Kids have to eat. Three meals a day, every day. All moms know how important it is to have an arsenal of quick kids’ meals handy. You never know when you’ll have to put healthy food on the table in a hurry, or when you need quick ideas so dad can help.
“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ~ Jim Davis “Garfield”
Lucky for us, kids love dip. Cut some fresh cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, celery, and bell peppers and serve them with ranch dressing. Even finicky veggie-haters will eat their veggies with dressing on them.
Saved by a Sandwich
“All sorrows are less with bread.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Start with two waffles, an English muffin, bagel, croissant, or a hotdog, hoagie or hamburger bun. Simply add jam, peanut butter, fruit slices, meat, hummus, veggies, eggs, or cheese. The possibilities are endless.
Oodles of Noodles
“The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.” ~ George Miller
If you’ve got noodles, you can make a meal. Add some salad dressing and some meat, garbanzo beans and veggies and you’ve got pasta salad. Or, start with noodles and add a little butter and parmesan cheese to make buttered noodles. And, there’s always the classic standby – add pasta sauce and a dollop of cottage cheese onto noodles and you just made lasagna.
Wrap it Up
“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.” ~ Calvin Trillin.
If you’ve got tortillas and leftovers, you’ve got a wonderful meal. Warm up your leftovers and wrap them up in a tortilla with some cheese. Voila! Leftovers Burrito.
Spuds from Heaven
“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Potatoes are a meal waiting to happen. Microwave a potato, pile on cheese of any sort (cheddar, mozzarella, cottage cheese) and some meat, veggies, or even salsa or sunflower seeds, and you have a delicious dinner.
Soup Warms the Soul
“Worries go down better with soup.” ~ Jewish Proverb
Fill a pan with broth and veggies. Then, just throw in whatever you have in the house, meat or beans, leftovers, a can of diced tomatoes, noodles or rice, and spices. You just made soup in minutes.
Turn the Day Upside Down
“I went to a restaurant that serves ‘Breakfast at any time’. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.” ~ Steven Wright
You can have breakfast any time, too. Cereal, eggs & bacon, waffles, or pancakes. Breakfast is always better at night.
Next time you’re in a position to magically make a quick kids meal, refer back to this list and presto – you’ll have dinner on the table in minutes.
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Kids are often the choosiest eaters in the family. They are drawn towards unhealthy foods such as salty or sugary snacks and fast food. If getting your kids to eat healthy meals is a battle in your home, here are some tips that will make your kids happy and give you the satisfaction of knowing you are feeding them foods that are good for them.
Most kids will ask for sweets such as candy and snack cakes. Instead of giving in to the pressure, give your kids applesauce and homemade oatmeal cookies prepared with a sugar substitute or honey rather than white sugar. Fruit snacks and dried fruit roll ups made from 100 percent fruit are great ideas for kids.
Make Healthy Meals Fun
The secret is in the presentation. Arrange an assortment of healthy foods in a fun way on your child’s plate. You can include smiley faces made from raisins or nuts and choose foods that are colorful. Kids will eat most things if they are presented in a unique design that makes eating fun.
Healthy Start to the Day
You can give your kids a delicious, healthy breakfast by getting rid of the ready to eat cereals and pastries and replacing them with bran pancakes and low-sugar syrup and/or fruit. Whole-wheat tortillas filled with fruit, scrambled eggs, or cheese and turkey bacon are delicious and your kids will have fun eating them, paying no attention to the fact that it is actually good for them.
Replace fruit drinks and sodas with flavored tonic water and fresh fruit juice. Drink boxes containing pure fruit juice are relatively inexpensive and kids love the individual boxes, complete with straws.
Kids love finger foods. Vegetables with low or fat-free ranch dressing are sure to be a hit as will sliced fruit or canned fruit in individual cups. Small sandwiches with the crusts removed served with a few carrot sticks and cheese are great ideas for kids.
Making Healthy Dinner
Dinnertime can include homemade pizza topped with cheese and vegetables, or soft tacos made with shredded chicken and cheese. Chicken strips prepared in the oven are always a hit and you could include an assortment of fresh vegetables and whole-grain breads. Fish sticks are relatively healthy if you prepare them in the oven rather than fried. Cheese and legumes are healthy choices.
It’s not difficult to get kids to eat healthy meals. It just takes a little extra thought and planning. Start by using our tips and you may be surprised to see what your child will eat.
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