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Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesdays Tips: 9 Healthier foods for kids

Please visit Kris at Hands, House, and Heart Full for more Tuesday Tips or just go visit her because she is a wonderful person. I found these tips on Lifescript.com. I think they are interesting and could be adapted to "kids" of all ages, not just little ones.
1.Mac ‘n’ cheeseThe blue box of Kraft macaroni and cheese is a classic kid’s meal, but it doesn’t rank high with most nutritionists.
A one-cup serving has 380 calories, 14.3 grams fat (4 grams saturated) and a whopping 749 milligrams of sodium.
Sneaky swap: Use healthier out-of-the-box brands like Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, which has 280 calories, 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated) and 430 milligrams sodium. It’s made with natural ingredients and organic wheat pasta.
Even better, dress it up. Swap in whole-grain pasta and throw a few veggies into the
sauce, Schmidt says.
Use veggies that blend in, such as shredded steamed carrots and diced cauliflower. If your kid won’t freak out at the sight of green, add nutrient-rich steamed broccoli, spinach, kale or peas.
2.Hot DogProcessed meats are tops on the list of dietary no-nos.
“Bologna, bacon, hot dogs and sausages are high in sodium, carcinogenic nitrates and saturated fat,” Schmidt says.
But “you don’t have to outlaw stuff,” according to Chef Ann Cooper, author of
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children (Collins Living). “Just serve something with real ingredients,” like an all-beef, natural hot dog that doesn’t have nitrites or nitrates
Sneaky swap: Shelton’s Organic Prairie, Lightlife, Applewood Farms, Healthy Choice and Diestel Turkey.
Compare a single, bunless Oscar Meyer wiener, with 147 calories and 13.6 grams of fat (5.6 grams saturated), to Organic Prairie uncured chicken dog, which has 70 calories and 4.5 grams fat (1 gram saturated) and no nitrates or nitrites.
Serve it on a whole-wheat bun with a side of veggie sticks and lunch is done
3.Grilled CheeseHot off the grill, dripping with butter and oozing with melted American cheese, this sandwich is a crowd pleaser with everyone. It’s also a calorie and fat bomb.
One grilled cheese can easily weigh in at 500+ calories, with more than half of those from fat. So how can you lighten its dietary load?
Sneaky swap: “Use naturally low-fat, low-sodium cheeses such as mozzarella,” Schmidt says.
Grill it up panini-style with mozzarella, fresh tomato and basil and a drizzle of olive oil. It’ll be the newest household hit
. Peanut Butter & JellyGrape jelly on white bread with a blob of peanut butter is a typical kid’s go-to lunch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give them many nutrients, particularly the fast-food variety. One Panera kid’s PB&J has more than 400 calories, 17 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar.Sneaky swap: Use whole-grain bread, no-sugar-added jam and all-natural peanut or almond butter. Throw in sliced bananas for extra potassium and vitamin B6, then watch your kids gobble it up.
5. Chicken NuggetsWhere do you begin with this nutritional nightmare? For starters, nuggets are a highly processed industrial assortment of chicken parts, additives, preservatives and chemical flavorings.
The original chicken McNugget contains 38 ingredients ranging from tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), dimethylpolysiloxene and other tongue twisters to partially hydrogenated corn oil (aka trans fat).
If a food doesn’t sound real, chances are it isn’t. Serve real chicken instead.
Sneaky swap: At the drive-thru, order chicken strips. Yeah, they’re breaded, fried and high in calories and preservatives, but chicken is still the main ingredient.
6.French FriesNo nutritional good comes from the French fry. Why? “Fried foods add unnecessary saturated fat and salt to kids’ diets,” Schmidt says.
But you don’t have to give up the potato. Sneaky swap: Baked sweet potato fries. They’re higher in vitamins A, B complex and C, and potassium - and a snap to make. “Slice sweet potatoes into sticks, toss in a little olive oil and roast on a baking sheet at 400°’F for 5-10 minutes on each side.” No time? For a quick, store-bought alternative, buy frozen baking fries. “Alexia Organic makes a delicious potato or sweet potato fry for baking,” Schmidt says.
7.PizzaSurprise! Pizza can be a healthy meal.
Just not with pepperoni or sausage. One slice of Pizza Hut’s Pepperoni Lover’s pizza has 330 calories, 18 grams of fat (7 grams saturated) and 800 milligrams sodium.Ditch the takeout. Let kids make pizza from scratch, Schmidt says. Frozen whole-wheat dough, low-sodium sauce and mozzarella provide a good base for piling on thin-sliced peppers, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, artichoke hearts and more. The possibilities are endless.
8.JuiceJuice sounds healthy, but most fall short of nutritional gold.
The problem? Even 100% fruit juices are not as filling as the actual fruit, says William H. Dietz, M.D., director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC.
“If you serve the juice equivalent of a piece of fruit, the brain doesn’t do a good job of registering these calories,” he says. That’s because an orange has bulk and is more filling.
Still, juice doesn’t have to be off limits, especially in warm weather where drinking plenty of liquids is important. But serve no more than 4 ounces a day for children under 6; 8 if they’re older, Schmidt says.
Also, give them 100% juices and dilute them with one-third to one-half water. And break out of the clear-fruit juice box every now and then.
Sneaky swap: “Apple and white grape juices are relatively low in nutrients and high in sugar compared to other juice varieties,” Schmidt says.
A good alternative is V8 V-Fusions, a fruit-vegetable blend that offers natural fruit sweetness with veggies — “a lifesaver if your kid refuses to touch the real stuff,” Schmidt says.
But “they shouldn’t be a long-term substitute. Juice – even fresh-squeezed – is a concentrated source of sugar,” she says.
God bless you all and have a great week. Anne


adrienzgirl said...

Awesome post! Thanks!

AL said...

Hotdogs are listed among junk foods I must say. But it doesn't mean that kids are deprived of it, kids liked them so much but it must always be in moderation.
Good to know your okay. Take care Anne.


Dory and the Mama said...

Thanks Anne!!! What a great site for us that love that comfort food, but don't like the calories and fat!!


SquirrelQueen said...

Good tips Anne, for kids and adults. I always buy the all beef hot dogs. My hubby loves grill cheese sandwiches so I buy fat free cheese and I use one of the yogurt based butter type spreads (I can't remember the name), he can't tell the difference.


Lily Robinson said...

I fail miserably here. If I want a slice of buttered bread, I'll eat rye with REAL butter. I try to go for balance and moderation. I don't like the low-fat versions of many foods. But on the good side, I don't like fried stuff and I don't like meat scrap products like hot-dogs and bologna.

darnold23 said...

Really great information. I have a blog associated with my classroom. If you don't mind, I may post a link to your post on my next post there. Just let me know if that is okay. I want to invite you to participate in my weekly blog event at Dining With Debbie. Mister Linky is up for this week's Crock Pot Wednesday, so come post a favorite slow cooker recipe. There's a giveaway going on as well.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Hey Ann,
That is a very useful post as always.
Thank you . They are good tips.
Have a great weekend!
hugs hugs

Kris said...

You are so awesome. Sorry I haven't been around...couldn't pay my internet bill and they shut me down!!! I've missed you dear friend!