Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kids' Favorite Healthy Lunch

Posted by Mandy at 6:35 AM
When thinking of what healthy lunch options to post, I knew I had to do fast, easy, kid friendly ideas. This one is super simple, quick, and one of my kids' favorites! What kid doesn't love pasta?

To make any pasta dish healthy, simply substitute refined white pasta for whole wheat pasta. My favorite brand is Heartland. It is much softer, smoother in texture, and more like white pasta than any other wheat noodles I've tried. (and I've tried them all)

Simply boil the pasta in water - simple! (my kids love angel hair pasta best!)

While the pasta is boiling, I take organic baby carrots and slice them in half to make for even faster cooking. Though steaming is the healthiest cooking option for veggies, I admit to boiling my carrots. I've never been able to steam a carrot and make it come out right.

**I buy organic whenever possible.. especially veggies that I am not peeling. Hard to find many in this town, but the selection improves over time.

The other veggies (typically broccoli, sweet peas (or sugar snap peas), and any other vegetable I have in the freezer) I put into my Pampered Chef microwave steamer. This thing rocks! If you don't have a steamer, no problem! Put them into a microwavable glass bowl with a bit of water in the bottom (about 3 tablespoons), cover and microwave.

It all cooks in about 15 minutes. Super fast and super HEALTHY! I also cook boneless, skinless chicken breast in a skillet (just spray skillet with nonstick spray, season chicken, and cook. No oil, no butter) and add it to this dish. All of my chicken was frozen this day and I was too hungry to wait for it to thaw.

Even without the chicken, the whole wheat pasta is a great source of protein. (7g per serving.)

If you really want to get healthy, and get your kids healthy, a dish like this is a really fast and easy way to start! I simply put a bit of salt over the top of each dish of food before I pass it out. No butter, no oil, no nothin'. This is a great way to start shedding pounds, gaining energy, and gaining HEALTH.

**Got kids that hate veggies? Sprinkle them with a touch of sugar before cooking to bring out the natural sweetness. Gradually use less and less as they begin to eat them.
**Remember, it can take 10 times of introducing new foods to kids before they even taste them! Keep offering, keep trying!


Stacie on Wednesday, 22 July, 2009 said...

I have heard that you have to take at least three bites of something to really decide if you like it or not. When KL tells me she doesn't like a veggie, I tell her she has to take three bites. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat anymore of it. Most of the time, she decides she likes it about the third bite and will eat her serving.

Thanks for the info on the best pasta! We have tried a couple brands but didn't like them. I just assumed they all tasted about the same, but we will have to try this brand. With James being a diabetic he can't eat regular pasta or his blood sugar shoots up.

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