. Once your potatoes are soft, drain water from the pot and return to medium heat. Add milk, butter and garlic. Mash until soft or at desired texture. Stir in chives just before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 427 Calories, 5 g Fat (<1 g Sat), 25 mg Cholesterol, 297 mg Sodium, 49 g Carbohydrate, 5 g Fiber, 21 g Protein

Article originally published on the Pathmark Nutrition Tip Blog

 

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