Some parents take the eating habits of their children for granted due to lack of time and thinking that their kids are still young so they can eat whatever they want. This philosophy is one of the reasons why more and more kids become obese at an early age, making it harder for them to lose weight as time goes by. It is important for children to start eating healthfully at a young age in order for them to develop a healthy eating habit that they can follow as they grow older.
A healthy breakfast should include multi-grain or whole-grain products. Oatmeal, cereals and waffles are great examples of good healthy breakfasts.
Prepare multi-grain waffles topped with strawberries. Mix 2 cups buttermilk and 1/2 cup oats in a medium bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes. Whisk 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (or cornmeal), 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir 2 large, lightly beaten eggs, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbsp. canola oil and 2 tsp. vanilla extract into the oat mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened.
Preheat the waffle maker and pour enough waffle batter to cover 3/4 of the surface. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the waffles turn golden-brown and crisp. Serve with fresh strawberries on top with low-fat whip cream.
Instead of giving your children junk foods such as chips and French fries, opt for a healthy snack instead. Peel baby carrots and cut celery sticks, then serve with a dip made of plain cottage cheese.
Another healthy snack is popcorn. Cook kernels in low heat until they pop. Instead of adding butter to taste, add freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
For a main dish, prepare lemon chicken and steamed vegetables.
Get two pieces of chicken breasts, remove the skin and wash thoroughly. Squeeze a piece of lemon to get the juice out. Mix the lemon juice with 2 tbsp. of low-sodium soy sauce. Place the chicken breasts in a plastic bag with seal, and then add the lemon and soy sauce. Seal the plastic bad and shake until the juice mixes with the chicken. Put in the refrigerator and let it marinade for 30 minutes. Heat the skillet on a stovetop and add a cup of olive oil. Fry the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides.
Meanwhile, wash and cut assorted vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, green beans, zucchini and bell peppers. Steam the vegetables over boiling water for about 3 minutes or until soft but not soggy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Serve the chicken and steamed vegetables with a baked potato or steamed brown rice.
Instead of serving sodas or colas, give your children healthier drinks. Serve them with fresh fruit juice or bottled fruit juice that is 100 percent fruit concentrate. You may also prepare a smoothie with mixtures of fruit and juice.
In a blender, put 1 piece of ripe banana, 1 cup of strawberries (leaves removed), 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat yogurt, 1 1/2 tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, 2 tbsp. of non-fat dry milk, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of crushed ice. Mix until smooth and serve. You can add 2 tsp. of Splenda sugar to add sweetness.
Serve fresh fruits for dessert. Cut pieces of apples, pears, peaches, mandarin oranges and mix them in a small bowl. Spoon in 2 tbsp. of cottage cheese and mix them all together. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.
Another tasty dessert is no-bake cookies. Combine 8 finely grounded whole-wheat graham cracker squares, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 2 1/2 tbsp. of honey. Pick up a spoonful of the mixture and roll it in your hands. Flatten each one to a shape of a cookie, and then lightly press unsweetened grated coconut pieces on top.