Did you know kids taste buds are very different than adults? Older folks tend to enjoy more bitter flavors like coffee, spinach and Brussels Sprouts. But these same items will cause almost any kid to turn up their nose. So what can you do to get your kids to eat healthy foods? Go sweet!
Naturally sweet foods are an ideal place to start when getting more healthy foods into your family’s diet. The important words here are sweet and healthy! For example, toss in some dried cherries the next time you cook green beans. Or add a chopped banana to plain yogurt. This will provide natural sweetness from the underlying fruit to take away some of the bitterness from the other ingredients in the dish.
Check out this brief list of naturally sweet foods.
Enjoy as a side dish to your daily meals or for snacks between meals:
- Strawberries – Choose fresh or thawed frozen strawberries and add to a glass of water to encourage your child to drink more water throughout the day.
- Dried Cherries – Toss some into a salad or with green beans.
- Sweet peas – Simply enjoy fresh as a quick snack (or with a dip.)
- Corn – Enjoy as a side dish.
- Mandarin oranges – Can’t go wrong with these tasty oranges.
- Honeycrisp apples – Yummy… enjoy with peanut butter or fry in a pan as a side dish.
Simple Ways to Add Healthy Food to Everyday Meals
- Add fruit salsa or regular salsa to morning eggs and after school snacks.
- Toss in fresh berries and bananas to your child’s cereal.
- Add chopped fruit to Jell-o.
- Add finely chopped carrots to vegetable or potato chip dip (and enjoy with fresh sweet peppers, carrots or celery.)
- Enjoy frozen blueberries with pancakes.
- Use all-natural fruit or maple syrup on waffles or pancakes.
- Add finely chopped vegetables to pasta sauce.
Consider switching from soda to 100 percent pure fruit juice or vegetable juice. However, still keep in mind that fruit juices have natural sources of sugar (fructose), while vegetable juices have natural sodium amounts. Try to choose only 100 percent pure fruit juices that aren’t mixed with other juices. Juice mixtures may offer even more sugar or sodium levels than pure juice drinks. Look for juices like all-natural cherry juice or wild blueberry juice.
Little additions of healthy options to each meal will make a big difference in the amounts of fruits and veggies your kids eat every day. Every bit of healthiness counts!