by Allison Enke, MA, RD
(NAPSI)–Creating healthful meals that the whole family will enjoy doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
Add nutrient-dense foods to your cooking routine to make little changes and embrace tiny victories for a happier, healthier family.
Tiny Victory #1: To satisfy after-school cravings and aid better dinnertime decisions, stock up on nutritious snacks so kids have healthy options at their fingertips. Hummus with veggies, string cheese with whole wheat crackers, and air-popped popcorn are likely hits.
Tiny Victory #2: Since some grains such as brown rice can take a while to cook, make a batch ahead on the weekend to have on hand. Freeze prepared whole grains (or get them already frozen) for another quick meal solution. Stocking quick-cooking grains such as quinoa helps add variety, as can having whole grain bread and tortillas on hand for simple meals.
Tiny Victory #3: Add vegetables to dishes that kids love, whether it’s pureeing butternut squash to bulk up macaroni and cheese, adding shredded carrots to a sandwich, or broccoli “trees” to a child’s favorite pasta dish.
Try out this recipe from the taste experts at Whole Foods Market, where simple substitutions of whole wheat flour and fat-free yogurt for regular flour, oil and butter can make a more filling, delicious and healthy start to your child’s day.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup 365 Everyday Value Organic Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fruit-sweetened fruit jelly or jam
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, peanut butter, yogurt and eggs. Gradually stir peanut butter mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fill muffin cups half full. Add 1 teaspoon jam into the center of each muffin. Top with remaining batter. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
For more family-friendly recipes and tiny victory suggestions from Whole Foods Market and PBS KIDS, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/kid-friendly.
Ms. Enke is a Registered Dietitian at Whole Foods Market.