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Healthy Kid-Friendly Habits

A variety of delicious culinary products.With the New Year comes also a focus on a healthier eating, but how do you get your children to eat healthier when most of the time, you just want these picky eaters to eat! Involving in your kids in the process and exposing them to fun, innovative recipes can result in lifelong habits.  Children love to cook, and if you include them, they feel part of the process and will be more apt to experience new items.  My best advice for easy time-friendly, kid-friendly 30 minute recipes is a well-stocked pantry—it was just as easy to grab the ingredients and whip up a meal –if you keep a well-stocked pantry – which is my favorite healthy tip!

Make snacks creative and fun, yet nutrient packed, instead of empty calories:

Pizzas:

Use biscuits, pitas, or whole grain English muffins-let kids make faces for their own pizza.  Cover with tomato sauce and let them create:  mozzarella hair, carrot eyes, green pepper slices—put out olives and other options.

Kids love to dip:

Fruit dip could be white-let them choose the color of their dip by adding different food coloring.   Dip with bananas on toothpick.

Spinach Dip-you can even add some lean ground meat.  Again, dip with pita triangles or crackers.

Sandwiches:

Create a sailing boat:  Use a whole wheat muffin, topped with ruffled lettuce and top with tuna and make sail with Doritos.

Let the kids make a wrap with lean protein and then they get to select what goes in the wrap from an assortment of different colored cut up foods.  The catch is they have to at least choose two colors to include—decisions, decisions.

Grab and go:

Red smoothies and add tofu for added protein

A homemade trail mix can be great…and doesn’t hurt to add a few M&M’s for enticement

Eat With Color

Have a box of crayons on the table and the kids later get to use crayons of the food colors they are eating that meal, that day…..—teaches them the importance of variety with nutrition in a way they can relate too.

Sweet Potato Fantastic Fries

What kid doesn’t like fries?

Makes 4 servings

2 pounds Louisiana yams (sweet potatoes), about 2-3, peeled and cut into 4-inch long and 1/4-1/2-inch thick fries

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven 450°F. Line baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Toss sweet potato fries with olive oil. In small bowl, mix together paprika, chili powder, and season to taste. Toss with fries.

3. Arrange in single layer on prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes on middle rack until potatoes begin to soften. Move pan to upper rack of oven; continue baking 10-15 minutes longer, until fries begin to crisp.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 248 Calories from fat 25% Fat 7g Saturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 124mg Carbohydrate 44g Dietary Fiber 7g Sugars 9g Protein 4g Dietary Exchanges: 3 starch

Terrific Tip: For southwestern spicy sweet fry: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon chili powder.

Written by: Holly Clegg, www.hollyclegg.com

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About the Author:

With over 1 million cookbooks sold, Holly Clegg, cookbook author and spokesperson, has helped people, prepare healthier everyday meals through her best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® cookbook series, including the specialized books, trim&TERRIFIC® Diabetic Cooking, Eating Well Through Cancer and newly released Eating Well to Fight Arthritis. Holly has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, QVC, The 700 Club, USA Today and The Huffington Post.  She has partnered with Wal-Mart and is spokesperson for Our Lady of Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.  She also has a phone application, Mobile Rush-Hour Recipes.   Visit www.hollyclegg.com or http://thehealthycookingblog.com

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