Preparing food for children can often feel overwhelming and stressful. Dealing with picky eaters and being short on time makes it easy to reach for the most convenience foods, which may not always offer the most nutrition. We love our kids and want to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives.
Ensuring that your children are fed healthy, and nutritious food can feel daunting. It’s essential to prepare, remember what kind of foods your children like, and keep easy options on hand by taking a little bit of time out of the week to plan or subscribe to a meal delivery service.
Below are the seven most helpful tips to help you prepare nutritious food for kids. By applying these tips, you’ll find that ensuring your children have nutritious food will no longer be a challenge, but rather it will become second nature.
Use a meal delivery service
Take even more of the guesswork out of mealtime by using a prepared meal delivery service. Professionals think these meals are nutritious, quick, and easy to make. Having kids can allow for less time in the kitchen, but these services do the prep work for you by sending you pre-portioned ingredients to make a well-balanced meal. Mealtime will be a breeze, and you can sleep easy knowing your kids are getting the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.
Make a weekly menu
If you find yourself extremely busy throughout the week, you may be tempted to order in or grab take-out. Instead, consider taking some time to create a weekly meal plan. Take an hour over the weekend and scour your favorite cookbooks or find healthy recipes online to prepare for the week. Once you’ve found five delicious and easy recipes, make a list of what ingredients you need and go shopping.
You’ll find that by having a plan, not only will you save yourself the hassle of deciding during the week, but you’ll be ready to make healthy meals for your kids all week long. Once you’ve found meals that your family loves, you can rotate the same meals week by week and eventually save yourself the time of looking through cookbooks.
Consider what your kids like
Feeding kids nutritious food can sometimes be difficult, especially for picky eaters. Pay attention to which healthy foods, fruits, and vegetables your children like and keep them on hand. Save yourself the headache of forcing foods they don’t like. Keep it simple by giving them foods they enjoy and ensure they’re getting proper nutrition.
Make subtle substitutions
Try to choose healthier substitutions for food that are usually less nutritious. Maybe your children love the giant chocolate chip muffins from the local bakery. If so, try making your own at home and make them healthier by including blueberries or whole wheat flour instead, rather than giving your kids ice cream every night after dinner for dessert.
Sneak in some veggies
If you’re worried your children might not want to eat certain veggies, try hiding them in their food. Roughly chop veggies into your pasta sauce while cooking and blend it before serving over pasta. Added veggies can go unnoticed in soups and curries. You’ll be sure your kids are getting all the nutrients from these vegetables, and they won’t even notice them.
Prepare ahead of time
Doing a little prep ahead of time can make a huge difference. When you’re busy and your child needs a snack, it’s easy to reach for convenience foods like cookies or chips. Take some time over the week to prepare healthy options. Chop veggies, fruits, cheese and have them on hand and ready to go for when your child needs a snack in a hurry.
Have healthy grab-and-go options on hand
Next time you’re at the grocery store, compare the granola bars, snack bars, and even sweet treats. These days, it’s easy to find lower sugar options and have whole-food ingredients. Choose processed snacks that have an ingredients list with items you recognize. This way, when you’re out and about, you can keep these options in your bag to avoid grabbing something on the go that might not be the most nutritious option for your child.