Q: My kids are all very active and by the time we get them home after school activities, they are starving. How can I feed them quickly without sacrificing taste and nutrition?

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Q: My kids are all very active and by the time we get them home after school activities, they are starving. How can I feed them quickly without sacrificing taste and nutrition?

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There are a few strategies to use. The first is to plan ahead, keep the fridge and pantry well-stocked and master a few quick recipes such as stir-fries, sandwiches, parantha rolls/vegetable wraps , pasta sauces and curries. Use time-saving products such as minced herbs, bottled pasta sauce, flavour bases and frozen vegetables. Supplement these with fresh ingredients to create quick, tasty and nutritious meals. Another option is to double-up when cooking meals. For eg Idlis made in breakfast can be turned into idlies with sautéed vegetables as a snack/meal for lunch. A final option is to give the kids a quick snack to take the edge off their hunger – a bowl of soup, a milkshake, sandwich or a parantha roll are good examples of easy, nutritious snack choices.

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Chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets are no doubt a childhood favorite, but school chicken nuggets are typically fried in unhealthy oil, and high in salt, preservatives, and heart-damaging fats. Make your own version the night before chicken nugget day at school, and get the kids involved! Use white meat chicken, and bake it with whole wheat bread crumbs.
Potato chips. Potato chips are a staple in many children’s lunch bags, but like chicken nuggets, many potato chips are high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and artificial dyes and flavors. Get the family together to bake homemade potato chips, and use colorful veggies to show children that healthy eating can be fun! Some good vegetables to use include white potatoes, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets.
Pizza and candy lunch combinations. Pre-packaged pizza that children can put together themselves are very popular at the lunch table. Send your child to school with a healthier version that is lower in sodium and saturated fat, but still allows them the fun of putting it together! To do this, provide a whole-wheat English muffin, low-sodium pizza sauce, and reduced fat pizza cheese. Instead of candy, provide them a mixed fruit cup for dessert.

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Peanut is not just any nut Peanut is not just any nut – Appetite – Flintobox

Peanut is sometimes called the king of nuts for its appetite-boosting and protein-building properties.

Incorporate it into your child’s food in the form of peanut butter or just fry it to be eaten as crisps.

The next time your child fusses for chips, offer him/her fried peanuts. You’ll be doing his appetite a favour.

Don’t make milk a meal

Many children, who have low appetites, suffer from what can be called the ‘too much milk’ problem. When children have milk as fillers, appetisers, or snacks, it kills their appetite for the next meal. Introduce dairy in other forms like cottage cheese, yoghurt, or cream.

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