We have all heard it in the past few posts but let me reiterate it. It is important to have at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday. It provides us with nutrients vital for our health and the maintenance of our body. Growing Kids especially need a source of calcium for their growing bones as well as healthy sources of proteins, either from fish, poultry, eggs, and meat, or from plant sources. These foods give them the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients they need to build high-quality bodies. Do go through this very interesting article of what foods children need. Fruits are easy to sneak into each meal. If they are visible, we tend to eat them as a snack, as dessert or as appetisers. How the family eats decides how the kids view fruits and vegetables. Food habits are set during the growing years. Set a good example for children by eating fruit everyday with meals or as snacks.
Here are Some Tips of Increasing Fruit Intake: 1. Offer kids a choice of fruits for lunch. 2. Depending on their age, kids can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits. 3. While shopping, allow kids to pick out a fruit to try later at home. 4. Top off a bowl of cereal with some cut up bananas, or dried raisins, cranberries etc. 5. Pack a bottle of water in children’s lunches versus soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages. 6. Choose fruit options, such as sliced peaches, mixed fruit cup, or dried fruits such as apricots as snacks. 7. Cut different fruits and mix with vanilla ice cream for a healthy dessert. 8. Add fruits to the salads if the kids approve of it.
Now how to increase vegetables in their diet? Most of the time, dinner will have at least one or two vegetable items and my son eats it without complaint. Mixed with all the food or as salads at the dinner table, vegetables are a must everyday.
But how to send it to school? Kids can get picky about what they like and dislike in their food. In our house, Carrots sticks and Broccoli with ranch dressing for dipping is a favorite as is Avacado cut up with cheese slices. But nutrient rich bell peppers are a no-no. So I hide vegetables and resort to trickery to vary the vegetable intake.
Chicken Patties or Kababs are one such thing he loves without a clue of what's inside. I make the kababs with chicken, red or any other color peppers, carrots and cilantro. A good serving of vegetables hidden inside a patty. When it is so minced up, the sweetness comes through but the chicken flavor dominates.
How to Make it: Take one chicken breast, wash and dry it thoroughly with paper towels. No water should remain. Cut it into cubes and keep aside. Chop one quarter of a bell pepper, half a carrot, one green chili(if you like it spicy), a small handful of cilantro and scallions in a chopper till coarse. Now add the chicken cubes to the chopper and let it pulse 3-4 times till the chicken looks minced. Empty into a plate, add salt to taste, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil. Combine all together and make small balls or patties. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray or brush with oil. Spread the patties on it. Heat the oven in broiler setting(direct flame)and place the tray under the flame. Cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side and then spray with oil to get the crisp crust. Watch carefully as it nears completion of cooking time. Serve in the tiffin with Ketchup on the side or in a roll with a slice of Avacado, cheese and ketchup.
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