Children's Hospital Colorado - Healthy Kids, Healthy Colorado - July
Teaching kids to eat healthy foods at a young age will help them develop healthy eating patterns for life. Many of your kids' favorite meals can be made healthier with a few simple substitutions that can reduce fat, boost fiber and veggies, and leave all of the flavor intact. Below are some tips that put a healthy spin on some of your kids’ favorite comfort foods.
Mac n’ Cheese
Both kids and adults love macaroni and cheese. It’s a comfort food, but it can pack more calories, fat, and sodium than any of us need. Here are four quick ideas that make this classic meal both tasty and healthy:
• Add spinach to increase nutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of folic acid
• Use low-fat milk instead of whole milk to cut down on fat and calories.
• Use whole-grain pastas instead of regular white pastas for extra fiber
• And--replace some of the regular (full-fat) cheese with low-fat cottage cheese. This gives the dish an extra-creamy texture.
If you aren’t careful, tacos can quickly become a high-fat meal. Some things you can do to make tacos healthy:
• Use the hard taco shells—they’re lower in calories than the flour tortillas
• Use frozen soy crumbles instead of hamburger—if you don’t tell the family, they won’t know the difference!
• Add black beans, salsa and seasoning for extra fiber and flavor
• Use low fat shredded cheese and low fat sour cream
• As always, don’t forget the veggies—load up on lettuce, tomatoes, and green peppers
Healthy Dessert Tips
• Try making a chocolate cake made with only two ingredients—cake mix and canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
• Next time you make brownies, replace the oil with baby food prunes. Yes—prunes! Baby food prunes not only reduces the fat and calories, it also makes a delicious, moist and chewy brownie.