1. Limit the bread at the table before the meal
Eating bread before the meal can result in feeling full before the meal is served.
2. Ensure some lean protein with the meal
Eating protein is an essential part of the diet and ensures that kids won’t feast only on starchy food. Consider a lean cut of meat or an entrée showcasing legumes, both rich sources of protein. We request the use of lean proteins free of antibiotics and growth hormones, as well as varieties of sustainable seafood.
3. Portion sizes: Keep it simple
Children consume almost twice as many calories when eating food in restaurants. A child’s stomach is about the size of their fist, so smaller portions of good food will fill them up and leave them satisfied.
4. Use whole grain breads and pasta
Choose whole grains for part of your ingredients instead of highly refined products. Whole grains are packed with nutrients and fiber. If the pasta is not whole wheat, than semolina flour is best.
5. Use cooking methods that are lower in fat while still retaining flavors
Steer away from serving fried food that is high in fat, saturated fat and calories. As well, avoid all food using trans fat or hydrogenated fats.
6. Prepare your dishes with great flavors while limiting salt
High sodium diets can cause a number of health challenges, even in children. Build your dish with flavor profiles that introduce children to the naturally delicious taste of healthy foods.
7. Keep it local and seasonal
Local produce is fresher, tastier and a great way to get kids engaged in learning about local and seasonal food. It’s great for the environment and kids love to be a part of being green.
8. Serve no-sugar beverages and small, if any, desserts
Soda and concentrated fruit juice are unwelcomed guests at the table. Pair the meal with non-flavored milk, preferably organic, or water. And, if you want to add dessert to the meal, continue the idea of small and seasonal.
Look for the Healthy Fare for Kids™ logo that tells you in an instant it’s a healthy and delicious meal for your kids.