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    Getting Essential Nutrients You Need, but May Be Lacking

    It Worked for Me!



    • My kids love cottage cheese. From the beginning, I have diced up red, orange, or yellow bell peppers and mixed them in. They now love peppers.


    • I use graham crackers and strawberry yogurt to make sandwich crèmes. Wrap in plastic and freeze them for a nice cold treat. You can use low-fat grahams and/or low-fat yogurt, or just plain vanilla yogurt. I also use the chocolate grahams and cool whip (low-fat), to create a chocolaty version of these sandwich treats.
    • Ranch dip. My youngest LOVES to dip everything in ranch dip. I can usually get her to eat some healthy things this way. If she can dip it, she'll usually eat it.

    Essential Nutrients: You've Got the Idea!

    "These are all great ideas," Zelman tells WebMD. "You've got to make nutrition work for you. You've got to make healthy food creative, tasty, fun."

    Smoothies are perfect for loading up on essential nutrients, she tells WebMD. "They combine everything you need, like yogurt and fruit. You can use up bananas that are too ripe. All in all, you can tackle a lot of nutrient shortfalls with a smoothie."

    She offers a few more ideas:

    • Sneak it in. Put veggies on a sandwich. Have a salad before dinner. Eat a piece of fruit instead of vending machine snacks. Wedge that healthy stuff into your diet wherever you can.
    • Try vegetable juices. V-8 Splash and others are a great option for people who aren't big on eating veggies. "They're very thick because they have a lot of fiber," says Zelman.
    • Plan ahead, shop ahead. If the good stuff is stocked in the pantry or fridge, half the battle is won. To get the family to eat it, make sure it's chopped and ready to eat, she advises. "That's the best way to foster healthy eating."

    If your kids crave a McDonald's stop, let them have the burger, Zelman says. But switch out the fries in favor of a healthier option. Good choices: the walnut, yogurt, and fruit salad snack plate -- or yogurt parfait -- or apples with low-fat caramel dip. "It can be dessert. Healthy eating is a matter of changing habits."

    Next Article:
    Our "Healthy Recipe Doctor"

    Need some quick, fresh ideas? Ever wonder what's behind the latest food headlines? Check in with Elaine Magee, RD, MPH.

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