The healthy label scares off some kids from even trying a meal. Balancing health with child-friendly meals keeps you and your child satisfied. You feel confident that she is eating a nutritious diet, and she gets a tasty selection of meals. Healthy meals that appeal to the entire family make it easier to avoid the role of short order cook to appease everyone’s appetite.
Baked Chicken Strips
Fried chicken nuggets stand out as a favorite for many children. Chicken nuggets purchased at restaurants or in the freezer section often include processed meat and are full of fat because of the frying. Baked chicken strips or nuggets made at home keep the same concept on a healthier scale. Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into strips or chunks, depending on how you want the finished product to look. A mixture of flour and seasonings creates the batter. Dip the chicken in whisked egg whites before dipping into the batter mix. Place the chicken on a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Spritz the top of the chicken with either spray butter or cooking spray to get more of a fried texture. Bake the chicken at 475 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check it by cutting into the chicken and looking for any signs of pink.
Tacos are quick and easy to customize, making them a suitable option for families. Instead of ground beef, use ground turkey or chicken breast in the tacos. Whole-wheat taco shells increase the health factor. Set out lots of vegetables for your children to choose as they assemble their tacos. Low-fat cheese, low-fat sour cream and salsa round out the healthy taco toppings.
A slider is a fancy name for a mini burger, just the right size for a child. The small size is also more appealing to some kids than a full-size burger. Substituting ground turkey for the usual ground beef makes this a healthier dish for all members of the family. Add lettuce, tomatoes, onions and other healthy toppings to jazz up the turkey sliders. Mini whole-wheat buns also work well for this meal.
Giving your child some control in what she eats might help her make healthier choices. Instead of placing a meal in front of her, put out a healthy food buffet and let her fill her plate. Ideas include various vegetables, fruits, whole-grain crackers, cheese, low-sodium deli meats, olives, pasta salads and rice. If your child is old enough, let her use a plastic toothpick as a utensil for her health-food buffet.