Balanced Meals for Kids

Overview

Make balanced meals for your kids that are exciting for them to eat. Incorporate nutritional foods into your child's diet from the first meal of the day to the last. Hide extra nutritious ingredients into foods they already love without changing them enough for your kids to notice and they will be happy to eat healthy, balanced meals.

Breakfast

Start your kid's day with a balanced breakfast of fresh fruit and a healthy spin on another breakfast favorite. Mix cinnamon applesauce and cooked lentils into your batter to add protein and vitamins to pancakes or waffles. Slice fresh banana onto a favorite healthy breakfast cereal for added nutrients. Fruit smoothies and whey protein shakes are great for kids on the go and are available in a variety of flavors. Stay away from processed sugars in morning foods as they offer a short-lived energy burst followed by a period of low energy. A simple cold glass of pure fruit juice will round out a light breakfast and give your kids plenty of energy to sustain them through the morning hours.

Lunch

Serve your kids a fresh nutrient-packed lunch they will enjoy. Present kids with filling lunch foods that they enjoy or they will seek other, usually less healthy options or snack between meals. Give your kids a variety of healthy raw vegetable and fruit choices like sliced apple wedges, celery and carrot sticks and provide peanut butter or low fat ranch dressing dipping sauce. Use whole grain breads and provide a source of calcium like cheese or milk. Limit your use of items that contain caffeine and refined sugars that appear in many prepackaged cakes and sweets. Instead, substitute sweet items like raisins or granola bars for a dessert with more to offer than sugar.

Dinner

Puree a variety of vegetables into your homemade spaghetti sauce for a healthy balanced dinner your kid will request again and again. Dice all your available vegetables and saute them until they are soft in a couple tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper until they become soft. Add one whole prune to and pour in canned whole tomatoes and simmer on low heat for a couple of hours to combine the flavors. The prune will add a subtle roasted sweetness that balances the acid in the tomatoes. Remove the prune and use a hand blender to puree the sauce to a smooth consistency. Serve this sauce to your kid by pouring a small amount over cooked whole grain spaghetti or their favorite pasta along with a piece of whole grain garlic bread.

Keywords: balanced meals, kids meals, balanced nutrition

About this Author

Brian Airman is a freelance writer, musician and food blogger with seven years of writing experience. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has been published online at eHow, Travels, and Yahoo Shine, with topics focusing on food, restaurants, cooking, and do-it-yourself project guides. Airman has also participated in the nursing program at San Diego State University.

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