Day 4 of 7 Days of Healthy Meal Planning for Children by Dr. Robin Russell
Dessert: Dessert is usually the one course that most parents at one time or another, including me, have used as a bribe during dinner to get the kids to eat everyt...hing on their plates. Dessert is usually the one course that parents seem to “accidently” leave out when discussing their child’s diets during visits. When I do get dessert recalls from parents, it’s typically cookies, ice cream and chocolate to name a few. These desserts all have one thing in common – refined sugar. Refined sugar has been implicated in so many diseases – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, sugar addiction, hyperactivity and inflammation to name a few. Even though studies haven’t been conclusive, it’s kind of concerning that there is any risk at all. Refined sugar on occasion may be totally fine but I would recommend against regular consumption.
Dessert doesn’t have to be full of refined sugar to satisfy your child’s sweet-tooth. Even just providing a fresh fruit assortment can help satisfy that sweet tooth. I have also found that getting the kids into the kitchen to help prepare the desserts can be just as satisfying to them as eating the desserts themselves. Dessert can be incorporated into your child’s daily diet if done so in a healthy way. Dessert is usually the one course in most homes where you can make a huge impact on your child’s health. Here are a few healthy dessert ideas that you can try incorporating into your child’s diet:
Fruit Smoothies (In any combination: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, coconut, apples, watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, oranges, melons, coconut milk, orange juice, etc.). This is a HUGE hit in my home. My kids alternate nights picking out the smoothie combination for dessert and they love it!
Nut cream for Fruit (Recipe from Mary Shaw – Whole Foods Cooking Class at Bastyr University)
½ cup raw cashews
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp sea salt
Grind nuts to a fine meal in blender then add maple
syrup, vanilla and salt. With blender running, add water a little at a time until you have thick creamy consistency. Serve dalloped over fresh fruit.
Dried fruit, nuts and seeds (Serve in portioned containers and allow kids to pick which ones they want).
Mashed bananas- get kids to help mash, this is lots of fun!
Coconut milk yogurt (chocolate is my favorite!, pina colada, strawberry-banana, etc.)
Plain cow/goat yogurt with fresh fruit and honey
Grilled Peaches (Dad your on for dessert tonight!)
Homemade applesauce – may add agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or unrefined organic cane sugar to taste
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Snacks blog with Dr. Robin RussellSee More