Making a meal together can be an exciting and entertaining activity for every member of the family and it also helps to foster positive eating habits in your kids. Nutritionist Mary Hartley, RD, MPH of CalorieCount.com shares her tips on how to create delicious, kid-friendly meals that are both satisfying and nutritious.
Have a Healthy "Family Fun Night"
Involve the kids by making their favorites-but with a healthy twist. Make pizza but serve a huge salad dressed with oil and vinegar on the side. Let kids choose a country, a unique recipe, or their favorite movie-and build a meal around their suggestions.
Cook Up Some Family Fun
Try having a Mexican fiesta complete with lively music and festive sombreros. Use soft tacos instead of fried tortillas and make low fat recipes like quesadillas. Use low fat or fat-free dairy products like milk, cheese, and sour cream.
Go On a Culinary Adventure
Visit the local farmers' market and let the kids pick out their own ingredients; then whip up a creative meal at home. Or, check out unusual local restaurants or pick up ingredients in the "international" isle at your local grocery store.
Challenge Your Picky Eaters
Divide a piece of paper into five columns for each of the food groups and help your kids to identify foods in each group that they like (visit www.mypyramid.gov for ideas). Combine foods in any way to make a balanced meal, even if they don't seem to go together.
For family-friendly nutritious recipes, like low-fat macaroni and cheese, baked French fries, and yogurt popsicles, visit CalorieCount.com.