Jackie Keller is a nutrition expert. She’s devoted her life to creating an empire of nutritional services, and has provides expert advice to A-list celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Uma Thurman. To top off those impressive accomplishements, Jackie is also a mom to three kids. And, she knows what it’s like to try to get your kids to eat healthy, whole foods. If you’ve ever thought, “I’d love to feed my kids more healthy, organic snacks and meals, but I can barely get them to chug down a pot of flaming orange mac ‘n’ cheese,” Jackie shares her expertise by letting us in on her best secrets for encouraging your little ones to be healthy eaters.
Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches into fun shapes. Cheese can also be cut into different shapes and sizes.
Let your child decorate their sandwiches with raisins, apples, banana slices, or grapes, and then watch them disappear.
Plain ice cream cones are good alternatives to bread. Scoop tuna salad, chicken salad, or cottage cheese into the cone and top with a cherry tomato.
Making pizza together can be fun. Spread tomato sauce on a piece of pita bread or English muffin. Decorate with topping of your choice including mozzarella cheese, green peppers, mushrooms, and black olives. Make designs and faces with the toppings. If your child does not like vegetables, try making fruit pizza instead. Use low fat cream cheese instead of tomato sauce and cut up chunks of fruit of your choice for toppings.
Use child-sized dinnerware, utensils, and place settings. Set the table with a place mat that is special to your child or one that he or she has made.
Find out the vegetables your child does like, and serve those on a regular basis. Most children will eat carrots, peas, green beans, and corn.
Tuck finely chopped cooked vegetables in food your child likes. Try chopped spinach or broccoli in lasagna, shredded carrots in tacos, or beans in Sloppy Joes.
Increase the nutritional value of salads your child likes by adding fresh spinach, tomato, or kidney and garbanzo beans.
Puree cooked vegetables in a blender and stir them into soups or use them as a sauce.
Make sure that you, as a parent eat plenty of vegetables. This is most important as children learn best by example.
Visit your local farmer’s market with your child, and have him or her help you pick out fresh produce. Later, have your child help you prepare the items they selected. Kids are good at washing and peeling, and they may be more prone to eat something they helped create.
Also attached are several of the recipes that Jackie designed for the site. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can send anything further your way.
Jackie Keller, Founding Director of NutriFit, LLC, is a licensed and certified wellness coach, nutrition educator and Le Cordon Bleu-trained culinary expert. She is also the author of Body After Baby The Simple 30-Day Plan to Lose Your Baby Weight Fast (Avery/Penguin Group; May 2007), and Cooking, Eating & Living Well, a cookbook and guide to nutrition-related lifestyle change. To Learn more about Jackie Keller, please visit her site at www.jackiekeller.com