As a Naturopathic Physician who specializes in Pediatric Medicine one of the most common concerns I get from parents during visits is, "He/She is such a picky eater!". I spend a lot of time counseling parents on how to plan healthy meals. I have helped many families become more health conscious and actually get their kids eating better!! Being a mom of an 8 year old girl and 4 year old boy I am very aware of how difficult it is getting good nutrition into them AND making it taste good.
Day 1: Breakfast
Day 2: Lunch
Day 3: Dinner
Day 4: Dessert
Day 5: Snacks
Day 6: Food Allergies/Intolerances/Sensitivities and Substitutions
Day 7: Recipes
Breakfast: The single most important meal of the day. This meal is breaking the fast of overnight sleep - the longest stretch your kids go without eating anything. This meal can really impact your child in so many ways. Every Well Child Visit that I do I get a detailed diet history and review it looking for protein, fat, fiber, calcium and iron content. I can not tell you how often I see a heavy carbohydrate breakfast and get concerns from parents about how their child is so tired or hyper all morning or starving an hour after eating. The best thing you can do for your child is start them off with a great breakfast. Protein helps to delay the stomach from emptying into the gut and so it keeps them full longer not to mention giving them the amino acids they need for their bodies growth and development. Here are some really great, quick and easy recipes for busy families that you can incorporate into your child's diet:
Chicken apple sausages (My kids love Applegate Farms frozen sausages) and fresh orange slices
Pork breakfast sausages and applesauce
Nitrite-Free Bacon (Turkey or Pork) and fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Bean and cheese burrito's (Amy's frozen ones are good and easy) and pineapple
Hard boiled eggs (These can be boiled up on Sunday for busy families) and dried fruits and nuts
Ground chicken OR turkey breakfast burrito's (I sauté the meat in taco seasoning) with salsa and avocado chunks
Tofu scramble with sautéed veggies (peppers, mushrooms and onions)
Ants on a Log (Nut/Seed butter on celery with raisins) and fresh mango
Breakfast Smoothies (Protein powder OR 2 tbsp. of nut/seed butter, frozen or fresh fruit, milk or milk substitute, and a banana which sweetens it nicely and gives you some potassium). If you have a Vitamix (which might be the best investment ever) add greens like kale, spinach or swiss chard for the awesome nutritional benefit of greens.
NOTE: You can still have a grain with breakfast but try to keep the portion smaller and serve it after they finish their protein and fruit/vegetable. Some grain ideas might be: 1 small whole grain pancake or waffle, piece of whole grain toast, bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, homefries or potato pancake.
Milk OR Alternative Milk [Hemp and oat are my favorite for nutrition, coconut, almond, rice, and soy (in moderation)].
Diluted Fruit Juice- Apple, orange or pear
Stay tuned for my 7 days of healthy meal planning for your kids!
Dr. Robin Russell