I love love this Shrek-green color and do you want to know my little secret? (That is powder sugar on my hand by the way . . .not a weird skin disease.) Avocados! Who knew avocados could be so versatile? Well, I had to…
I would like to share some of my favorite food products for my kids, I get really giddy talking about them! Or maybe I am just excited about sharing any product that I think is awesome. I am ALWAYS looking for
somewhat healthy, kid-friendly products. Everyday I really try to have them eat lots of fruits and veggies but sometimes that can sure be a struggle. I think most kids would prefer a processed or packaged food item before a fruit or veggie (not always, we sometimes have a huge splurge for clementines over donuts in the morning, whoa!).
When I go grocery shopping I say to myself, “If I have it in the house, they will eat it!” When I am at the grocery store and catch a glance of a family’s grocery cart I am amazed at all the packaged and processed items. I will usually see mini muffins, pop tarts, pizza rolls, chips, soda AND a package of cookies. Hmm . . . do you realize how much of your food dollar is spent on junk food? You know if you have it in your house, that is what your child is going to eat!”
Now I am not saying I’m perfect, my kids have these foods on occasion and not every day. I just have to keep a positive aspect about food otherwise they will turn into junk food vultures! Remember when I told the story about when I was in second grade and I had a slumber party? Let me remind you if have forgotten. One of my friends, let’s call her Cindy, lived in a very strict household. Cindy never had chips or cake at her house but when she came to my house for my party, oh my, she was cut loose! I have this memory of Cindy sitting on a chair in my basement eating the entire bag of Doritos. Again, everything in moderation is so important. I try not to say “no, you can’t have that!” to my kids. I will let them have a little bit and if they ask for more I bring out a different food, preferable a food with some nutrients (I am working on 20 ways to get your kids to eat healthy post)!
Ok, enough, here are my fav packaged products!
The kids really had lots of fun playing with their food! As for the nutrition facts, I was surprised to see 14 gm of fat but remember that include the healthy omega-3 fats, so yay! A couple grams of fiber and 11 gm of protein. I am having a hard time getting protein into my daughter’s diet these days and this is a fun way for her to eat some protein.
We spelled all kinds of fun words: pea, ape, ooh, hoo
This may product may not fall into the processed food category but it is packaged and I wanted to share because I just love it! This bag of frozen blueberries was around $10 or $11 for the entire 3-lb bag. Not too bad when you consider a small 8-oz bag is about $5! Now we always have a large bag of blueberries and raspberries in our freezer. The kids love adding this to their yogurt! The blueberries tend to stain your fingers a bit, eventually it comes off.
The queen of boxed macaroni, so yummy!
Yes, the cheese is not powder, it’s nice and creamy, oooohhhh!
Nutrition breakdown: 7 grams of fiber for one cup! Wow! 12 grams of protein, woohoo! Yes, there is 650 mg of sodium but come on, just remember to balance it out with some veggies. Once that yummy cheese covers the whole wheat noodle, nobody knows that it is whole wheat!
Lunch is ready!
Now for the chip/snack category
These Natural Cheetos beat out ANY Cheetos/Puffs by a long run! HUGE to be exact. I’ve tried many natural puffs and they just don’t cut it like this product. I also like the white cheddar so little fingers do not get so messy. This is definitely not a powerhouse in terms of nutrition but it also does not break the bank either. Any puffed snack like this one, has a good serving size (1 1/2 – 2 cups), which everyone loves, young or old!
Well, onto find more snacks for my kids! I am ALWAYS looking for more because they sometimes get a little bored with the same and I have to mix things up every couple of weeks!
My kids are suckers for a cinnamon roll or donuts for breakfast, I swear they test me even more just because I am a dietitian. Well, these little banana muffin poppers turned out pretty darn good to satisfy their sweet tooth in the morning or…
Ok kiddos, let’s make some pizzas! Get the kids involved and let them be the gourmet chef for dinner tonight. This is also a great activity to keep them busy.
First we toasted up some whole grain sandwich thins in the toaster (if you don’t do this step, I have found some kids to not like the pizza because it’s soggy). Then it’s time for the toppings! I cut up some veggies and shredded some chicken and cheese for healthy toppings. This is a great time to introduce a variety of vegetables for toppings. Kids may actually surprise you by trying them on pizza! My daughter referred to an episode of Caillou when he made pizzas with his mommy and they used broccoli on their pizzas. Now she always wants to have broccoli as a topping, thank you Caillou!
Get creative and make a funny face on the pizza, or just have fun!
Spread on some leftover spaghetti sauce or use pizza sauce, whatever is in the frig!
Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Use small strips of wax paper and write the child’s name on it and place it underneath their pizza. This is also a great activity do to at parties – it keeps them busy! Notice, I use paper plates for easy clean-up, makes the whole activity a bit less stressful.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
Now it is time for some popsicles! My daughter actually invented this recipes as she was searching through the frig looking for something to put into her popsicle containers. We tried a new flavor, mango! I will have to say my kids did not like this as a flavor to drink but they loved it as a popsicle. If you have never tried kefir it is like a drinkable yogurt or smoothie. Kefir contains 12 probiotic cultures (bacteria) that are helpful for promoting healthy digestion.
My daughter has come across some fun nutritional games on www.pbskids.org. I thought I would share because I was impressed by the nutritional content of the game.
Arthur’s Lunch-O-Matic focuses on making a healthy lunch. The goal of the game is to chose foods that are good sources calcium, protein, carbohydrate and other nutrients.
Supermarket Adventure teaches kids about the foods groups and nutrients. For example, the speaker will say, “Find three foods that contain Vitamin A.” I do have to help my daughter with the game but over time she remembers.