Getting our kids to eat healthier can sometimes be tough. During the summer months we need our kids to stay hydrated and ready to play outside.
My kids love going food shopping with me, which is great because they get to pick out healthy things they love to eat. One of the things I love that GIANT food stores does is offer free fruit for kids when visiting the store. My children look forward to this every time. Another great activity that some GIANT food stores offer are cooking classes, which is another great way to get others excited about all things culinary. Check your local store to see if they offer classes.
Kids need satisfying and tasty snacks to take to camp, on road trips and to grab at home. But what are some quick, easy and balanced snacks your kids will love and you can feel good about?
Well I sat down for a Q&A with GIANT’S nutritionist Rabiya Bower. Check out the Q&A below and see what she had to say. I think these ideas are not just great for summer but will work throughout the school year as well.
GIANT Food Stores is committed to providing health and wellness resources to help their customers eat well, including the expertise of eight in-store nutritionists. Each nutritionist is available to assist customers with questions on healthy eating while they shop, provide one-on-one nutrition consultations and teach health-related classes.
Rabiya Bower, RD, LDN works out of the Flourtown, PA GIANT located at 1874 Bethlehem Pike. With her experience in education and community outreach, she brings knowledge in diabetes management, childhood nutrition and family meal planning to her role with GIANT.
1. Any tips for picky eaters?
Picky eating is so frustrating! For a detailed answer, check out registered dietitian (RD) Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Eating.
Get your child involved in the cooking process! Kids are more likely to try something new if they can claim ownership of the food item. Let your child pick out a new food from the produce department. If you need some tips on preparing it, check out our Savory magazine recipe center, where you can search by food item. Once you’ve found a recipe, let your child help your prepare it. Kids as young as two can help squeeze a lemon or lime, rip herbs into small pieces, or stir together a salad. For a complete list of developmentally appropriate kitchen tasks, check out The Kids Cook Monday.
Don’t forget, a child needs to see a food up to 25 times before they will consider trying it!
2. What are the perfect summer snacks?
The best snacks for summertime are always fruits and vegetables! Fresh produce can help you and your kids stay hydrated. Fruits with a high water content include watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe and peaches. You can also try pineapple, cranberries, raspberries and oranges. To make your own fruit popsicles, try this recipe.
Vegetables with high water content are cucumber, zucchini, radishes and celery. Other veggies to include are tomatoes, cauliflower, peppers and broccoli. This Fiesta Veggie Dip is a delicious and easy way for your kids to enjoy vegetables – they can even help you make it!
Don’t forget, shopping in season is your best bet for maximum flavor.
3. How can I get my child to drink more water?
Make water exciting by flavoring it naturally with fruits and veggies. Place sliced produce in a pitcher of water and keep it ice-cold in the fridge. Some great combinations are orange slices and strawberry tops, sliced cucumber and torn mint, or sliced lemons and limes. You can even freeze fruit into an ice try for a bright pop of color! Try placing 1-2 raspberries or blackberries per section in an ice tray.
4. Is breakfast still the most important meal of the day for children?
Definitely! Breakfast is the first fuel that gets your kids body ready to play and learn for the day. Feed your child a healthy mix of protein and energy to power his or her morning. Don’t forget to set a good example! Parents should also start the day with a nutritious breakfast.
A healthy breakfast has three out of the five food groups. Some examples include whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas or an omelet with vegetables and low-fat cheddar cheese. How does pizza sound for breakfast? Try this sweet or savory version and watch you kids gobble it up!
5. What high fiber snacks, veggies or fruits would you recommend?
Any fruit or veggie is a good source of fiber, so let your child enjoy what he or she loves! Add some variety with different colors of grapes, apples or peppers. Did you know you can buy purple carrots or golden cauliflower? The different colors provide different phytochemicals, so encourage your child to eat a variety of fruits of vegetables – at least 5 a day!
For other high-fiber snacks, choose whole grains. Try whole grain crackers, tortilla chips, or pita bread with hummus for a fiber and protein filled snack. My favorite is the Belvita breakfast bars. They contain fiber and not too much sugar, and are yummy on-the-go snack! Fiber is important for a healthy heart and healthy gut, so look for 3 g of fiber or more per serving of food.