Guidelines For Creating Healthy Meals For Kids And The Whole Family

These days we are so bombarded by ads for expensive, processed convenience foods and fast foods that it is sometimes hard to remember what it takes to prepare healthy, natural, real food. One thing is certain, healthy meals for kids and adults contribute to a better quality of life and a higher level of overall health. Eating well is really not complicated, but many people have simply forgotten how or never learned. In this article, we will discuss what you need to do to stock your kitchen right so that you can feed your family right and save money in the process. Read on to learn more.

healthy mealsBegin by understanding that you and your family should never eat anything that isn’t food. This may sound obvious, but the fact is many of the products that are sold as food in the grocery store are actually just food-like substances. Sure, they are edible and they won’t kill you on the spot, but they don’t nourish you. Quite the opposite, processed foods packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring, flavoring and other non-food ingredients will gradually whittle away at your health and cost you a fortune in doctor bills and loss of quality of life.

One of the best ways to be sure you have what it takes to make plenty of healthy meals for kids is to simply make sure that all the foods in your kitchen are as close to their natural state as possible. Avoid buying prepared foods at all costs. Instead, opt for whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, plain, lean meats, dried beans and lentils. Buy only whole grain breads, or better yet make your own whole grain bread. Read the labels on dairy products to avoid products that contain excessive hormones or artificial colors, flavors and various sweeteners.

When you keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand as snacks, your kids will develop a taste for them. Allow your kids to eat fresh fruits and veggies as much as they want, and be sure there is always a pitcher of cold pure filtered water available in your fridge. Keep some lemon and lime wedges cut up in a bowl in the fridge to be added to water for flavor. Purchase a stainless steel water bottle for every member of your family and encourage everyone to carry fresh water throughout the day.

Healthy foods for kids go over better when kids are involved in food preparation. Be sure to have easy to make snacks on hand such as plain popcorn to be air popped. When you purchase popcorn in bulk, you will be amazed by how much money you save and by how much better it is than microwave popcorn. Plain, air popped popcorn has more fiber and no artificial ingredients.

Air popping popcorn is fun and easy and kids can create a wide variety of toppings for all-natural popcorn. Some examples include grated cheese, Parmesan cheese, mixed spices and more. Imagination and a well stocked spice cupboard are the only limits in preparing this thrifty, delicious, healthy snack. For a classic snack for movie watching, try a topping of melted butter and coconut oil with sea salt. This is a much healthier version of theater popcorn.

Preparing healthy meals for kids and the entire family is really quite easy, and in the long run it will save you a fortune in grocery and doctor bills. Use the money you save to invest in handy gadgets such as an inexpensive water filtration pitcher, stainless steel water bottles, a bread maker and a popcorn air popper. These little expenses will save you money and provide you with a higher quality of food and a better way of life.

Ideas for Healthy Lunches for Kids

lunchesThe school day can be a long and taxing one for children. A child’s growing body needs a lot of calories and nutrients, and the long, draining school day puts stress on their body and mind. It can be difficult to pack healthy lunches for kids, especially on days when they have physical education or other classes on their timetable. Hopefully these ideas for lunches that are of good nutrition will inspire you and help you to find something that they will enjoy eating.

Simple Sandwiches

The most popular packed lunch for kids involves sandwiches, but white bread and spread or cheese is hardly ideal from a nutritional standpoint. If you want something a little more nutritious, try these simple but still wholesome ideas.

To begin with, when packing a healthy lunch, eschew white bread in favor of wholegrain bread. If your children do not like wholegrain bread, try mixing one slice of wholegrain with one slice of white, or using brown bread or wholemeal bread instead.

Secondly, try to make the sandwich from as many different ingredients as possible. Avoid tomatoes, because these make the bread go soggy, and will probably mean that the sandwich is inedible by lunch time. Cucumbers are another thing that will probably not work in sandwiches. Try to use real butter (not margarine), full fat cheese, lettuce, spring onions, peppers and tomatoes. If you use meat, try to use chicken, ham or finely sliced beef. Avoid mechanically recovered meats and spreads or pates that are high in salt. This will help you to put together nutritious, filling sandwiches. You can cut the crusts off the sandwiches, or even cut them using cookie cutters to make them more visually appealing. The goal is simply to get your child to eat a sandwich that is full of fresh, nutritious ingredients.

Exotic Nutrition

If you want to make something more interesting than sandwiches, try putting together an exotic meal based on foreign foods. Wraps full of falafel are filling and nutritious, as are onion bahjis and samosas. You can make these fresh yourself or buy them from a supermarket, cook them the evening before and let your child eat them cold.

Other popular dishes that make great packed lunches include cous cous salads and hummus dips. Serve these with slices of carrot and celery. Often, children who dislike vegetables will find that the vegetables are quite appealing when they are combined with a dip! Hummus is a great way to expose your child to healthy fats and a small amount of protein.

Simple Snacks

In addition to the main meal, healthy lunches for kids should also include a tasty snack or dessert. If you don’t want to give your kids potato chips or chocolate, why not give them dried fruit and nuts? Raisins, dried bananas, apple chips and brazil nuts are all tasty snacks that most kids will love, and that you can serve up guilt-free. If you don’t want to give nuts to a younger child, give them whole bananas and apples instead.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be a bad experience for children. Make them happy by applying these tips to their meals and lunches at school.