2/1/12

Easy Tips for Cooking Healthy Meals with Kids as a Family


By on 2/01/2012 02:16:00 PM

In a fast paced world, it’s not always to eat healthy meals and snacks. Families are on the go more than ever, parent work schedules are no longer 9-5, and the family dinner table has too often been replaced by convenience snacks in front of a television. Ready to change the face of your family’s meal plan—but, aren’t sure how? Check out a few of our favorite tips for cooking healthy meals with kids as a family and check out a fun contest sponsored by Uncle Ben’s that just may be the inspiration that your family needs to make healthy meals a habit in your kitchen!

Choose recipes with the kids. When you give the children a little control over the dinner menu, you may be pleasantly surprised by their change in attitude toward fruits, vegetables and balanced nutrition. Even if you select a handful of healthy options and allow the family to vote or “blindly draw” the recipe choice, the response from the kids is often far more favorable when they feel that they had a bit of say in the dinner menu.

Make recipes fun and even unusual. Create fun themes for every meal with the kids or choose a different fruit or vegetable to feature in a week of recipes. Our family has fun creating “around the world” themes which let the girls try popular foods and recipes from other cultures. Again, the kids help find recipes and exert some control over the dishes selected.

Enlist mini chefs.  My youngest one is not chopping block ready—but, she can break apart broccoli or help with measuring and counting. My middle daughter is semi-ready to chop fruits and veggies on the cutting board and is able to help with most other kitchen tasks. The more the kids help with meal prep, the more likely they are to actually eat some of it!

Lead by a reasonable example. I hate eggplant in any form. It’s not that I haven’t tried it (again and again)…it is that I physically despise the taste, smell and texture of it. I try to accept that everyone in my house may have similar food aversions! If you know that spinach is a deal breaker—skip it. There are tons of vegetable substitutions and, as a parent; your job is to find suitable alternatives, which everyone enjoys, so that your children understand that all veggies are not created yucky.

Make simple, healthy changes. Adding simple, healthy options such as Uncle Ben’s rice to family meal favorites is a great way to venture down the path toward a healthy family diet. Rice is easy to prepare, fun for the kids to measure (and even play with), and whole grain versions are both healthy and offer versatility for a variety of side dishes as well as main course meals.

A healthy lifestyle is a way of life and it requires commitment—and in our hectic world it also requires some creativity to keep everyone interested and involved.

Need some healthy meal inspiration? Check out the Ben’s Beginner’s Cooking Contest from Uncle Ben’s®. It’s a fun way to get the kids inspired in the kitchen to not only learn some great life skills—but, to possibly win some great prizes as well.



About Uncle Ben’s

Uncle Ben’s®, the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for convenient side dishes and savory main courses. Uncle Ben’s® offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavored rices in cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 90 seconds, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, Uncle Ben’s® is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. Uncle Ben’s® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food NA, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit www.UncleBens.com.

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Disclaimer: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Photo Credit:  http:www.sxc.hu/lockstockb

About Angela

Angela is a freelance writer and blogger, blessed with 3 daughters, 4 cats, 1 needy dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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