Welcome to L'il Critters® - Kids Nutrition
FUN FOOD RECIPES
Fun and Healthy Recipes for Kids
Frozen Banana Smoothie1/2 cup any flavor low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen banana chunks
- Put the yogurt and the milk in the container of a blender. Cover with the lid, but remove the smaller opening in the middle of the blender lid.
- Add chunks of frozen banana, one at a time, while the blender is running until very thick and creamy. (You may have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides midway to make sure everything is blending evenly.) Pour into one or two glasses and enjoy.
Vanilla-Yogurt Fruit Dip1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fruit slices, sections, chunks or whole berries
- Place a paper coffee filter in a small strainer or filter holder set over a cup or bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the filter and let drain, refrigerated, for one hour (or more). This will drain out some of the liquid for a richer and more creamy dip. The longer you drain, the thicker the yogurt becomes. (You can omit this step if you're in a hurry -- the dip won't be quite so thick but will still taste delicious.)
- Dump drained yogurt into a small bowl. Add the brown sugar and vanilla, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Serve with desired fruit.
Yummy Veggie Wraps1 tbsp. spreadable cream cheese
1 large flour tortilla, regular or flavored
2 tbsp. shredded carrot
2 tbsp. thinly sliced red or yellow pepper
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 avocado, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
- Spread cream cheese over the tortilla to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
- Arrange all the filling ingredients in a row along the center one-third of the tortilla. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roll the tortilla up as tightly as possible to enclose the filling without tearing the tortilla. Cut in half crosswise and eat immediately, or wrap both halves in plastic wrap to pack into a lunch bag.
Tortilla Pizza Roll1 soft flour tortilla
Veggies (e.g. chopped onions, peppers, mushrooms)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Set the oven on a high heat.
- Spread tomato sauce over the tortilla then sprinkle the veggies and cheese on top.
- Place in the oven for about 5 minutes (watch for bubbling cheese - its ready then!).
Take out and eat flat or roll it up into a tube to eat.
(You can also use a bagel or bread instead of the tortilla for a quick pizza).
Fruit Kabobs1 Banana, sliced
- Slide the pieces of fruit onto a skewer until it is almost full.
- Roll the kabobs in yogurt to cover the fruit.
- Spread the coconut over a plate and roll the kabobs in it.
SMART FOOD CHOICESHere are some ideas on how you can get proper nutrition while raising your healthy eaters:
- Include some healthy staples and some healthy fruits in your breakfast. For instance, pair healthy oatmeal with blueberries, or whole wheat or wheat bran cereal with strawberries or bananas.
- Try mixing a healthy bran cereal into your nonfat or low fat yogurt. It will perk up your plain yogurt and give it a great crunch.
- Fresh fruit is also a great addition to yogurt. Try buying plain, nonfat yogurt and mixing in your own raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. You will save money and enjoy a healthy breakfast.
- Instead of high fat butter, spread your toast with apple butter or soy nut butter instead. Always try to use whole grain varieties of bread like wheat or rye.
- Drink a glass of 100% fruit juice with breakfast every day. Orange juice, grape juice, apple juice and grapefruit juice are all great choices.
- Blend 1% milk or soy milk with fresh pineapple for a healthy, delicious breakfast smoothie. These smoothies are great for people on the go.
Lunch and Dinner Ideas:
- Make a great tuna salad with grated carrots, green peppers, red peppers, garlic and onion.
- Make a dish of fresh whole grain pasta and top it will homemade tomato sauce and fresh home grown herbs.
- Use healthy foods like onions and leeks, along with tomatoes, as a great side dish.
- Grill healthy fish and serve with a healthy side salad.
- Try some low fat soups like spinach and broccoli soup.
- Make a great vegetable stir fry with olive oil.
Healthy Snacks:Of course no plan for healthy eating is complete without some great healthy snacks. Below are some of our favorite healthy snacks for those on the go.
- A piece of fresh fruit, like an apple, orange or banana always makes a great snack. Keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter for easy access.
- Try mixing nuts and dried fruit for a great homemade trail mix. Hikers and non hikers alike will enjoy this healthy snack.
- Treat yourself to a great glass of orange, tomato or cranberry juice before you leave the house in the morning.
- Keep a supply of broccoli florets, baby carrots and other bite size vegetables, and some healthy dip, on hand.
- Make your own fruit salad with oranges, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and other favorites.
HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGETNowadays for many families, a limited food budget can be a real roadblock to healthy eating. It is an unfortunate fact of life that some of the lowest priced foods, from fast food value menus to cheap potato chips, are also some of the least healthy. It is possible, however, to create excellent tasting, nutritious meals, even on a tight budget. The key to planning and creating healthy meals on a limited budget is good forward planning and solid nutritional knowledge.
Step 1 – The shopping listAnyone who has visited a supermarket lately knows how dangerous it is to enter the store without a shopping list in hand. Shopping without a sense of what you need – and don’t need – opens you up to all manner of temptation, and most of those tempting foods are not nutritious.
In addition, picking up all those extra items can easily blow your food budget and leave you without the funds to plan those healthy, nutritious meals. A good trick is to keep a note pad near the table or refrigerator. Having the notepad within easy reach makes it easy to keep track of the foods you need to stock up on.
Step 2 – Watch those flyersMost major food store chains publish weekly sales ads, usually as inserts in the local newspaper. Keeping track of these sales, and taking advantage of the low prices to stock up, is a great way to gather a cupboard full of healthy food. Once the pantry is full of fruits, vegetables and other healthy fare, it will be much easier to create healthy recipes the entire family will love.
Step 3 – Stock up on staplesEssential staple foods, such as flour, rice, and pasta are frequently put on sale as loss leaders at major groceries. Stocking up on these essentials when prices are low is a great way to stretch any food budget.
Step 4 – Never shop when you are hungryThe old advice to never shop when you are hungry is definitely true. Shopping when you are hungry is a sure way to give into temptation, bust the food budget, and stock up on all the wrong foods.
Step 5 – Become a label guruNutritional labels contain a wealth of information, but it is up to each shopper to read those labels and understand what they mean. Nutritional labels contain complete information on not just calories and fats, but the amounts of various essential vitamins and minerals as well.
Step 6 – Pay close attention to package sizesJust because two cans look alike it does not mean they are. Packaging can be deceptive, so get in the habit of comparing weights when shopping for canned fruits, vegetables and other items.
Step 7 – Use coupons, but do it wiselyManufacturers coupons can be a great deal when used on products you already buy.
Step 8 – Replace meat with beans and other less costly substitutesEating less meat and more beans and lentils is a good way to save money on your food budget while still getting the protein you and your family need. Try experimenting with some vegetarian recipes for interesting ways to use these non meat alternatives.