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Your Child's Nutrition: The Power of Parents

You have more influence on what your kids eat than you think. Here's how to make the most of it.
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Tips for Boosting Your Child's Nutrition continued...

Pack healthy lunches. With a lunch from home you can enhance your child's nutrition, making sure they get the protein, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and calcium they need. Try:

  • Chopped broccoli, baby carrots, apple slices with fat-free dip
  • Quesadilla wedges with cheese, chicken, or veggies
  • Wraps: whole-wheat tortillas, lean meats, veggie slices
  • Whole-wheat bread, peanut butter, banana, chopped dates

Prepare for snack attacks. After-school snacks can be nutritious, too. Stock the kitchen for healthy snack fixings that kids will eat. A bowl of fresh fruit sitting on the counter is a good start. And try these other ideas:

  • Make a trail mix of low-sugar cereal, nuts, pretzels, dried fruit, and mini chocolate chips
  • Have chopped veggies and dip sitting on the top shelf of the fridge
  • Offer low-fat cheese sticks
  • Buy single-serving cups of low-fat yogurt or low-fat milk (flavored or plain)
  • Stock low-fat microwave popcorn
  • Offer Middle-eastern hummus or peanut butter with whole-grain crackers

Make dinner quick and easy. Family dinners don't have to be fancy to boost your child's nutrition. Just make sure you keep a few key ingredients in the pantry and fridge. Pre-washed mixed greens make salads an easy addition to every meal. And try these ideas:

  • Store-bought roasted chicken, fresh or frozen veggies, quick-cooking brown rice
  • Cheese and veggie omelets or scrambled eggs, fruit or veggies, whole-grain toast or rolls, milk
  • Whole-wheat blend pasta with prepared marinara sauce; stir in shredded carrots and garbanzo beans
  • 100% ground turkey breast burgers or frozen veggie burgers on whole-wheat buns
  • Take-out or frozen thin-crust cheese pizza topped with veggies
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