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Healthy Eating for Children

Dietitian Juliette Kellow gives her top tips for nudging the kids towards healthy eating.

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Whilst it’s best to encourage healthy eating among the whole family, some children may be reluctant to change their eating habits. Here are some tips to get children eating healthily without them even realising…

  • Add more veggies to favourite dishes – for example, add finely sliced mushrooms to Bolognese, finely chopped red pepper to tomato sauces and steamed leeks to mashed potato
     
  • Serve big portions of veggies they like – sweetcorn, carrots and peas are often popular.
     
  • Mix together grated carrot and Red Leicester cheese and use to fill sandwiches and jacket potatoes – the colours blend so well they may not notice the carrot.
     
  • Buy lower-fat versions of sausages, burgers and oven chips and grill or oven bake them rather than frying. Alternatively, make your own homemade burgers and swap chips for homemade potato wedges – simply cut potatoes in their skins into wedges, brush with a little olive oil and bake in the oven until they are soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.
     
  • Buy lower-fat versions of crisps and biscuits and opt for the smallest bags available.
     
  • Add barley, beans or lentils to soups, stews and other meaty dishes – children won’t notice baked beans in a cottage pie or lentils in a stew.
     
  • Buy sugar-free squashes and fizzy drinks – if the kids complain, pour them into empty bottles of the standard variety when they’re not looking.
     
  • If children won’t eat wholemeal or granary bread, try high-fibre white bread for sandwiches and toast.
     
  • If you can’t get your kids to give up sugary cereals, mix them with lower sugar varieties such as a handful each of Frosties and Cornflakes, or Rice Krispies and Coco Pops
     
  • Use whole-wheat pasta in pasta bakes – when mixed with sauce it’s impossible to tell it’s not white
     
  • For children who are resistant to brown rice or wholemeal pasta, cook half of each and then mix together.

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