Making healthy muffins is easy. Find your favorite muffin recipe and use whole wheat flour when possible. Make sure you throw in some fruits and nuts the kids like such as blueberries or raspberries, pecans, or walnuts. Use healthy oils and replace sugar with alternative sweeteners like agave nectar or honey. If the kids get tired of the same flavor, I just freeze a few for another day. Don't be afraid to get creative. I had some leftover carrots and pineapple one day and decided to use them in a muffin with agave nectar, flaxseed, and wheat flour. The kids killed them!
Make it a hands-on project by letting your kids pick their own fruits and have them wash and remove the leaves and stems. Let them toss the fruit and any additions like skim milk or honey into a blender and let 'er rip! They will be thrilled to call something so delicious their own!
We like to make brown rice crispies with cocoa, honey, and almond butter. The kids just love them!
Slice russet potatoes 1/8 inch thick. Toss with olive oil and season with sea salt. Bake in a single layer on a baking sheet at 450 degrees F until crisp. You may serve these with a low-fat dip or alone. For variety, use different kinds of potatoes, like sweet or purple, and play around with seasonings to expose your kids to different flavor combinations – hot and spicy, smoky, Indian, even Italian seasonings! Your kids will thank you.
If your child likes sushi, send him to school with sushi, but it is best to avoid varieties with raw fish as it can be difficult to maintain the proper temperature. If you're adventurous, make a veggie roll using some carrot, cucumber, avocado and brown rice. Many stores now sell nori and bamboo mats in their international section.
Think of your kids' favorite dishes and find a way to fit them into a lunch box. Cheeseburger macaroni with lean meat, whole wheat pasta, tomatoes and low-fat cheese is a great lunch meal. My son loves tacos so we give him a few whole wheat tortillas, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes along with some heated beef and brown rice in separate thermoses. It is very important that hot items are heated above 165 degrees F and do not get cooler than 140 degrees F before eaten at lunch. It's even better if your kid has a microwave at school, so do some research.
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