Once the school year gets started, it's hard to find time for healthy meals for your kids and fast food becomes the easy option. It doesn't have to be this way, though.
Michelle Dudash, author of "Clean Eating for Busy Families" has tons of ideas for how to make fun meals and get in and fill in those nutritional gaps. Here's some of her ideas:
1. Presentation is Everything
1/2 of an apple, chocolate peanut butter, carrot slices
Microwave tostada shells with reduced fat cheddar cheese and serve with fixings so kids can assemble faces with California avocado slices for the mouth, shredded carrots for the hair, and black beans for the eyes and nose.
At only 50 calories per serving, one-fifth of a medium avocado contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. California avocados are in season April through October, making this the ideal time to keep a few on hand for snacks, dips and salads. They're very versatile and help bring you closer to meeting the recommended daily fruit servings.
Two thick apple half-moons filled with sunflower seed butter with puffed rice or sliced almonds pressed in as "teeth".
Go for a Dip
A recent study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed how serving dips with vegetables increased consumption among preschoolers. It also reported that 70% of the preschoolers were sensitive to bitter vegetables.
Eat Well Enjoy Life Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Hummus
Serve with carrots, snap peas and cherry tomatoes
Peanut Butter Caramel Dip
Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping + 2-3 tablespoons milk + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix well.
Serve with cut up apples and banana slices.
Credit: Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE
3. New Takes on Sammies
Sunflower Butter and Dried Cherry Wraps
Credit: www.sharonpalmer.com from her book The Plant-Powered Diet
Tuna salad, mini buns, cheese, tomato and avocado, heat in microwave or toaster oven)
Credit: Sandra Nissenburg, MS, RD
Max's Funny Samwich
Bread cut into circle, spread with hummus, decorated with carrot "hair" and raisins for the face
Credit: www.maxonsnax.com/ "
To find more information or pre-order Michelle's book, go to www.michelledudash.com .
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