While these kid’s vitamins have their place, the best source of vitamins and minerals for kids is found in real food. Child obesity is on the rise, so aim to give kids more choices rather than more food.
Here are four ways to serve real food instead of vitamins:
Cook High Protein and Carbohydrate Dishes
When I think of high protein, meat, fish and poultry are my favorites. You can cook so many different things. Kids usually like dishes such as meatloaf, baked chicken, and fish cut into sticks.
Good carbohydrates are found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta and beans. Spaghetti is a kid favorite and they don’t have to know you’re using whole-grain pasta.
Serve Fresh Fruit
What’s better than a banana spread with a little peanut butter, or as a topping for cereal? Some kids will eat them plain. Bananas can get pretty big, so try a half first and that may be all they need. Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Strawberries are fun to eat with a little whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate, or by the handful. They contain Vitamin A, B vitamins, Vitamin C, and folic acid.
Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C, and are better for you than orange juice. They can be served as a snack or stashed in a lunch sack.
Kids may prefer that you cut it up first, and it is always delicious when it’s served in a fruit salad or topped with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Make Vegetables Fun
While most kids like fruit, vegetables are not usually on the favorites list. However, you can make eating vegetables more fun by serving them in a smoothie, or freezing 100% vegetable juice to make popsicles.
Serve cut-up vegetables with a tasty dip. Ranch dip is tasty and easy to prepare. You can make your own or buy at the store.
Here’s a fun idea for celery, cucumber, or carrot sticks. Arrange vegetables in a log shape, and add peanut butter. Top the log with raisins, cherries or cranberries.
Serve Smaller Meals and Snacks
Instead of the traditional three meals a day, serve several smaller meals and snacks. This gives you more chances to serve a variety of foods.
Kids go through phases where they won’t eat a particular food for a few days. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Reintroduce that food a few days later in another form. For instance diced carrots could become carrot fries.
These are some tips for you to use, but you should also lead by example. If you want your kids to eat healthy, make sure you’re making healthy choices.