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Making Kid-Favorite Foods Even Better

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Small changes make a big difference when it comes to good nutrition. Preparing nutritious kid-friendly meals really isn't hard or time-consuming once you know a few simple tricks. By merely switching an ingredient or two, you can add a little fiber, cut the total fat and saturated fat, or boost the vitamins and minerals in the familiar dishes your child loves.

Below you'll find some easy ways to make children's favorite foods even more healthful than they already are. There's no need to serve these versions all the time; merely offering them occasionally will help your toddler or preschooler learn about different foods and textures. The goal is to establish healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Plus, you'll be giving your child a head start on eating right to prevent heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis!

Breakfast Foods

Waffles. Whole-grain waffles have more fiber and nutrients than regular ones. Whether you choose frozen or homemade, look for those made with whole-wheat flour and other mixed-grain ingredients.

French toast. Every now and then make it with whole-wheat bread for a fiber boost.

Pancakes. Make homemade oatmeal pancakes occasionally instead of using a prepackaged mix or serving frozen pancakes. Oats are packed with heart-healthy fiber.

Syrup and jelly. Cut out some sugar calories and use light syrup. It has half the calories and sugar of regular syrup and tastes just as good. Even better, skip the syrup now and then and served chopped or mashed fresh fruit over pancakes and waffles. Eliminate unnecessary sugar calories with jelly as well and serve low-sugar or spreadable fruit versions of all jellies and jams.

Sausage and bacon. Put ham and Canadian bacon on the table instead of sausage and bacon. Both are extremely lean and you'll eliminate lots of calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Cereals. Even though kid-favorite cereals are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, some may fall short when it comes to fiber. A couple times a week, serve a higher fiber whole-grain cereal to your child. Look for those with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving.

Juices. Any juice or juice drink that has added vitamin C is a good nutritional investment. Those fortified with vitamin C and calcium are even better.




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