Tips to Hook Your Kids on Nutritious Meals

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Here are six tips to encourage healthy eating habits in your kids from Allison Stowell, consulting dietician for Guiding Starts nutrition guidance program.

1. Add colorful foods to your plate. Adding color makes foods pleasing to the eye and ensures that your family eats a variety of nutrients. Each color represents a “great for you” antioxidant.

2. Make easy dinners on busy nights. When your family seems to be going different directions, simplify. Serve a “dipping dinner,” which can include black bean dip, hummus, guacamole, whole grain crackers, reduced fat cheeses and sliced vegetables and fruit, for example.

3. Prep multiple meals at a time. Prepare skinless chicken breasts in a variety of spices so you can use them for different dinners throughout the week. You can also make more than enough brown rice or whole wheat pasta to use for multiple dinners and quick salads. For a quick and easy pasta salad, add diced veggies, cubed cheese and salad dressing.

4. Get your omega-3. Add ground flaxseed to batters, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt or other foods to incorporate essential omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.

5. Serve breakfast for dinner. A two-egg omelet prepared with diced vegetables or baby spinach and reduced-fat cheese makes a quick protein-rich dinner and offers a fun alternative to regular dinners.

6. Add some ricotta, the other cheese. Add fat-free ricotta cheese to regular tomato sauce for a protein-rich, creamy sauce kids will love. Stir finely chopped baby spinach into ricotta cheese for casserole dishes to add an instant serving of a vegetable rich in iron, folic acid and vitamins A and K.

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