All parents want the best for their children. Often, that focus falls on things like clothes and cell phones, but other things get left behind, such as good nutrition.
It is easy to let poorer choices slide, since we are constantly inundated with advertisements for less-than-great food choices. And when children’s nutrition isn’t always valued highly in schools, it would be easy to forget just how important good choices are.
Even knowing how to achieve good dietary choices for children can be really daunting and confusing. Different messages come from all directions about what kids should and shouldn’t be eating. But if you look closely, there are some things that basically everyone agrees on.
Most nutrition experts agree that whole, unprocessed foods are better than unnatural, lab-created, processed foods. They also almost universally approve of fresh veggies and at least some fresh fruit. Bread, dairy, and meat are up for debate, but if you are going to eat them, some choices are definitely better than others, such as whole grain and organic.
These are the things I focus on when I feed my children: Does it exist in nature? Did our ancestors eat it? Is it a whole food, organic, or locally produced?
Each of my children reacts differently to different foods and needs slightly different dietary choices. If you have been looking for easy options for your own family, here is a sample week of meals at our house, including a dessert each night after dinner!
Seven Days of Whole-Food Meals for Kids
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs
Fresh fruit salad
Lunch: Turkey wrap (sliced turkey, organic mayonnaise, and cheese in a lettuce leaf)
Carrots and organic ranch dressing
Dinner: Homemade chicken and vegetable soup made in the slow cooker
Frozen fruit sorbet for dessert (just frozen fruit put in the blender)
Breakfast: Chia seeds stirred to desired thickness with water, honey, raisins, and banana slices
Lunch: Chopped chicken breast
Dinner: Hamburgers served without buns
Steamed broccoli with melted cheese
Baked apples with cinnamon and honey for dessert
Breakfast: Ants on a log (celery stalks with peanut butter and raisins on top)
Milk (we use raw, whole milk)
Lunch: Homemade egg salad on unsalted brown rice cakes
Fresh fruit salad
Dinner: Pork chops
Steamed carrots with butter
Chia seeds mixed with water, carob powder, and honey for dessert
Breakfast: Warm brown rice with cinnamon, honey, milk, and sliced apples
Lunch: Homemade smoothie (Just fresh fruit, frozen fruit, and yogurt works great!)
Ham and cream cheese roll-ups
Dinner: Casserole (cooked millet, quinoa, or brown rice, cheese, steamed broccoli, one can of Amy’s cream of mushroom soup, and cooked ground beef, combined and baked in the oven)
Brown rice cakes spread with butter, honey, and cinnamon for dessert
Breakfast: Omelet with cheese and the child’s favorite vegetables finely chopped
Freshly juiced apples
Lunch: Homemade tuna salad on brown rice cakes
Homemade trail mix (We like cashews, dried cranberries, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs.)
Dinner: Grilled salmon
Brown rice with butter and seasonings
Homemade juice popsicles for dessert
Breakfast: Organic sausage
Lunch: Salad (At first, use less lettuce and put lots of things they love in it, like cheese, nuts, meat, and organic ranch dressing.)
Apples with peanut butter
Dinner: Oven-baked chicken
Steamed squash with butter
Oranges, cut into small wedges with the peel still on, for dessert
Breakfast: Puffed brown rice with yogurt, honey, flaxseeds, and sliced strawberries
Lunch: Hard-boiled eggs
Dinner: Potatoes, cut and boiled, then fried in a pan with oil
Ground beef, cooked separately, then stirred into the potatoes.
Bananas with honey and peanut butter for dessert
Fae Frazier Price is the mother of three children. She is a stay-at-home mom and avid writer. You can follow her writing at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fae-Frazier-Price-author/291960120853806
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