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Monday, March 21, 2011

More Healthy Eating Tips for Kids

Kim Veith is a local chef who has a passion for cooking healthy meals.  She is a mom herself and faces the same struggles as the rest of us when it comes to feeding her kids something healthy.  She has graciously offered to share some of her tips that she uses for clients as well as her own family.  Yes, I said clients because Kim is a personal chef which means she can cook for you!  She will come to your house, plan out your meals, grocery shop, and cook your meals.  Not only that but it will all be healthy!  Here is some advice from Kim:

1.  What are your five "go-to" dinners that are healthy and crowd pleasing (kids and adults)?
For my family I am very blessed that they will eat salad as their veggie.  Also, I have two sayings- you have to at least try it before you say you don't like it and if things are really tough- you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!
#1 Homemade Chicken Nuggets and my Honey Mustard Sauce, Fast and Healthy stove top Mac and Cheese, Steamed Broccoli
#2  Tex Mex Chicken Sausage and Rice (cooked brown rice, black beans, canned diced tomatoes, shredded 2% cheddar and sliced chicken sausage mixed together and baked for about 15-20 minutes) and Honey Glazed Baby Carrots
#3 Creamy Baked Penne Pasta with Turkey Italian Sausage, Mozzarella and Marinara and a Salad
#4  Fast Chili with the "fixins" light sour cream, 2 % cheddar, and flax seed chips and Chopped Veggies/Hummus
#5  Chicken Marbella, Dijon Smashed New Potatoes, and Oven Roasted Green Beans

2.  What are your pantry staples that help you whip up a healthy meal on the fly?
Canned diced tomatoes, canned beans, brown rice (normally takes 45 minutes- but there are the fast brown rices in microwave containers or the frozen steamables), all barilla enriched pastas, a good jarred marinara sauce, whole grain english muffins for mini pizzas, whole grain cornmeal (for polenta or "grits") , whole wheat flour tortillas for quick quesadillas or burritos.  Not the pantry- freezer- lots of frozen veggies!

3.  I am always reaching for fruit snacks, cookies, and chips as a fast snack for my kids.  Do you have any suggestions for healthy snacks?
For premade/bought snacks we do cheese strings, raw nuts, apples, clementines, berries, apples/natural peanut butter, carrots with ranch or hummus, boiled eggs, anything by Kashi as they seem to be one of the best snack cookie, cracker and bars without a bunch of junk in them.  My kids love "mixes" so I throw together popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, dry cereals, whole grain goldfish or crackers- whatever I have healthy in the pantry.  I do like making our own baked snacks with whole wheat flour, oatmeal, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, Fiber One cereal, etc.

4.  What is a good breakfast option that is fast and will fill their tummies before school? 
A good healthy cereal and low fat milk with sliced bananas or berries.  Quick cooking oatmeal with a little brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Whole grain bagel or english muffin with natural peanut butter or low fat cream cheese.  I make whole grain waffles or pancakes or a high fiber muffin on the weekend and freeze them , then pop them in the toaster oven during the week. 

5.  Any tips on how to keep our meal somewhat healthy when fast food is the only option? Sub places are great b/c of the whole grain roll options, turkey or chicken deli meats, all the  veggies, etc.  Burger joints allow you to opt with a fruit instead of fries or a white meat chicken tender/nugget.  The soft tacos or bean and cheese burritos at mexican fast food.  The fried chicken places usually offer a roasted or grilled chicken option.  You can choose a vegetable, but they are usually no healthier than the fries as they are canned and cooked all day.  Asian restuarants should offer brown rice, light sauces, veggies, chicken - make sure they don't use MSG!!!!

For more recipes and tips check out Kim's website www.thehealthychef.org and follow her on Twitter at NCHealthyChef.  Also, stay tuned for her book that she is currently working on!

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