Family Meals Can Help Children
Develop Healthier Eating Patterns
Now that it’s back to school time, more of us are facing dinner challenges with our busier schedules. Just keep in mind that eating family meals together can help children develop healthier eating patterns and do better in school. It’s also a great time to connect with family members and enjoy wonderful food.
We all know that we need to eat more vegetables however getting our children to eat them can be quite a challenge. It’s important to find fun and creative ways to include vegetables in your meals. Here are some helpful tips …
- Start with Kid-Friendly Foods. Most kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they are put in something that’s already kid-friendly like tacos, burritos, spaghetti or soups.
- Camouflage. Try finely shredding or pureeing your vegetables to help camouflage them in certain foods.
- Let Them Help. Let your kids pick out a variety of colors of vegetables at the grocery store then have them help you cut them into fun shapes to eat raw … or roasted to give them a sweeter flavor.
Remember: A child may need to be exposed to a certain food 10 to 15 times before s/he will actually eat it. Continue to offer a variety of vegetables every night.
Here is a great recipe that’s easy to prepare and will have all of your family members rushing to the dinner table …
Serving Size: 1 Burrito + 1 Tbsp Salsa
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 2 cup chili beans
- 2 cup hot cooked Spanish rice
- 1/2 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat cheddar taco flavor cheese
- 2 tablespoon canned chopped green chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 4 tablespoons bottled salsa
Place a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add zucchini and onions and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in beans, rice and the next 4 ingredients (rice through black pepper) then cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Divide rice and bean mixture into 4 equal parts and spoon down center of each tortilla. Top each with quarter of lettuce and tomato and roll up. Serve with salsa.