Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Options For Introducing Healthy Meals Into Your Little Ones' Diet

Almost everyone may remember when classroom bulletin boards displayed the food pyramid. The pyramid – there was only one. One size fit all. Everyone needed to subscribe to the same nutritional guidelines. Everyone was told to merely glance at the pyramid to figure out how many servings were needed each day.Almost all would agree that it is a good thing that obsolete food pyramid has gone by the wayside! It may have taken a while, but the idea that not all people require the same food intake finally caught on. Nor are children expected to follow the same nutritional guidelines as the adults.If you're hoping we'll show you the "kid's guidelines" there unfortunately isn't a predetermined guideline. The amount of food from each food group that each person needs to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle is dependent on their age, sex and physical activity level. One size doesn’t fit all. You can go to http://mypyramid.gov/ to type in some search criteria to get an idea of how much from each food category to eat every day.Remember balance is the name of the game. Make sure your little ones are eating fruits and vegetables, dairy, meats and beans and grains every day. Then round it off with water, fresh air and exercise. To help you get started, below you will find a couple of nutritious meals for children. This turkey avocado sandwich wrap uses kid-friendly ingredients for a nutritious lunch or treat.INGREDIENTS:• Whole wheat tortillas• 1 avocado mashed• Sliced deli turkey• Shredded carrots• Shredded lettuce• Shredded Monterey jack cheesePREPARATION:Assemble wraps in the following order: Spread mashed avocado on tortilla; Sprinkle shredded carrots and lettuce on avocado; Lay on slices of deli turkey; Sprinkle with shredded cheese.In addition, you won't get any looks of disappointment if you inform the children you're making chicken nuggets for supper. This kid favorite is just as good in the low-fat, oven-baked version. For quick clean-up and extra crispiness, lay a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet; and, then place a wire rack on top of the foil.INGREDIENTS:• skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in 1-2 inch squares• non-fat or low-fat buttermilk• flour for dredging• finely crushed corn flakes for dredging• salt and pepper to tastePREPARATION:Preheat oven to 375. Prepare three large bowls for dredging chicken - 1 with flour seasoned with salt and pepper, 1 with buttermilk, and 1 with crushed corn flakes. Prepare baking pan by laying a sheet of foil over a cookie sheet; and then place a wire rack on top of the foil. Season chicken with salt and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Drag chicken pieces in flour. Shake off excess flour and coat with buttermilk. Next, generously coat chicken with corn flakes, and place on rack of your baking pan. Bake nuggets for 15 minutes. These keep well for the next day's lunch box so make plenty!The next time you reach into the pantry or freezer to grab something simple to prepare for dinner, take a good analytical look at the ingredients. The idea is not to serve food that is adequate but rather food that is nutritious. Remember that not all of your little ones may require the same servings of food.----------

Would you like more Kid-Friendly Recipes? Christine Steendahl – “The Menu Mom” invites you to visit Kid Approved Meals to download your personal 13 week breakfast and lunch menu made just for kids! Check Out the Kid Approved Meals Ad On the Right Side of the Site.

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