Children are products of their environment-if their parents eat a poor diet, the kids will emulate Mom and Dad. But, kids will eat foods that are not coated in chocolate, sugar or some type of crust, as long as they see that you also enjoy that type of food.
To get your kids into low-fat foods, adding more fruits, vegetables and lean meats to their diet is a good place to start. Since vegetables are not necessarily sweet, and lean meats aren't as juicy, they will be a harder sell, but some creative preparation can make the difference.
Fruits provide fiber, vitamins and minerals, and parents can jump for joy at finding a healthy, delicious snack that their kids will actually like. Just keep it simple, like diced fruit in a bowl. More adventurous treats would include diced fruit suspended in a bowl of fat-free gelatin or frozen bananas dipped in fat-free yogurt and then rolled in crushed nuts.
If you want to do something special for your child on a hot summer day, create a chilly, frosty, fruity shake with a handful of pineapple chunks, half a diced banana, an orange slice for garnish and a container of fat-free yogurt. Chop the fruit in a food processor, and then add the yogurt and mix until well blended. Pour the liquid into a large glass, and pop it into the freezer for about a half hour. Serve with two thick straws and a spoon.
Vegetables And Healthy Meats
Kids are notorious for disliking vegetables, but some vegetables are so delicious that even a child would love them if you could just get them to take a bite. Sweet peas, cucumbers and fresh raw carrots fall into this category. If your child is not into eating vegetables plain, try making a cucumber boat filled with tasty, but nutritious items.
Wash the cucumber, and then slice it lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out of both pieces to create the inside of the boat. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of fat-free ranch dressing or fat-free yogurt into the well of the boat, and then alternate carrot and celery sticks in the boat. To make the boat more appealing, place it on a blue plate, and toss on a few cheddar cheese goldfish crackers, which are low in fat.
Grilled Chicken Tenders
Children love chicken tenders. But deep frying is not the way to avoid fat calories. Instead, cut the chicken into one-inch strips, parboil the strips for about four minutes, and then brush them with olive oil and place them on the grill for another two to three minutes. Serve them with low-fat ranch dressing, celery and carrot sticks, a half cob of corn and a nice cool glass of lemonade. Do not add butter to the corn. If you must add something, try squeezing a slice of lemon or lime over the corn, and then place it on the grill for a minute to let the taste bake in.