Cook More Kid-Approved Vegan Food
Stop dinnertime struggles and help your kids get over their fear of healthy foodstuffs.
Most American adults have a hard enough time eating their fruits and veggies. But what about the younger generation? With constant kid-friendly advertising for toaster pastries and sugary cereal, it seems like kids need processed food to survive. The usual stereotype is that all youngsters hate vegetables, but this doesn't have to be the case. Ideally, kids should eat fruits and vegetables with every meal, and at least half of their grain intake should be from whole grains. Raw foodist and author Robyn Boyd has some suggestions to make sure kids eat what's good for them—without the help of a cartoon mascot.
1. Involve kids in your kitchen mishaps
When kids help prepare food, they are much more interested in tasting new recipes. After all, it's their creation! Even the most complicated dishes include a few easy steps that can be completed by less-experienced sous chefs. Smoothies are great because most kids like fruit, and it's easy to sneak in healthy ingredients like flaxseeds, green powders, and even the occasional vegetable.
2. Makeover your pantry with healthy alternatives
Make sure you read labels and get rid of anything that contains hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients receive a lot of negative press because research has linked them to obesity and other diseases. If either one is a main ingredient, it is a sure sign the food you're about to eat is over processed. Replace regular ketchup with fruit-juice sweetened organic brands, try almond butter for a change, and look for jams that do not have any added sugar. Experiment with different organic, whole-grain breads until you find one your family likes. These small changes can make vast improvements in your family's overall diet by lowering sugar intake and upping the fiber.
3. Snacks and treats are not the same thing
Snacks, like meals, are foods we eat to fuel our bodies with energy and nutrients. Treats are foods eaten occasionally just for the fun of it. Unfortunately, we don't always notice the difference. Most kids are snacking on treats with no nutritional value, such as pretzels, chips, cookies, animal crackers, and candy. They should really be snacking on nutrient-dense foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Encourage healthier snacking by cutting up fresh fruit and vegetables so these items are ready-to-eat out of the fridge, and make sure good snacks are always more accessible than treats.
4. Teach kids to be smart about their food
This is the ultimate goal. When kids are small, it's much easier to control what they are eating, but eventually they will be out in the real world where they will need to make their own choices. The best strategy is to lead by example and instill healthy habits early on. If eating right becomes second nature, it will be easier for kids to stick to healthy foods as they move through their teen years.
The Top 15 Vegan Recipes of 2014
From mac 'n' cheese to veganized Girl Scout cookies, we unveil the year's most popular (and downright delicious) vegan recipes.
Read More »
Earth Balance Named "Company of the Year"
From mac & cheese, cheddar puffs, and vegan Cheez-Its, Earth Balance does vegan right.
Read More »
DIY Vegan Holiday Gifts
Spending mucho moola not your idea of a happy holiday? These DIY gifts are green and affordable.
Read More »
The 2014 Veggie Awards
Our 13th annual list of the very best of all things vegan is finally here! Read on for this years reader picks for todays hottest vegan people, places, and products.
Read More »
4 Easy Vegan Sides Your Entire Family Will Love
Hosting a family dinner this holiday season? These side dishes are sure-fire winners for every guest at your table.
Read More »
- Thanksgiving Salad with Cranberries, Apples, & Caramelized Pecans
- Robin Robertson: My Top 10 Vegan Dishes Around the World
- 3 Vegan Thanksgiving Sides from the Experts
- 10 Downright Delicious Dessert Thanksgiving Recipes
- 3 Simple Timelines for a Stress-Free Vegan Thanksgiving
- The Ultimate Vegan Halloween Party Tips & Menu
- 5 Mouthwatering Vegan Pumpkin Recipes
- The 2014 VegNews Guide to Vegan Halloween Candy
- How to Make Tofu: A Step-by-Step Photo Guide
- How to Date a Meat-Eater
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Laura Robeson & Danielle Davis
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Alison Longley & Theodore Ross Butler
- Everything You Need to Know About Juicing
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Ashley Moore & Jordan Coates
- Guide to Vegan Baking
- How to Make Great Vegan Mexican Food at Home
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Aliya & Michael Weber
- 10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters
- VegNews Exclusive: An Interview with John Joseph
- 10 Foods to Help Get Rid of Stress