As kids head back to the classroom, it’s the perfect time to incorporate new eating habits. Lisa Farkas, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Wellness Center at Broward Health Medical Center, shares some tips on how to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
Lisa’s Healthy Eating Tips
As a mom of two little ones, I know that getting your kids to eat fruits and vegetables can be downright impossible. is definitely frustrating when I know what my kids should eat, and they won’t. Fortunately, I have a few healthy eating tips to share with you.
1. Take your kids to the grocery store with you. Allowing them to personally select their fruits and vegetables may pique their curiosity and encourage them to try something new.
2. Be a positive role model. When my daughter was two, I sat down beside her as she played, eating a bowl of steamed green beans. She instantly turned her attention away from the toy and started eating them, too. Set the standard, and your kids will follow suit.
3. Chop up vegetables (carrots, celery, onions, etc.) and incorporate them into a mini meatloaf or meatball recipe.
4. Puree vegetables into tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes/cauliflower.
5. Turn your favorite healthy muffin or protein pancake recipe into a vegetable- and fruit-packed snack. Simply add in a handful of spinach and come up with a fun, creative name like the “Green Hulk Muffin.” Check out my kids’ favorite muffin recipe below:
Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Muffin (with spinach)
2 large ripe bananas
1 cup creamy all natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 2% plain; you can also substitute with 4 tablespoons protein powder)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 handful baby spinach (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. If adding chocolate chips, stir them in now. Spray a standard muffin tin with cooking spray. Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins (use an ice cream scoop if you have one). Bake 12-14 minutes or until the muffins have set.
Lisa provides nutrition education to works with both the adult and pediatric patients to provide nutrition education, with a focus on mostly about diabetes and weight management. She counsels patients and families at the hospital’s Outpatient Diabetes Program and is the sole dietitian in the Multidisciplinary Pediatric Obesity Clinic.